Pets in Cambodia: How to import a dog or cat (or adopt one here)

Looking for more up-to-date info about exporting pets from Cambodia? Check out our brand-new pet export guide!

One of the questions we hear from expats is whether or not it’s possible to bring their pets in and out of Cambodia. Happily, the answer is a resounding yes! We talked an expert on the matter, Nicola Scales, the president and founder of PPAWS, the Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society about moving with pets to Cambodia and adopting pets in Cambodia. Here’s the low-down.

If you are looking for a pet, consider an abandoned Cambodia pagoda dog.

MTC: How can expats bring their dog or cat with them to Cambodia?

NS: It is relatively easy to bring pets in although there is little written documentation of the process. It is simplest to have your pets fly with you, you can just pick them up from the baggage department and walk out of the airport with them. If they come via a pet relocation service, there are often hidden costs added that are difficult to verify or determine ahead of time, due to the lack of documentation on the subject.

Do expat pets need special vaccinations to come to Cambodia?

Nothing special is needed, just the standard vaccinations and rabies shots–the same as most countries.

If expats want to adopt a pet in Cambodia, what is the best way to go about it?

Expats can contact PPAWS, especially if they are interested in kittens or young cats–the advantage being we often give them their first vaccination so it is cheaper in the long run. Alternatively Madame Loan at CAPA often has dogs or puppies (but she has been known not to allow certain people to adopt her rescue animals, possibly based on nationality). The alternative is to just go to a pagoda; there are many kittens and sometimes puppies abandoned there and if they ask the monks they are usually quite happy for them to take them.

What should expats consider before they adopt a pet in Cambodia?

Before you adopt any animal, please consider your future plans. Cats and dogs can live up to 20 years. Only take in a pet if you are certain that you will be able to care for it and bring it with you if you move away. Adopting a dog or cat should be for life, not just for while you are living in Cambodia!

Are there veterinarians in Cambodia? Where can expats go for pet healthcare?

I recommend Agrovet, this is a European veterinary clinic with mainly French vets but also a Spanish vet.

There are many abandoned kitties that need loving homes.

What is PPAWS (Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society) and what do they do?

PPAWS was set up to try and help the abandoned cats and dogs in the pagodas of Phnom Penh. At the current time we focus on two pagodas. The funds come mostly from my wages as a teacher and so we are limited by this fact, and when I am working, that also limits how much I can do. But if people find abandoned animals, they can ring me and I’ll advise or try and help. I cannot take them in as I already take in rescue animals from the pagodas.

Can I take my pet with me when I leave Cambodia?

It is relatively easy to take animals with you to everywhere but Australia and New Zealand. Even the UK no longer has requires animal quarantine, instead the animals do a three month in-country quarantine after a blood test to make sure they have rabies antibodies. My advice is get your pets vaccinated and keep up with the vaccinations. Check out what you will need to take your pet back to your own country and put money aside and plan for this eventuality. There is more information about exporting your pet, including airline recommendations, on the PPAWs site.

PPAWS (Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society) Clinic

Clinic open Tuesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
189 Street 37, Beoung Tumpun, Phnom Penh
T: 017 293 654; 017 517 365

81 Responses to Pets in Cambodia: How to import a dog or cat (or adopt one here)

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    Phillip says:


    Is this information still current?? I will be flying from the USA around February of 2021.

    I want to bring my 15 pound Jack Russel Terrier. He will be flying in cabin with me.

    This will be the first time traveling, kind of nervous and hoping its still pretty easy.

    Thank You

    Ann Fellows says:

    Has anyone out there taken pets from China to Cambodia? They are up-to-date on their shots, but though I was told I must get my border collie a license, I couldn’t do it because he was too big. Will this be a problem that is isn’t licensed? It’s a Catch-22 and ridiculous. Thanks for any help.

    Anne Waltham says:

    I am looking for an airline that will let me carry my chihuahua in cabin into PP. We are currently in India but he has a uk passport with rabies titre.

      Jamie McIntyre says:

      Hi Anne! I’m looking for the same for my Boston Terrier. I think Asiana air might allow you depending on the weight of your chihuahua. My dog is just over their overall in-cabin weight requirements. So if you find anything else, let me know!

    Stephanie says:

    Hi everyone! My husband and I are planning on moving to Cambodia in 2 years from Canada. I was wondering on the feasability of bringing our Great Dane. She is the absolute sweetest dog who is extremely submissive to any other dog. I am worried about the actual flights and then renting a house with a yard for her, aggressiveness by street dogs and just the general attitude of dogs in Cambodia. I have read horror stories of pets being kidnapped and either eaten or sold, dogs getting sick from the water or parasites, snake bites etc. Also due to her size – how bad would flying with her be? Does anyone know of companies that will feed and walk your dog on layovers? And how hard is it to find housing once there? Thank you!

      Lina says:

      Hi Stephanie, definitely ask this question in the ‘Expets Cambodia’ Facebook group. The main issue you will face is finding an airline that will transport your dog, as many will not take dogs over a certain weight. However, I do know of a Great Dane that flew from Cambodia to the US, so I guess it is possible. Ask in the group for more info.

    Jessi says:

    HELP MUCH APPRECIATED: I adopted a cat in Cambodia and I’m wondering if anyone has any experience or information on the best way (least stress/lowest cost) way to take my cat with me to Australia? Thanks in advance!

      Lina says:

      Low cost and Australia do not go hand in hand when it comes to importing pets, I am afraid! Join the Cambodia Expets Facebook group which is all about importing and exporting pets from Cambodia. The admin just moved his four dogs to Australia.

        Amy says:

        Hi Jessi,

        I am in the process of organising to take my dog from Cambodia to Australia. We leave Cambodia at the end of July. Lina is absolutely right though, low cost and importing to Australia is not cheap… I have found a great blog by a lady that took her dog from Cambodia to Australia a few years ago and she details every step and there is a list of costs at the bottom! As Cambodia is not rated by Australian quarantine, dogs and cats must go through a country with a rating – usually Malaysia or Singapore. Malaysia is a cheaper option but even if do most of the steps yourself it is still going to run into the thousands of dollars, granted a cat may be a little cheaper than a dog.

        Here is her blog:

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