Owning a Pet in Vietnam

Useful information for owners of dogs and cats in Vietnam, with details of vaccinations, pets in public places and lost and found animals...

Pet Identification

In Vietnam, pets do not need to have a microchip. However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development states that cat and dog owners must register their pet with the local People’s Committee commune or ward to get a pet code.


A rabies vaccination is compulsory for cats and dogs. It is also advisable to vaccinate dogs and cats against the following diseases:

  • Dogs: distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and canine parainfluenza
  • Cats: feline panleukopenia (distemper), feline leukemia, viral rhinotracheitis and calicivirus

Public Transport

  • Air travel: Airlines have their own policies about transporting animals. Some airlines accept a dog on board provided that it weighs less than five kilograms and is carried in an animal carrier. Usually an extra fee is charged. Animals that are heavier than five kilograms need an appropriate container
    • For information about transporting pets with Vietnam Airlines: Click here
    • For general information from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on shipping cats and dogs: Click here
  • Train travel: pets are not allowed to travel on the Vietnam Railways System
    • For information from Vietnam Railways System: Click here

Pets in Public Places

Owners must accompany their pets in public places. Unaccompanied pets are vulnerable as they could be captured and taken to the local pound. If they are not claimed within three days, they are euthanised.

Furthermore, cats and dogs are frequently stolen for restaurants, so it is advisable that owners pay attention to their pets in public areas.

Owners must use a leash when walking their dogs and clean up excrement in public areas.

Lost or Found Pets

Vietnam law regarding pet protection is weak, so owners must make all the effort if a pet is lost.

  • Make flyers which provide as much information as possible about the pet: include a photograph, name, breed, time when the pet was lost and the location, as well as the owner’s contact details). Do not forget to add “Will send a thank you tip/gift” in Vietnamese: S? h?u t?
  • Distribute flyers throughout the neighbourhood, including areas near dog shops, which may be selling stolen dogs. It is also advisable to give flyers to motorbike taxi drivers
  • Post information on pet forums:
  • Check collecting centres or pounds

Animal Organisations

In Vietnam, there is no official national animal protection organisation, but there are some international organisations present in the country.

Some of these include:

There are also private organisations. Pet owners can share their experiences on forums, as well as find advice on food and veterinary services.

Mê Thú C?ng, a Vietnamese pet magazine, has many articles in English.