Stray Dogs In Thailand And How You Can Help Them

If you’ve ever visited Thailand, then you have probably noticed the large number of stray dogs that are wandering the streets. Sadly, most of the stray dogs in Thailand have a very short and unpleasant existence. Usually alone and unwanted, fending for themselves in the streets while struggling with road traffic, unkind humans, illnesses and lack of food. Although occasionally food stall owners will leave out leftovers for the dogs to eat, most of the time these dogs are on their own.

The cause behind Thailand’s big stray dog issue is simple: Pet owners are failing to spay and neuter their animals. It is common for owners to abandon their dogs once they are no longer entertaining enough or become too costly to take care of. These strays end up meeting other strays and have more puppies. It is estimated that there are roughly 8.5 million dogs in Thailand, of which about 730,000 are abandoned by their owners.

In this guide, we are going to explain everything you need to know about stray dogs in Thailand and how you can help.

Abandoned Dogs In Thailand

In Thailand, hundreds of thousands of dogs are abandoned each and every year. It is not uncommon for pet owners to abandon their dogs when they get too old and fun to play with, or too expensive to take care of. Some are small, fun, and playful, others are large, timid, and withdrawn. Amongst them they all have one shared similarity – they have all been abandoned.

One of the most popular places to abandon a dog in Thailand is the Buddhist temples. A common misconception is that the monks will feed and attend to the stray animals, but sadly this is not often the case. You may also find that some Buddhist temples actively deter people from dumping unwanted pets at their temples since it’s an annoyance to the resident monks.

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Sadly, the act of dumping unwanted dogs in Thailand is widespread, and many abandoned animals are victims of malnutrition, disease, and death.

abandoned dog thailand

Things to remember when encountering stray dogs in Thailand:

Feeding Stray Dogs 

If you are keen to help stray dogs by feeding them, please do so far away from hotels and restaurants. Although it may feel like you’re helping, sometimes feeding a stray dog near a resort or restaurant can cause more harm than good. Some business owners may consider them to be an annoyance to their customers, resulting in a potential loss of trade. This could lead to extremely negative consequences if frustrated owners take the dogs away from these familiar environments.

feeding stray dogs

How do I deal with a stray dog in Thailand?

While most of the stray dogs in Thailand are very friendly and loving, others have experienced previous hardship and neglect. As an outsider who does not know the history of the dog in question, it is always advisable to exercise caution when approaching street dogs.

Before approaching a stray dog in Thailand, make sure to observe the dog’s body behavior. If a dog shows any sign of hostility such as growling, showing teeth, barking, or a slow wagging tail, then it might be planning to attack and it’s always a better choice to walk away.

thailand aggressive dog

If you are witness to a dog that is in attack-mode then remember to stay calm. Dogs are sensitive animals that can read human behavior. A dog can sense when someone is scared or nervous. Simply walk away without looking into the dog’s eyes and NEVER run.

How many stray dogs are there in Thailand?

There is an estimated number of 8.5 million dogs in Thailand, of which 10% are predicted to be stray dogs. That’s roughly 850,000 stray dogs. Bangkok has one of the worst stray dog problems, accounting for nearly 300,000 stray dogs alone.

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Why are there so many stray dogs in Thailand?

If you’ve ever been to Thailand, then you have probably noticed the large amount of stray dogs roaming the streets. There is estimated to be roughly 850,000 stray dogs in Thailand.

The reason there are so many stray dogs in Thailand is simple: Pet owners do not spay and neuter their animals. It is not uncommon for owners to become bored of the animal and to abandon their dogs into the street. These dogs end up meeting other stray dogs and making puppies.

How You Can Help Stray Dogs in Thailand (and cats)

Thai Animal Shelters

Get to know the animal shelters in your area – we have listed a few below which are very deserving of any time/donations/pet supplies you can spare. 

In no specific order:


Most Animal Shelters are provided with no government funding, meaning they operate solely by donations from compassionate animal lovers. No matter how big or small a donation, here are some shelters that ensure your donation will always be used in the most efficient ways possible to help the maximum number of animals.

More Thailand Guides:               

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Koh Phangan Nightlife


James Ardimento has spent the last 12 years journeying around the globe ! With its precious experiences and tips he gained around Asia, South America, Europe and the US he is a precious asset for this blog and for its readers