Eating Dogs in Vietnam….When pets become food 1

Dog meat and dog restaurants in Vietnam and around the world

Every year, hundreds of thousand of pets are snatched in Thailand, then smuggled into Vietnam. The increased demand for dog meat in the Vietnamese market means that a  higher number of dogs are killed every year in order to satisfy all the consumers. Up to now, eating dog meat is still a big business in Vietnam, it might sound incredible and disgusting for many but it’s the unfortunate truth. At this time, 5 million dogs are killed for meat every year. Across the world, 11 countries still eat dog meat: China, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Polynesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Arctic and Antarctic and two cantons in Switzerland. No one knows exactly when Vietnamese people started eating dogs, but the consumption of dog meat is primarily in the North where it comes from a long tradition and where it is increasingly popular. Restaurants serving dog meat in Vietnam are considered as a good choice for drinking out and celebrating with friends. Dog meat is considered to have a “great taste”, as it is a rich source of protein, and quite cheap if you compare the amount of meat you get for your money (Beef, while popular in Vietnam is still quite expensive here). It is very easy to find a restaurant specialized in dog meat in Vietnam, especially in Ha Noi where this custom originates from.

Dogs in Vietnam from pets to food for humans

Cruel transport conditions and a very sad end of the road for these dogs in Vietnam


Eating dog meat, a local delicacy?

People in Vietnam can cook creatively many different kinds of dishes where dog meat is the main ingredient. These dishes are very appealing to many people who have no guilt in eating dog meat.

Some Vietnamese people do not like eating dog meat because they feel they are committing a sin since they practice a religion such as Buddhism. As a result, there are often heavy discussions between the protester who are animal lovers and the people who eat dog meat.

The problem here is the source of dog meat, dogs are not cattle or poultry which can be fed and supplied as meat for human consumption, at least not in Vietnam. Most of them are smuggled from Thailand, Cambodia, or China to the black market, they have to be stuffed into narrow cages and endure very long and bumpy roads. Once they arrive at destination, they are to be served as food in restaurants. Statistics say that seven tons of live dogs are shipped to the nation’s capital Hanoi every day.

Dog meat is ready for serving clients

Dog meat is ready for serving clients


Eating dog meat in Vietnam: How thieves steal dogs from their owners

Certainly there is also a domestic source  which is actually dog-thieves. They use specific tools to catch dogs and they will not hesitate to hurt the owner if they are detected. In the countryside, many houses have dogs as pets. On a road in Nghe An province, almost 300 dogs have been stolen over the last few months even though several dog thieves were beaten to death by angry mobs. This behavior can be easily understood, as many owners consider dogs like friends, a part of their family and not just having a security role. If the thieves are arrested by the police, they usually get off easily without even a fine or probation if it is their first offence. I hope this little article can give you an overview about the dog meat industry in Vietnam.

How the thieves steal dogs

The dogs are caught and delivered to the restaurant where they are brutally killed


Vietnamese girl crying beside her dead roasted dog

This photo has been seen all over the world and depicts the sadness of a little Vietnamese girl whose dog was stolen and she came across the cooked remains a few days later


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One thought on “Eating Dogs in Vietnam….When pets become food

  • Joe Pinzone

    My name is Joe Pinzone and I’m casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We’d love to film in Vietnam and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The contributors on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. If you’d like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Pinzone
    Casting Producer
    P: 212-231-7716
    Skype: Joefromnyc