QYKYHBATATA #2: When Living In Thailand Have You Ever Eaten Dog?

Doggy says hello

How can you eat a face like that?

Woah where is this question coming from? I really hope you're just curious and not hungry.

I my potentially disgusting friend am a friend to dogs. I grew up with a dog (a large Norwegian Elkhound named Louis), and our current dog Lilo is living (quite comfortably) with my in-laws here in Thailand. And no, they don't eat dog. In fact they have another dog, Oishi (ironically this means “tasty” in Japanese) and he and Lilo are great friends, traipsing about where and when they want.

Now it is true that some people in Thailand eat dog. And I have a feeling that the dogs know who eats dog because I have story for you.

When we were building our little room in my mother-in-law's house Oishi and Lilo would constantly bark at this cousin that would come by. In fact. Oishi wouldn't let him come in the house and would chase him away. I was later told by Kookkai (my wife) that that guy ate dog.

So the dogs know.

And I have a more stomach-churning story for you. Hold on to your lunch.

A high school friend of mine Tim taught English in northern China for 6 months a number of years ago. He told me they raise dogs for eating there. He also told me of a strange ritual that he had to take part in.

He went to dinner with a group of people to a certain restaurant. After much eating of unidentifiable foods and imbibing of some amounts of beer, a frozen dog head was brought to the table. Tim had to lick this frozen dog head, light it on fire, and throw it out the window. If I remember correctly I believe he did.

Still have your lunch? Makes my stomach turn at the very thought of it. I'd have to whip out some drunken monkey kung fu in a situation like that because unless you have weapons I'm not doing that. But who knows what you might do under the right social and cultural pressures…

Anyhow, to answer your question no, I don't eat dog, I have never eaten dog, and if someone serves me dog I swear here and now I will slap them in the face like a pimp and call them very mean names that no child should ever hear uttered.

Dogs are pets not food.


  1. Robert, this is a great example of a blog post that totally shows your personality and builds relationships in a subtle way by removing all formality. Cool beans!

  2. Phil Wollerman says:

    I like dogs and have just come back from 4 hour hike with a couple of Norwegian Elkhounds and a Cocker Spaniel. No way I’m eating Zelda, Houdini or Scarlet!

    But here in New Zealand it’s common for kids to grow up with a pet lamb that then becomes part of the menu. We grow an awful lot of sheep and humanely kill them, export and others eat them; what is the difference between that and dogs or/and other kinds of animal?

    Recently I asked my butcher where he sourced his advertised “Smoked Dog Bones”. Are they local dogs? I asked….

    Ambiguous butchers aside, I think that going along with local custom is part of understanding a culture. As a former owner of a pet rabbit I was understandably uncomfortable with the idea of stew: eventually I tried some and it’s delicious! Said butcher is also able to supply wild rabbits…

    • Hi Phil – I grew up with a Norwegian Elkhound. They are excellent dogs. Small world!

      As for aligning with local cultures I agree it’s good to do so to a point. Thankfully eating dog isn’t throughout Thai culture so I can choose whether or not to do it. Having said that, I’ve never seen it on the menu.

  3. I honestly don’t know if I have eaten dog or not. When I was in Hong Kong, a street vendor sold me “Meat on a stick.” Needless to say I think I was better off not knowing, but at least it tasted decent and I didn’t get sick.

  4. Tyler Thompson says:

    I’ve eaten dog…but only the “corn” and “hot” varieties. Amen – dogs are pets.

  5. Most Asian nations eat dog meat for its heating properties. In the Philippines it is normal to eat dog meat even if the dog has disease or something, which really disgusting. As a vegan I dont like animals to be treated as food. Also I cant eat someting that I love as a pet.

  6. Ahahaah … that’s too funny. I can’t imagine eating dog, cat, or rodents either …

  7. Yikes, Robert! I’m waaaaay too into my own dog and he’d know if I even came close to thinking about this subject!

    • Interestingly enough it seems that dogs know when someone eats dogs. One person came to my mother-in-law’s house and my dog Lilo and my MOT’s dog Oishi wouldn’t stop barking at him. I later found out that he ate dogs.

      They know.

      • Dogs totally know! My dog barks at certain people in the dog park, to the point of singling out one person amongst a group and only barking at that one. Turns out, virtually all of the people Piper (yes, the name fits her) would bark at did not own a dog and were just walking with friends in the park. And most interesting, she did not bark at the couple that did not own a dog, but were walking in the park trying to decide what kind of dog to get…
        Go Lassie.

    • Barb, Can you imagine. I’m so happy that our babies are safe.

  8. This is the best thing about being a vegetarian. I don’t eat meat and no matter where I travel, I am safe to say that I have yet to eat DOG. In fact, even if I weren’t a vegetarian, I would pose as one while traveling to some of my favorite places.

  9. Hi Robert

    Glad it is way past mealtime here in Oz! Have visited a country a long time ago where I was told that dog was on the menu. I stuck to fresh fruit and vegies whilst there as they seemed to eat lots of things that weren’t on my menu back home.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  10. Your title made me run here Robert!

    I am another dog lover and have always had them right under my cradle, ever since I opened my eyes as a baby! And even after so many years of marriage, we have always had one at our place as well- so I would have written one hell of a comment had I known you ate dogs!!

    Yes, I too have heard of people eating dogs, snakes, and all kind of animals at our end also, and didn’t know that they do so in Thailand as well. How can they even being so cruel to animals? I guess they never really treat them as anything other than food!

    Thanks for sharing and letting us know that thankfully you don’t have them- eeks…even the thought of the dogs head on a plate makes me….!!

    Enjoy your weekend 🙂

  11. AFAIK, there are some dog eating communities in the North- East Indian states of Nagaland and Mizoram. In Nagaland, I’ve heard things like, if you let your dog out after dark, there is a very rare chance that it will come back.
    Haven’t heard about any such rituals as described in your post though, atleast yet.

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