dog at vet

How To Travel With A Pet To China

Pet owners like to travel just as much as anyone else. With cat hotels and dog kennels readily available, travel can seem more realistic to pet owners than ever before.

And, if you, the dedicated pet owner, has friends who can watch your fur babies, even better. However, not everyone likes to part from their animals, and some trips are so extended that it wouldn’t make sense to leave them behind.

If you are a parent to a four-legged friend and are planning to move or take an extended trip to China, here is what you need to know about how to travel to this country with a pet.

Photo Source: Vancouver Pension

Photo Source: Vancouver Pension

Get Up-to-Date Information From China

China is always changing their rules and regulations, so it’s important to get the most up to date information that is out there. When trying to find out all of the rules, there are a couple of categories that you need to consider.

-The documentation
-The services you will need from your veterinarian
-The arrival procedures
-The exit procedures

A great website to visit for in-depth information is The International Center For Veterinary Services.

Also, it’s important to note that not only are the regulations for your pets constantly changing but so are the regulations for you as the owner.

All pet owners must meet certain criteria which include having a Z-visa (employment,) and a passport. In fact, only one pet can be imported per passport, so if you are moving to China with a spouse, you can bring two.

Take Your Pet to The Vet For….

Taking your pet to the vet is going to be the first actionable step towards getting them into China. Due to the country’s regulations, you will need your vet to provide the animal with a couple of things.

1.) Microchip: While it’s not a mandatory requirement for entry into China, getting an ISO microchip can be useful. Also, whatever country you plan on exporting the pet to after China, they may require the animal to be micro-chipped.

2.) Rabies Vaccination: A rabies shot is an absolute requirement for all pets entering China. The vaccine must have been given 30 days before departure but no more than a year before. The vaccine is also required to be an inactive version.

3.) Suggest Vaccinations: While only a suggestion, it may be a good idea to get your pet vaccinated for Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Feline Cat Flu, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, and Cat Enteritis.

dog at vet

Obtain Documents

Despite the vaccinations and a good bill of health, your pets will not be allowed into China without the proper documentation. Make sure you have everything that you need including these documents:

– Vet Health Certificate (Form 7001)
– USDA Endorsements for Microchip Implantation Record, Vaccination Records, Rabies Certificate, Vet Health Certificate

Understand Rules For The Ports of Entry
Beijing and Shanghai are the most used port of entries for importing pets to China.

It’s important to know what to expect from them once you arrive. When entering both of these cities, there is a mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 7 days if entering from certain countries (including the UK.)

If entering from certain specified countries, including the U.S.A, there is a mandatory quarantine of 30 days. Make sure to double check with your vet or online to see which category your country falls under.


Understand Breed Restrictions

Beijing and Shanghai have a list of larger dogs that they deem too big or aggressive and that won’t be allowed in the country. If your dog falls under one of these breeds, it may be unlikely that you can import them into the country.
-St. Bernards
-Golden Retrievers
-Great Danes
-Irish Wolfhounds
-German Shepherds

chihuahua in mug

Organize With The Airline

Each airline will have their own rules, regulations, and fees associated with pet travel.

It is imperative that you do the proper research on the airline you wish to use before booking the tickets so that you don’t run into any issues.

Some tips for a smoother journey for you and your pet include:
-Equipping your dog with a leash as airline staff may be instructed to walk them.
-Pack an extra bag of food if the airline allows it so that the animal can be fed in the event of delays.
-Don’t lock the crate with an additional outside lock because the staff will not be able to remove them in the case of an emergency.
-Make sure that you purchase an air-crate that is approved by your airline.
-Make sure your pet is wearing some form of identification

Photo Source: Smart Women Travelers

Photo Source: Smart Women Travelers

Always double and triple check the regulations as they frequently change. Happy traveling!

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Shannon Ullman

Hey! I'm a published American travel blogger and teacher. My travel writing has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Matador Network and Thought Catalog. I spent over a year living and traveling around China while I taught English there. I have also visited dozens of other countries around the world.