Posted by Harry Fozzard

Some people simply can’t go on a trip without bringing their fine furry companions along. If they want to bring their pets to China, however, they’ll need to follow a few basic guidelines. These rules, while often seen as a hassle, are necessary for ensuring the safety of the Chinese citizens, as well are the pets themselves.

When it comes to pets, importing to China requires quite a bit of preparation. All vaccination papers should be gathered and filed for easy presentation to Chinese authorities. The most important of these papers is the certification of rabies vaccination, which is an absolute necessity when moving pets to China. Other notable vaccination papers include animal flu, leptospirosis, and hepatitis shots.

Pets will also need a certificate of good health prepared and signed by a licensed veterinarian. It might be useful to bring copies of the veterinarian’s credentials to provide further assurance of the pet’s health. Travelers should bring multiple copies of these papers, as officials from the Plant and Quarantine departments will likely keep any copies given to them.

The pets should be housed in pet carriers that match the airline’s regulations. The carrier should be lined with towels to absorb any of the animal’s waste during travel. In addition, the carrier should be clearly labeled as carrying a live animal.

Travelers should check the different general pet import regulations enforced by Chinese authorities. While dogs and cats are welcome, the government strictly forbids importation of ferrets, snakes, and rabbits, among other restricted animals. Certain dog breeds, such as rottweilers, might be considered too violent for travel and be barred from entry. Some cities in China, such as Shanghai, also enforce a one dog per household rule; if the destination home already has a pet dog, travelers are advised against relocating their pets there. In addition to these restrictions, some cities in China impose a mandatory one-week quarantine period to guarantee the pet’s health and safety in the country. Given these conditions, travelers intending to stay close to seven days are advised to leave their pets at home.

Although Chinese authorities generally require travelers to have a resident’s Visa in order to import pets, individuals can request a pet relocation agency’s help in waiving this requirement. This will likely drive up the costs in moving pets to China, however, and should only be done if absolutely necessary. The cost to import animals to China alone costs about 1,000 RMB per pet.

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Bringing pets to China