“That is one expensive cat” a friend of mine described his wife’s beloved cat. Not because it is a rare breed or won show prices. It’s a regular house cat that enjoys spending his days sleeping on the couch. But that couch is now in China, not in Australia anymore.
What does it take to bring your pet to China?
China, like most other countries, requires proof of rabies vaccination, health certificate and export documentation from your home country for importing your dog or cat to China. In addition, your pet will have to spend some time in quarantine upon entering China.
There are limits on how many pets you can bring. As the International Center for Veterinary Services states, you can only bring one pet per one adult with a work visa. For more animals, the import is considered commercial.
Also note that bigger dogs (taller than 14 inches or 35 cm) and 41 specific breeds that are deemed violent are banned from Beijing’s city center. So your golden retriever may be too big to live within the fifth ring road. Bulldogs and other breeds are not allowed at all. Here is a complete list of banned breeds.
Dogs need to be registered in Beijing. You can register only one dog per household address, so you may need a friend’s address if you have more than one dog. This ICVS article about registering dogs in Beijing has helpful info and tips.
This is China, so regulations seem to change often and even differ by point of entry, so best check with a company that specializes in international pet travel or relocation.
Also think about getting your pet back home
My Australian friend’s next headache will be to get their purring family member back home once his assignment in Beijing is completed. Australia doesn’t consider China a safe country for pets to come from. And for such “unapproved countries” special import requirements including a long quarantine apply.
Taking a pet to Europe is easier. Most European countries require a blood titer test to confirm antibodies against rabies if your pet comes from a high rabies country like China. The test is performed in Switzerland, so a blood sample is sent around the world.
In addition, the pet needs a rabies vaccination and a microchip (which needs to be implanted before the vaccination) and other paperwork. Adhering to the required timeline between vaccination, blood test and travel requires some advance planning, so start your research early to avoid quarantine.
The US requires rabies vaccination and for dogs proof of screwworm treatment when coming from China. Compared to Australia, very straightforward and easy.
So before you decide to bring your dog or cat to China, you need to find out how difficult it will be to bring you pet home, or on to your next assignment, after spending time in China. This will differ for all countries. Of course the same applies for a pet you adopt here.
Cost of bringing Fido or Tiger
The cost of having your pet come with you to China will vary by type and size of animal, country of origin, use of a professional pet moving company etc.
If you are sent to China by your company they will usually pay for relocating your spouse, kids and household items. For pets however, you’ll typically have to pay yourself. And as my Australian friend learned it can get pretty expensive.
Should you bring your four-legged friend with you to China?
Given the cost and the stress for the animal and also the quarantine requirements, it only makes sense to bring your furry friend if you are staying in China for a longer period of time and if your dog or cat is healthy. Get all the information about importing and exporting your pet before making the decision.
What is your experience with bringing your pet to China? Please share in the comments so other dog and cat lovers can learn from you!