How to Go About Bringing Your Pets from the US (or Elsewhere) to China

Portrait Of Dog Standing By Wooden Wall At Home

 Wilson Wu / EyeEm / Getty Images

Especially in the cities, the pet culture in China is growing. While there are not many places where dogs can run around without leashes - parks and playgrounds for people are not very big or plentiful, let alone for-dogs-only spaces. But more and more people are keeping pets and you see many folks walking their dogs at night. (I'll keep my opinion about how well they pick up after their beloved animals to myself.)

However, unless you are staying for a long period of time, meaning an extended business trip or you are moving to China, there are things you should understand about the process of bringing your pet with you when you come.

Arriving in China with Your Pet

Assuming you are arriving to China by air, you will have to proceed to the Arrivals area of the airport and collect your pet at the special counter for over-sized and special luggage. After you have collected all your bags, you will follow the signs to the Customs Counter where you'll need to fill out paperwork to declare your animal to the customs officials. You should already have documentation ready for your animal's arrival to the People's Republic of China.

Arrival Documentation

In addition to the normal PRC entry visa in the pet owner's passport, the owner is required to have two documents arranged for the pet:

  • Animal Health Certificate
  • Vaccination Certificate

You should have your veterinarian fill out the proper paperwork within thirty days of your departure to China. There are agencies that can help you obtain the forms you need. Try to read more about getting this paperwork for your pet.

Quarantine Period for Pets Arriving in China

The mandatory quarantine period in the People's Republic of China is seven or thirty days. The length of time depends on the country from which the pet is arriving. Right now, if the pet is arriving from the United States, the quarantine time is thirty days.

The pet will be kept in a Quarantine Station for this period of time. If the pet passes the inspection and is eligible for the 7-day quarantine, the pet can be taken home but must spend the rest of the thirty-day period under home quarantine. 

Owners should be aware that during the pet's time in the Quarantine Station, the owner will not be allowed to visit or see the pet. The owners will also be required to pay fees for the quarantine time in the neighborhood of several hundred dollars to cover food and expenses.

Changes in Policy

If you are moving to China and are considering bringing your pet, then you should check with your relocation company to be sure to understand all the latest regulations regarding bringing a pet to China. Rules can change without notice.

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