Entering China with a Pet

Information about the restrictions and requirements when bringing your pet into China...

To bring a pet into the country, a foreigner must be travelling on an employment visa (Z Visa). There is a limit of one pet per person named on the Z Visa.

Vaccination certificates

Before leaving their home country, the pet owner must obtain a valid international health certificate and a vaccination certificate from a government-approved vet. The health certificate should be obtained within 14 days prior to the date of travel, and should include the name, type and breed of the pet, its age, weight, height and sex. The certificate is not required to be translated into Chinese.

A separate rabies vaccination certificate is also required. The rabies vaccine should be administered between one year and 30 days prior to travel.

Carriage regulations

Before making flight arrangements, pet owners should check the animal carriage regulations of the airline they intend to travel with. The airline should follow the International Air Transport Association code of conduct, which requires that animals must be carried in suitably sized and ventilated containers (large enough for the animal to stand up and turn around in). Owners must provide an approved container for the animal to travel in.


Procedures vary depending upon which airport the owner and pet arrive into, but generally the procedure is as follows:

Upon arrival at the airport, the owner must present the health certificate and vaccination certificates to the quarantine desk to have the paperwork checked. A fee per animal is payable, This is variable, but usually ranges from CNY 150 to CNY 1,000. The animal is then placed in quarantine, the rules of which vary according to location. In Shanghai, the normal period of quarantine is 30 days, for the first seven days of which the animal must stay in the official quarantine centre, but can then be quarantined at the owner's home for the remainder of the period. In Beijing, the full quarantine period must be spent at the quarantine centre.

If the animal successfully passes the health inspection at the end of the quarantine period, it is given a Chinese certificate of health.

Registering a Pet Dog

All dogs must be registered with the local police department in China. This should be done as soon as possible after arrival, as unlicensed dogs are impounded. Again, there are regional variations, but in general the following should be taken to the police station for registration:

  • Several photographs of the dog (front and side views)
  • Photograph of the owner
  • Residence permit or passport and work visa of the owner
  • Apartment or house lease agreement
  • Approval from neighbours (in some locations)
  • Registration fee (variable depending on location, from CNY300 to CNY2,000)
  • Health certificate

Once the initial registration is complete, an appointment should be made to have the dog microchipped and for it to have any further vaccinations required. After this has been done, a registration certificate is issued, which should be carried by the owner whenever they take the animal out. Registration and rabies vaccinations must be repeated annually.

Guide Dogs for the Blind

The use of guide dogs for blind people is not a recognised practice in China. Therefore, guide dogs are restricted to standard local dog laws.