Updated last year

When considering a move to China, you may want to bring along more than your ambition and the excitement for the life in this dynamic country, but also your beloved pet. Is it safe to travel to China with animals? Is the process complex and costly? What will happen to your pet upon arrival and what is it like caring for animals in China? Find answers to all of these questions in the article below.

First, think about how long you will be staying in China. If you are coming for a short stay, it may be a better idea to leave your pet with friends or family back home to save it the stress of a long-distance move and climate change. If you plan to become a long-term resident in China, take the time to study the rules and regulations for moving your pet into the country and make sure you have enough time to prepare.

Here are the documents needed to take your pet to China (along with any applicable fees):

  • International health certificate issued in the country of origin stating the name, breed, and gender of your pet with a glued in photograph
  • Vaccination record demonstrating that the animal was given a rabies shot within the last 12 months but no less than 30 days before scheduled departure. Other vaccinations may be needed depending on the species of the animal. For instance, cats also need to be vaccinated against Enteritis, Respiratory Disease Complex Vaccinations and Feline Panleukopenia
  • Your residential details in China
  • Copy of your airway bill (if the pet is transported as cargo)

Note that only one pet per passport is allowed. You should contact your chosen airline on the specific requirements for transporting pets. Some airlines allow small animals to fly together with you in the cabin.

Upon arrival, you will need to go to the Animal and Plant Quarantine Office (CIQ) at the airport with all the needed documents and fees. Your pet will be required to undergo a quarantine of 7-30 days (depending on the country of origin and point of arrival) at one of the CIQ’s facilities.

You can also contact a professional pet relocation company for help. They will be able to provide you with the most recent information and offer assistance with documentation and shipping.


You will not be able to visit your pet during quarantine, so please consider this before taking your pet to China, as the process can be quite stressful for both you and your pet.

Living in China with a pet

Pets like cats and dogs are becoming more and more popular in China and most major cities and even smaller towns have all the needed facilities: dog walking parks, pet hospitals and pet shops. However, as pets are still considered a luxury in the country, vet services as well as imported pet products are pricey.

Make sure the climate of your destination in China is suitable for the breed of your pet. Southern China gets very hot and humid in summer which can cause health problems in northern and long-haired dog and cat breeds.


Be careful when purchasing pet supplies online or in small street stores as they can be fake. Try to find a trusted pet shop in your area to purchase feed and medecine from.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.