A Simple Guide to China Pet Travel

China Dog



This blog post was updated to reflect a change in import requirements. Please read below to see if these changes apply to you.



Moving your pet to or from China can seem quite daunting at first glance due to the strict import rules and quarantine requirements.

While China’s regulations are confusing, the good news is that there are several options for leaving and entering China that are safe for pets – whether quarantine is required or not.

Ready to discuss a specific plan for your pet? Contact us to set up a consultation with our dedicated China team!



Chinese import protocols are quite strict when it comes to pets, as different cities and provinces require different items from owners (visas, passport copies, etc.) or ways of entry (manifest cargo, excess baggage, in-cabin). It's normal to have questions and to feel a little overwhelmed at first.

To start, all of China now requires that all pets have a microchip, a rabies vaccination within a year of departure (older than 30 days at the time of travel), a second rabies vaccine, and a rabies titer test. Assuming these conditions are met, your pet may enter the country through any port and on to your final destination.

Furthermore, there is a strict one pet per passport rule that cannot be avoided if entering China directly. Only pets coming from approved countries are exempt from the rabies titer test requirement. These countries include:

New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Guam, Jamaica, Iceland, the U.K. Ireland, Liechentenstein, Cyprus, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macao

Failure to meet the requirements above will result in a 30-day quarantine and limit approved ports of entry. Contact us if you have questions or concerns about being able to meet these new requirements and a China consultant will be happy to help!  

Many major cities in China also require that dog owners obtain a dog license once the dog has arrived into the city. Beijing even requires this document prior to export, so if you’re planning on eventually leaving China with your dog it may be a good idea to look into obtaining a dog license upon arrival. This document can be obtained by paying a visit to the local police station with your dog along with your passport, visa, and local address in hand.



So what happens if you have more than one pet? You’re not out of luck, as there are two options for importing multiple pets into China:

  • Use another relative or friend’s passport(s) to import your other pet(s)
  • Enter China through Hong Kong

The options above also depend on your destination city in China. If you have multiple pets, reach out to your PetRelocation Consultant to determine the best option for your family. (For reference, here's the story of Boo and Connie, who moved with their family to Shanghai with us.)



As mentioned above, you can still enter China without a rabies titer test from an approved lab. However, your pet will be required to stay in quarantine for 30 days before going home. Although the word quarantine can be intimidating, your pet will be cared for and you can expect the following during this time period:

  • The units pets stay in are air conditioned and clean.
  • There’s an outdoor area for dogs and a cattery for cats.
  • Pets are fed twice a day and dogs are walked regularly.
  • While visitation is not allowed for security purposes, local contacts are welcome to call the facility to check in on pets throughout their stay.



When you're ready to leave China, there is no pre-export quarantine for pets. This makes the process a little smoother, although it can still be tricky based on the city from which your pet is departing.

Regardless of the city, your pet will need to have a completed vaccination booklet (with stickers) from a Chinese vet, a health certificate, and an export permit. In most Chinese cities, the health certificate can only be obtained by going to a government-approved vet or a government vet, who also issues the export permit.

Because some cities require a copy of your physical passport to be present at the time of check-in for your pet, we highly recommend traveling after your pet has departed to avoid any issues with your own departure.

As you can tell from the above information, how you move your pet to or from China is largely determined by the origin and destination cities. To ensure your pet’s move is on track to be safe and smooth, please reach out to us here for more specific information.


PetRelocation Team


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