A Simple Guide to China Pet Travel

China Dog

Relocating Pets In and Out of China

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

There's a welcome “however” though: 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 included or not.

Read on to learn how relocating pets to China can be safe and routine with the right knowledge and preparation.

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

Pet Import Requirements for China

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 requires that all pets have a rabies vaccination within a year of departure and older than 30 days at the time of travel. Furthermore, there is a strict one pet per passport rule that cannot be avoided if entering China directly.

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.

Moving Multiple Pets to China

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 two happy cats who moved to Shanghai with us last summer.)

Pet Quarantine in Shanghai

Many cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, require up to 30 days of quarantine for pets upon entry.

In Shanghai, though the facility is basic, the quarantine station offers safe accommodations for pets. Here are a few helpful facts about the facility:

  • 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.

How to Avoid Quarantine in China

Avoiding pet quarantine in China, while possible, can be a little complicated. As mentioned previously, going through Hong Kong is an option for entering China. By following Hong Kong’s strict import rules, we are able to avoid quarantine in China altogether.

If this is the option that interests you the most, please reach out to our team for further details about the process and read about Nela's journey from San Francisco to Shenzhen.

Pet Export Requirements for Leaving China

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


Air Travel, Ask the Experts


Cats, Dogs




Add a Comment

By Armando Neto on August 7, 2018 at 9:35 pm

I heard some people say that they entered Chengdu without going through the quarantine, is it possible?

By Maegan at PetRelocation on August 14, 2018 at 1:18 pm

Hi Armando! While there is technically a 30 day quarantine upon entry, we are able to avoid this by using proper agents and routing. If you'd like more information, please fill out our Arrange a Move Form and one of our representatives will be in touch shortly. Thanks!

By Emma on July 26, 2018 at 12:38 am

Hello!I just moved to China with my pets, and I was wondering if they would have to go through quarantine every time I reenter the country with them after a few days or weeks of vacation outside of China.Thanks!

By Maegan at PetRelocation on July 27, 2018 at 9:15 am

Hi Emma! When moving pets internationally, every time your pet leaves a country, they lose their residency status. It is a full import/export with every trip. So, if you were to leave the country for a few days for vacation, we'd recommend finding someone to watch your pet so you would not need to go through the import process, quarantine process, export process, etc. again. This will greatly reduce stress for your pet. Hope this helps!

By Alex on July 25, 2018 at 10:50 am

Hi, and thanks for the useful information!Do you know anything about conditions in quarantine zone in Beijing airport? I want to go there for a year from Russia with my cat, but not quite sure, is it safe to take her. Because one month in quarantine is a long period of time and big stress for an animal.

By Maegan at PetRelocation on July 27, 2018 at 9:02 am

Hi Alex! We totally get it. Thankfully we have not had any bad experiences with pets traveling into Beijing quarantine. It is very similar to quarantine in Shanghai - indoors, air-conditioned, clean & sterile. There are also individual runs for pets. Hope this helps!

By Tuan Nguyen on July 24, 2018 at 10:41 am

I will be travelling to Vietnam in this coming November and stay there until April next year. Can you help to see if I can bring my little Jack Russell/Chihuahua dog to Vietnam in that period? If so, what does it involve? Cost wise and documentation? Thanks.

By Maegan at PetRelocation on July 25, 2018 at 9:23 am

Hi Tuan! We can definitely help. Feel free to check out the requirements for moving pets to Vietnam. In terms of pricing for pet moves there are a number of variables that impact the final cost of a pet relocation. These consist of distances from the home addresses to the airports, travel crate size, airline being used, routing and travel date to name a few. Each of our pet moves are customized to fit the needs of our clients, so in order to put you in touch with a consultant, please fill out our Arrange a Move form here. Looking forward to speaking with you!

By Jacqueline on June 27, 2018 at 7:24 am

Hi,I'm about to move to Nanchang to teach at JXUT. How difficult would it be to bring my Ring Neck Parakeet with me?Many thanks.

By Maegan at PetRelocation on June 27, 2018 at 8:59 am

Hi Jacqueline! We only move pets as "manifest cargo" which means they travel on their own plane ticket and are not tied to passenger's plane ticket. When traveling this way to China, only dogs & cats are able to be imported. It would be best to contact China directly for any import requirements. Feel free to check out our blog post about moving birds for any additional tips & tricks. Sorry we could not be of more assistance, hope this helps!

By Kai on June 25, 2018 at 9:43 am

Hi!I am trying to move a dog out of Macau. Can he fly directly to my country or will he have to go through Hong Kong? I’ve seen Hong Kong has a 4 month quarantine.. do you know what the process looks like on the Macau side?

By Maegan at PetRelocation on June 27, 2018 at 8:48 am

Hi Kai! Thanks for your question. Routing will depend on what country your pet will be relocating to. However, moving pets out of Macau is a bit of a complicated process, but is something we have arranged before! Your pup will need to see the Macau Government for the issuing of the Macau Health Certificate. Then you will need to purchase a customs form before departure on Macau side. We typically take a ferry from Macau to Hong Kong then arrange for your pet to stay overnight in Hong Kong. There is also a transit permit required to transit Hong Kong which we would obtain on your behalf. Then we would book your pet's flight the next day. If you would like to get a consultation from one of our specialists, please fill out our Arrange A Move form. Looking forward to speaking with you!

By Omri on June 16, 2018 at 7:38 am

Hi, I’m visiting China soon and I would like to come back to Israel with a dog.. We gonna visit Beijing, can you recommend me any service can take care for the documents and approvements required..? Thanks!

By Maegan at PetRelocation on June 16, 2018 at 5:47 pm

Hi Omri! Yes, please fill out our Arrange A Move form here and one of our representatives will reach out to you to discuss options. Looking forward to speaking with you!

By Anthony Edwards on May 30, 2018 at 11:04 am

Hello... I am going to be working in Tianjin, China. I am wondering if I can fly into Tianjin with my cat, using Asiana Airlines, and if there is a current quarantine there? I have heard of Asiana Airlines travelers flying there and not having had to quarantine them. You are right...it is confusing and complex, mainly because there is not a "black and white" site that states policies clearly... Please help.... lol

By Maegan at PetRelocation on May 30, 2018 at 2:57 pm

Hi Anthony!

To the best of our knowledge, if you are booking your cat as "excess baggage" or "in-cabin" into TSN there is no quarantine. Since your pet will be tied to your plane ticket, you will be responsible for all the paperwork for entry & customs clearance for your kitty. We have not had specific experience with pets traveling on Asiana Airlines.

When using our services, we would book your pet's flight as "manifest cargo" which gives us the ability to control the import requirements & paperwork. We typically fly all pets into the larger ports in China (PVG, PEK, CTU) because we have better flight routing, agents & offices available for customs clearance. Unfortunately, if you are looking for assistance into TSN, we do not have an office in Tianjin (TSN) that could assist. If you are interested in learning more about our services, please fill out our Arrange A Move form here. Thanks!

By AH on June 12, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Which airlines allow cars to travel in the cabin to China or Hong Kong?

By Maegan at PetRelocation on June 16, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Hi! We only book pets as "manifest cargo" which means they travel safely in the cargo hold. Feel free to check out our Airline Booking Guide for DIY information. Good luck!

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