Bringing Pets to China


Bringing a pet into China is actually easier in most cases than getting the pet out of your own country. The reverse, however, depends a lot on your country's customs laws. Some countries allow you to take your pet out, but not back in again!

Check with your relevant government department before you go.

To bring a pet into China you need 2 certificates: a Vaccination Certification (which may consist of multiple vaccination certificates depending on the animal type), and a Health Certificate.

The Vaccination Certificate

This certifies that all shots are up to date. This certification can be included in the health certificate. 3-year rabies vaccinations are apparently not recognized in China . All vaccinations should be within 30 days of departure.

The Health Certificate

A veterinarian in your home country should issue this certificate. There is no standard form for China so your veterinarian should use the international certificate. This certificate should be issued more than 30 days and no more than one year prior to your departure. Obtain multiple copies as you will also need copies for your airline.

Airport Phone Numbers

Pudong airport number: +86 21 3848 4500

Hong Qiao Airport : +86 21 6268 8918

Ask for the Customs Deparment, but you will need to speak some Chinese.

General Issues

You will need to check with your local vet and government department about getting most of the documentation mentioned above. You may also want to get a Chinese translation made of these documents to help when you arrive. The Chinese embassy in your country may be able to help, or provide details of a translator in your area. Make sure that the translations are certified copies.

Once you have these, you can bring over your pet.

The hard part now is finding an airline that will allow you to ship your pet safely.


When you arrive in Shanghai you will have to declare your pet at the Customs Department. Take your pet, fee and certificates to the Customs & Immigration Plant and Quarantine office at the airport - its located before the Customs exit. You will be charged RMB150, the certificates will be examined and customs will give you a stamped document allowing you to bring your pet in. Note that there is a mandatory 30 days quarantine period. You can usually keep your pet with you at home for this period however. Quarantine officers will come and inspect your pet during the 30 day period, and charge a small nominal fee.

Tip: Make sure that someone will be there at the office in advance when you arrive. It is recommended that you phone ahead before you depart and arrange this.

Dog Registration

Last, but not least, if your pet is a dog, you will need to register it with the local police station when you finally move into your apartment.

The regulations are as follows:

All dogs, whether bought locally or imported from outside China through a full quarantine, are required by law to be licensed. No foreign national, irrespective of whether holding a residents' permit or not, can register the dog himself, it must be registered using the ID Card of a local Chinese.

Application forms (which are in Chinese) must be completed and accompanied by three photographs: one of the dog's face, one side view of the dog and one passport-sized photograph of the owner.

Dog license prices vary depending on where you live - the city is divided into two areas - the inner ringroad and outer ringroad. People living in the inner ringroad pay more - the current price to register a dog is RMB 2,000. People in the outer ringroad pay half that - RMB 1,000.

Gubei and further out (towards Hong Qiao) are considered outer ringroad, anything closer to town is inner ringroad.

Pet Supplies

Cat litter, flea collars and some pet food (mainly the larger foreign brand names) are available in Shanghai . If your pet requires a special diet, you should arrange for sufficient supply to be brought in with you. Pet food (Whiskas and Friskies) can be bought in major stores and the Lawsons chain (a 7-11 style chain located all over town).

Veterinary Clinics

Veterinary services in Shanghai are quite well-developed, and some of them even provide English services. You will find that most of veterinary clinics are also providing pet health care services and pet beauty salon. However, there is no pet ambulance service in Shanghai , and vets don't have their own transportation. In dire emergencies they may come to you, but you should be prepared to arrange for your own transport. Shanghai Paw Veterinary Surgeons

(English Service)

64 Block B, 570 Huaihai Xi Lu.

Tel: 3223-1498

Emergency: 138-1668-5486



Shanghai United Animal Hospital

(English Service)

3333 Qi Xin Rd , Vanke City

Tel: 5485-9099

Fax: 5486-5699

Emergency phone: 135-0176-4319



Western Veterinary Service in Shanghai (English Service)

142 Gubei Nan Lu

Tel: 3223-1498

Companion Animal Hospital

(English Service )

1266, Baode Lu

Tel: 6669-0589

Hotline: 5250-1619



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