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Furry friends make life more complete. Thus, people are sometimes hesitant to move abroad for fear of not bringing their pets with them. Today, we will clarify the details of keeping pets in Beijing. Rest assured, you and your pets can live your happiest lives in Beijing!

Is bringing a pet into Beijing even possible?

Like most countries around the world, bringing a pet into China is a process - one that pet lovers can undoubtedly accomplish.

Vaccinations and health certifications

The first thing you need to do is get the proper vaccinations for your pet. You need to provide proof that your pet has received a rabies vaccination before it's flight-ready. You also need to give a vet-approved health certificate, which should be completed a week before your pet's flight. There is additional paperwork and documentation to complete before your pet is cleared to enter China.

The cost

The cost of having your pet joining you abroad will vary depending on the size of the animal, mode of transport, and county of origin. You can expect to pay up to $5,000 to relocate larger pets to Beijing. Smaller pets will cost significantly less, so our feline friends will cost closer to a few thousand dollars.

Maximum number of pets per person

It's essential to keep in mind that one pet is permitted per adult entering China, so if you've got two furry friends, perhaps you can convince a friend to move abroad with you! Besides, there are limits on the size of your furry friend; dogs above 35 centimeters are prohibited from living in Beijing's city center. Guide dogs and other similar service dogs are exempt from this height restriction. Furthermore, 41 dog breeds referred to as "vicious dogs" are banned from being in the city. This list includes Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Bloodhounds.

Arriving in Beijing

Once both of you have arrived in Beijing, you must make sure to register your pet. Only one pet is registered per address. You can find details for registering your pet by searching for "The International Center for Veterinary Services in China."

Pet quarantine

The final and perhaps most challenging part of bringing your furry friend abroad is the mandatory quarantine. Your pet will be required to quarantine for up to thirty days upon entering China. As sad as this separation can be, look on the bright side! You will have completed the entire process within thirty days, and then you will be living your best life in Beijing with your BFF. During your pet's quarantine, you can make use of the time by getting your home pet ready and preparing a huge celebratory bash once your pet is ready to come home.

Getting a pet while in Beijing

People sometimes feel inclined to get a pet while living in Beijing. All the requirements above and limitations will still be in effect when getting a pet friend in Beijing - minus the quarantine, at least!

Yuki, a Center Manager at Houhai English, has had a cat in Beijing for about one year. "A friend of a friend's cat had many kittens, so I decided to adopt one of them. Before bringing my kitten home, I had to get a physical examination at a certified veterinary clinic. I'm now in the process of getting pet insurance, which costs around 350 RMB. Like people, if my cat gets sick, I can take my cat to the vet and get reimbursed for most costs."

Lucy, also a Chinese teacher at Houhai English, has got a cat, too. "I found my cat on an app similar to Taobao, which lists many cats up for adoption. The owners mostly want to find a good home for the cats. I got a vaccine certificate from the vet because my cat had already received the required shots. We even have a WeChat group set up for the entire cat family. We send each other photos and exchange updates about our cats all the time."

Annie, a Teacher at Houhai English from South Africa, shares her experience owning a cat in Beijing. "I've had pets for more than a year. I got my first cat in January 2020 and my second in October 2020."

"I received my first cat from a colleague. Her cat had kittens, and I adopted one of the males. My second cat was homeless. Someone posted on WeChat that he spotted a kitten and was hoping that someone might adopt it. It was at the start of winter, and the kitten was taking shelter in a car engine. I told the person who made the post that I would take care of it."

Annie also offers some helpful advice for people considering getting a pet while in Beijing. "A pet is like a child: you have to potty train it, teach it manners, play with it and care for it. You also have to vaccinate and neuter it. Cats have to eat food appropriate to their age and eat out of the correct bowls. You must also provide them with the necessary toys to aid their development. Make sure to take care of your cat's dental hygiene as well, and don't forget to groom it regularly."

As we've seen, it's entirely possible to bring your pet with you or adopt one once you get to Beijing. It's important to note that policies and regulations often change in China, so make sure to confirm the most up-to-date information before you arrive in Beijing.

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