How to Raise a Pet in Beijing

How to Raise a Pet in Beijing
By Ashley Johnson ,


Numerous studies have been conducted to prove that pets can bring joy and healing to our lives, plain and simple. Coming home to someone who is always glad to see you and who never complains or argues is delightful. Naturally, along with a pet however comes many responsibilities and living in a large city like Beijing, there are many things to consider when it comes to raising a pet. Beijing is full of pets and of course you can raise one too but before you commit, we have put together some common questions and tips on how to help you raise a pet in Beijing.

What should you consider before you get a pet in Beijing?
There are many things to consider when you get a pet. Pets are demanding creatures that require love, time and attention. You should consider not only the long-term commitment of having a pet but also the daily time commitment that is necessary. Most people living in Beijing, especially foreigners, live in a high-rise apartment which can be an inconvenience if you are used to a house that opens directly to a front lawn. If you are a traveler or if you work long hours at the office, consider the amount of time your pet will be at home alone. Some expats only intend to stay in China for a few years so you must bear in mind that you will either need to relocate your pet too or leave it behind.

Who will take care of your pet if you travel?
The ideal situation for travelers is to have someone you and your pet knows and trusts so if you have a pet loving and responsible friend or Ayi that can look after your pet while you are away, perfect. Just make sure to give them your pet registration documents to carry with them when they head out for a walk. Pet care services are also available. Most legally registered animal hospitals will board your pet while you are away. Pet stores will also board your animals but always check the facilities to ensure your animal will be comfortable and not kept in a crate.

Walking your pet
Walking and exercise is very important for your pets but remember that there are very few places that are appropriate to let your dog off the leash. It may be allowed within the confined gates of some apartment complexes but outside the gate, it’s wise to take extra precautions. Many locals allow their dogs to roam free of a leash and while this is ideal for more remote areas, it isn’t recommended. The traffic alone is dangerous enough but there are many diseases that can be picked up from stray dogs and cats and since animals are generally attracted to one another’s scent, they are liable to come in contact with stray animals if allowed to wander too freely. Cat owners are advised to keep the kitty indoors.

Where can I buy pet items in Beijing?
Pet food is increasingly showing up in grocery stores and supermarkets around Beijing. Most international stores such as Carrefour and April Gourmet carry dog and cat food. The International Center for Veterinarian Services and similar animal hospitals as well as pet stores carry food and other necessary pet items. If you are into pampering and clothing your pet, Beijing has tapped into the industry of pet glamour with several store locations for you to beautify you pet.

Where can I buy a pet in Beijing?
You have the option to buy a pet or adopt one. Either way you should be warned that the animal breeding industry is underdeveloped and rather unregulated in China, resulting in health and genetic issues with some of the animals. This isn’t to imply that your pet will experience complications but you should be aware of the risk. Most veterinary hospitals will be able to assist you in adopting a pet. There are also a few animal centers that provide adoption services such as the Beijing Human and Animal Environmental Education Center (BHAEEC). Each shelter has its own policies and requirements that must be met in order to adopt a pet. The majority of animals in the shelter end up there due to abuse or neglect, thus it is important for agencies to place animals with responsible owners. If you choose to buy a pet in Beijing the most likely place is a pet shop. The pet markets can be a bit extreme and since the animals in the pet shop come from the markets, it is usually best to go directly to the pet shop.

Necessary vaccinations and procedures and where to take your pet for treatment
To ensure your pet is properly and safely treated, it is important to know that your vet is operating in a legally registered and officially designated animal hospital. According to the International Center for Veterinary Services, the Agricultural Bureau imports legally registered vaccinations from European and American manufacturers to ensure proper practices. A legal animal hospital will have bronze plaque issued by the Agricultural Bureau with a license number for verification. Dog and cat owners are required to have a Beijing Animal Health and Immunity Certificate (a red book) proving your pet has been vaccinated for necessary diseases and viruses.

Neutering or spaying your pet is not required in China but rather advised. Over-population of animals in Beijing is an issue which naturally creates more homeless animals; therefore neutering or spaying your pet is recommended. Veterinarians also encourage the surgery for the health and longer life of your pet.

How do I register my pet in Beijing?
This is very important, especially if you decide on a dog. In an effort to protect the public health and regulate dog ownership, authorities have seriously enforced the registration laws in Beijing. A vast amount of dogs in China carry rabies so it is important for both yourself and the government to know your dog isn’t a carrier of the disease, therefore health certificates are required in order to prove your dog is healthy. While it is equally important to ensure your cat is healthy, through examinations and vaccinations, Beijing does not currently require cats to be registered.

You register your dog at the nearest Public Security Bureau (the rules and requirements may slightly vary per location). Be sure to carry the following: your dog, two photos of your dog (passport size, headshot from the front), passport, a passport size photo of yourself, residence permit, foreign household registration, residential lease along with a permission letter from your apartment complex management and 1,000 RMB for the initial registration fee (annual renewal afterwards is 500 RMB). If you can prove with proper documentation that your dog has been spayed or neutered by a legally registered veterinarian hospital, you are entitled to a 50% discount in initial registration fees.

Dogs registered within the 5th Ring Road may not exceed 35-cm from ground to shoulder; the eight districts with areas in these limits include: Chaoyang, Chongwen, Dongcheng, Fengtai, Haidian, Shijingshan, Xicheng and Xuanwu. If you live beyond the 5th Ring Road it is still important to check with your property manager as many compounds and apartments follow the same 35-cm guideline.

International Center for Veterinary ServicesView In Map
Add: Kent Center, No 29 Liangmaqiao Lu, Anjialou, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京新天地国际动物医院北京市朝阳区安家楼亮马桥路29号肯特中心院子内
Tel: 010 8456 1939
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 8:00-20:00; Sun, 10:00-19:00

Beijing Human and Animal Environmental Education Center

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Keywords: how to raise pet Beijing getting a pet Beijing pet advise Beijing dog cat Beijing


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