Heavy Petting – Advice on Keeping Pets in Guangzhou

Heavy Petting – Advice on Keeping Pets in Guangzhou

When the subject of dogs or cats comes up in China it’s often more along the lines of food than it is of pets, as expats joke as to the true nature of meat-on-a-stick or the fact that you can still eat dog in Guangzhou if you know where to look. However, if you really miss having a furry friend around there are ways to find and keep a great pet. Below is a list of things you absolutely need to know if you want to have a pet in Guangzhou, including where to get healthy pets, vaccinations, and a few odd laws about keeping pets (especially dogs) in Guangzhou.

Step 1: Find the Fur (or scales, your preference)

If you ask just about anyone in Guangzhou where the best place to buy pets is you will inevitably hear of Fang Cun market. However, it is best to stay away from such places as disease is rampant. More often than not you’ll hear stories of how someone’s adorable puppy bought at Fang Cun ended up perishing within weeks. Kittens are generally less likely to be suffering from fatal diseases, but you’re still running a risk and many of the ones there are extremely young. If you insist on buying from these places there are two basic rules: First, do your research on ages and breeds so you won’t be mislead by a vendor regarding an animal’s age and health. Second, haggle. As sad as haggling may sound for those that just want a cute companion to take home (as opposed to say, shoes) the mark-up for foreigners is extreme.

However, if you are in the market for aquarium accessories Fang Cun is an excellent choice – it provides everything, even aquarium coffee tables (and that elusive pirate ship tank decoration I’d spent months looking for!), and includes parts and supplies for freshwater aquariums, saltwater aquariums, and bags of huge fish, and I mean literally huge fish.

But before you get too worried about buying an animal like a dog, know that there are many pet shops, like Love Pet Shop, that get pets from breeders, have medical facilities and even clean their cages. So it is possible to find the pet you want and even to have some choices in breed, although it may require ordering your dog and waiting a month or more. 

Love Pet ShopView In Map
Add: 28 Longsheng Jie, Longkou Xilu, Tianhe, Guangzhou
Tel: 8753 3110 or 87576264
Services offered: Pet purchase, food and accessories, medical care, grooming, boarding, breeding, training, and pet air parcel (for when you return home)
Getting there: Taxi is recommended
Note: The staff is very friendly and helpful with many bilingual reference books on dog and cat breeds, but their spoken English is limited. While the in-house selection is limited, they will inform you when or if they are getting in the breed you want and are a no-kill facility – even older dogs and cats are there waiting for a home.

Step 2: Keep them healthy

Like just about anything in China, small pet grooming and basic-care facilities for animals are often available just around the corner, and these places can easily handle simple procedures such as vaccinations or taking care of worms, fleas, etc. Vaccinations generally run 100-150 RMB (three times in the first year, once a year after that). However, if you are concerned about not being able to understand what the vet says or would like a more thorough check-up then go to the Leader Animal Clinic in Tianhe. They offer boarding services, X-ray, even surgery. They are currently in a process of expansion and will soon offer separate floors specially designed to the individual preferences of cats and dogs. They can also take care of fish, rabbits, and will give the best care they can even to uncommon household animals. It is staffed by a large team including Dr. John Wu, who speaks excellent English, is president of the Guangzhou Small Animal Veterinary Association and comes highly recommended by many Guangzhou expats.

Leader Animal ClinicView In Map
Add: Room 102, 74 Tiyu Dongheng Jie, Tiyu Donglu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8757 0157
Website: www.ldpet.com (English and Chinese)
Services offered: Full on-site medical facilities, boarding, registration, food and accessories, aid in preparing your pet for international travel (shots, quarantine, different regulations, etc)
Getting there: Take Metro line 3 to Shipaiqiao, Exit D. Turn right out of the metro and take your next right onto Tianhe East Road. Walk about ten minutes until you hit Tiyu Dongheng Street.  Turn right and it will be on your left hand side after a brief walk. 

Step 3: Know the Rules

Dogs must be licensed to be kept in Guangzhou, and it requires a formal health screening. Any registered veterinarian can do the screening and paperwork for you. Guangzhou also has a list of dangerous (banned) dog breeds that is frequently changed, so it is recommended that you check with your vet before settling on a dog as the fines for keeping such breeds can be high (up to 2,000 RMB) and result in your dog being confiscated. Guangzhou also has a one dog per household policy. There are many regulations regarding the keeping of pets in Guangzhou, especially dogs, but most of them fall along the same lines as those in other countries – keep your dog leashed, always have their tags on, keep the immunizations up to date, clean up after your dog, don’t take them to public places or government buildings, etc.

Step 4: Bites of Advice

Finally, here are some tidbits about keeping pets in Guangzhou courtesy of Dr. John Wu:

  • Always buy sealed, quality pet food, and never purchase food from open-air bins commonly found in pet markets – these are highly likely to harbor diseases.
  • If you buy a dog from a breeder, always directly ask if the adult couple is the parents of the puppy you are considering. Some breeders, when they run out of puppies, will just purchase more and bring them back for resale.
  • Be diligent about vaccinations. Not only are there steep fines if you are caught with a pet that isn’t properly vaccinated (the vet will provide records for you) but rabies, parvo, and distemper are all common in this region.
  • For the reason listed above, be careful about what animals you allow your pet to be around. Strays are common in the city and often carry diseases, and some local residents may not be up-to-date with their own pets.
  • Do not buy a pet younger than three months – you cannot vaccinate nor have them registered before that age.
  • After purchasing your pet you should self-quarantine them for 10 days (basically, just keep them in the home and away from other animals) because that allows enough time to see if they have any infectious diseases and minimizes the chances of either spreading disease to other animals or catching it from them.  
  • Check what medication and immunizations the vet uses to make sure it’s a trusted brand name.

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Keywords: Pet shopping Guangzhou pet vaccination Guangzhou pet care Guangzhou advice pets Guangzhou


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Jan 18, 2013 08:38 Report Abuse