So you’re moving to Beijing, China with your family, including your furry companion. Chances are Beijing will be worlds different than wherever you live now. You’ll have a lot to learn. You’ll need to learn the rules for living with pets in Beijing, too. For example, if you’re entering China on a work visa, you may bring only one pet per adult.
Expats who’ve already made the move can be an invaluable resource for information and tips on everything pet-related and beyond. You can also learn more about owning a pet in China by checking out this website (you have to join, but it’s free).
One thing you’ll need to do right away is register your dog with local authorities. (No need to register cats.) You have one month to do that – the International Center for Veterinary Services offers tips on how to do that. You’re allowed to register only one dog per household.
Acclimating your pet
There are steps you can take to help your feline or canine buddy adjust to her new home any time you move. But moving from the countryside to an urban area calls for changes you and your pet have never experienced before. And Beijing, China, is certainly urban. We’re talking more than 21 million people. The streets are crowded, and living quarters are generally cramped. If your dog is afraid of bicycles, or noise and chaos, she may be very uncomfortable.
If your pet – dog or cat – is a snub-nosed breed, she’s always at higher risk for breathing problems. Living in the country, she probably has clean air to breathe, but Beijing’s notoriously smoggy air could be a serious health concern for her. The Chinese often wear face masks, but we’re pretty sure your girl will balk at that.
Once you both get your bearings, China offers new sights and sounds to explore. But if you and your pooch are going to move all the way to Beijing, you might as well consider doing a little more traveling when you get the chance, to visit some of the many other vacation hot spots around the Pacific Rim.
Finding a veterinarian and other pet services
Pet ownership among the general population is comparatively new in China, but interest is growing. If you’re moving from a Western country, you’ll find limited veterinary care and other essentials. Although some vets and clinics use the very latest equipment and techniques to treat pets, expats warn that many veterinarians provide only the basics. You may have to take charge of your furry friend’s health care when it comes to maintaining records, especially tracking vaccinations and medications.
Also, when it comes to pet food and services such as grooming, you won’t find the variety you’re used to now. However, you will find prices significantly higher than what you currently pay. Ask your new vet for advice, particularly in identifying a locally-produced brand of food that meets desirable nutritional standards.
Is your move permanent, or temporary?
We know your first choice is always to keep your family intact, pets included. And it is possible to successfully move your girl to Beijing, even if she is used to country living. However, if your assignment is temporary, it might be better for everyone to leave her behind with a trusted, familiar friend or relative. Yes, a year or two away from your beautiful girl seems like an eternity, but if she’s a country girl at heart Beijing may not be her cup of tea.
You’ll also want to consider how the process will work in reverse, once it is time for you and your furry companion to return home. Or if you’re likely to be transferred to another country.
Hire a professional
Moving to Beijing with your pet is a serious undertaking. Exciting, yes, but not easy. The further and more “foreign” your destination, the more complicated things can become. Moving any long distance with your dog or cat is challenging enough, without trying to navigate language and cultural differences and intricate regulations. You want everything to go right, for your pet’s safety and for your peace of mind.
So let us do what we do best – after all, moving pets with love and care is what we do. We do it every day, transporting beloved four-legged family members to their new homes all around the world.
You can relax and focus on the million other details necessary to accomplish your move to Beijing. Well, maybe not relax, exactly, but you can face those details with confidence knowing your pup or kitty is in the best of hands.