Adopting a Pet in Beijing - Things to Consider PDF Print E-mail

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ICVS is happy to provide information about how to adopt pets and an
overview of the local animal markets so you may find the ideal pet for your
Adopting a pet in Beijing is very easy and we highly recommend doing
so. If you are considering adopting a pet in Beijing, please adopt from
the ICVS “Adoptable Pets” web site that features animals
from many volunteer shelters, animal rescue groups, foster care providers
and pet owners needing to rehome animals. There are many wonderful
pets available and the animals from these organizations, rescue
volunteers and owners are usually quite healthy with good temperaments.
Breeding is a very new industry in China and is largely unregulated.
In the local market, pets for sale are bred for profit meaning the animals
are mated to produce many litters quickly. This results in poor health
of the puppies and kittens as their mothers were bred too frequently and
cannot produce sufficient or nutritious mother's milk for the babies. The
puppies and kittens are usually weaned too early from their mothers and
sold well before six-weeks of age. The faster the animals are sold, the
higher the turnover and more profit for the sellers. In addition, most
animal-sellers (including those calling themselves “breeders”) may have
brought only a few breed-specific animals into the market when entering
into the animal sales business. Therefore, the “pure-bred” animals
especially, are likely to be inbred which may result in life-long health
or behavioral issues that may not become apparent until the animal
is older. Each purchase of an animal supports the pets-for-profit
industry and displaces the chances for an existing animal to find
an adoption home.
ICVS recently worked with several families that had purchased
“pure-bred” puppies from ostensible "breeders." Four out of five
of these purchased puppies were diagnosed with canine
distemper, parvovirus or both. These highly infectious viral
diseases were fatal in all cases with the puppies dying within
one- to two-weeks of purchase. The puppy that survived has
battled chronic illnesses since the day of purchase requiring
on-going medical care, significant financial expenses and causing
much worry and frustration for the pet owner.
Some pet owners have had positive experiences with their
purchased pets and the animals have turned out to be healthy.
However, these cases are the minority.  Purchasing pets in the
current market involves a great deal of risk for the pet owner,
as it is truly a “buyer beware” market.
Please be very cautious of the animal sellers, pet markets,
pet shops and so-called breeders. The state of the breeding industry
in China today is extremely premature and differs greatly from that
of more mature markets where professional breeders are registered,
monitored, subject to legal regulations and held accountable
for the animals they breed and sell. In the local market, anyone
with a male and female animal may mate them to produce litters
and then claim that they are “breeders” through web sites,
classified advertisements or pet shops and animal markets.
Buyers have little recourse in the event the animal develops
congenital or other health issues after purchase.
ICVS strongly encourages adoption. If you are looking for a
puppy, kitten, dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, hamster or turtle,
there are usually MANY available for adoption. Please check
the ICVS “Adoptable Pets” section of the web site or send
ICVS an email directly. ICVS will help put you in contact with
the many reputable animal rescue organizations, foster homes
and owners that have beautiful pets available for adoption.
Please adopt, don’t buy!
“Adoptable Pets” on ICVS web site:
Video Report on “Pet Shop Precautions”:
(Produced by China Radio International on experiences of pet
owners that have purchased pets in Beijing)
Video on “Paws for Thought” – considerations before adopting
a pet:

To take pets overseas, please see the ICVS web site on “Exiting
from China with Pets” at this link:
Please note that animals must be rabies vaccinated at least
30-days before but not more than 12-months before the departure
date. By law, puppies and kittens must be at least 3-months of age
before they may be vaccinated for rabies. Rabies vaccinations
must be administered at an officially registered and legally
designated animal vaccination hospital in the PRC. ICVS is a
legally designated animal vaccination hospital and can help
provide the official rabies and distemper vaccinations and
issue the official Beijing Animal Health and Immunity
Certificate (vaccination red book) required to take animals
out of China or to relocate to other cities in China.
Please see this link for more information about the legally
registered and officially designated animal vaccination
hospitals and the official vaccination red book:
Please contact ICVS with any questions. We hope this helps
with your search for the perfect pet for your family!

Adopting a Pet in Beijing ? Things to Consider

·      Long-Term Commitment

·      Lifestyle

·      Living Space (indoor and outdoor)

  • Cats and small dogs? Better suited for apartment living

  • Medium and Larger dogs? Regulations, space to run



·      Research first -    

        temperament, size, exercise needs, also potential breed specific

        health concerns


Puppies/Kittens vs. Adults

·      Time commitment for housebreaking, training, exercise, vaccination 

        series, deworming, neutering/spaying, etc.

·      Many adults waiting for adoption, usually housebroken and 

       neutered/spayed, more settled


Pet Markets

·      Common breeds: Pekinese, Chihuahuas, Bichon Frise, Cocker Spaniels, 

       Beagles, Poodles, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, 

       Samoyeds, Border Collies, Chow Chows


Buyer Beware

·      Infectious diseases common, especially kennel cough, parvovirus, 

       distemper virus

·      Often prematurely weaned, weakened immune systems

·      Inadequate vaccination or improper schedule

·      Parasites (fleas, mange, gastrointestinal worms, giardia, etc.)

·      Warning signs: overtly thin and/or potbellied, discharge from eyes 

       or nose, sneezing, coughing, thin and/or dull hair coat, 

       hair loss

·      Apparently healthy puppies/kittens should still be quarantined for 

       3-weeks away from other pets in home prior to introductions

·      Post purchase: veterinary exam, start vaccination series, stool check 

·      New kittens/cats should also be FeLV/FIV tested

·      Neuter/Spay after vaccination series completed (4-6 months of age)


Taking your Pet Overseas:

·      Adopting a pet is a commitment for life. It is not difficult to take pets 

       out of China and to most overseas countries. 

Proper research and preparation is required to ensure a  smooth relocation 

with pets

·      Please contact the International Center for Veterinary Services for more 

       information about pet import and export regulations



International Center for Veterinary Services

Tel: (8610) 8456-1939/1940

Fax: (8610) 8456-1940

e-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


©2006-2012 International Center for Veterinary Services. All rights reserved.





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