Relocating Your Pet to Hong Kong
Relocating Your Pet to Hong Kong

Relocating Your Pet to Hong Kong

You’ve got the job or the transfer and you are moving to Hong Kong. Congratulations!


That’s exciting. With all of these new places to explore, the family (if you have one) will love the experience. And then as you’d expect, reality sets in and you are busy looking on your computer for property agents in Hong Kong, getting quotes for moving furniture, packing and storing, researching schools for the kids, applying for work and spousal visas, finding serviced residential properties for the first month, and then it dawns on you “what about the pets?”.


No problem. Most nationalities can bring their pets, meaning cats and dogs, to Hong Kong with a minimum amount of fuss.


The Rules

Whether you are bringing a dog or a cat to Hong Kong you are required to apply for a special permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The fee for a single animal is around HK$500 and another HK$105 for each additional animal. The application procedure takes five days from receipt of documentation to the issuing of a license. You can find the forms and more information on the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department website.


Group 1 Countries

Residents of the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Hawaii can bring their cats and dogs to Hong Kong without the need for quarantine. You do, however, need to notify the Hong Kong Duty Officer of Import and Export of your arrival at least two working days in advance. The office can be reached on +852 21821001


You will also need to provide, from your home country, an animal health certificate, which requires the implanting of a microchip in your animal, a residence certificate, certifying the animal has been resident in your home country for more than 180 days, and a vaccination certificate, all of which must be signed by a registered government vet. The documents must be provided in either English or Chinese. In addition, you will need to obtain an airline certificate from your carrier certifying that the animal traveled on the plane non-stop with no transfers.


Group 2 Countries

Residents of the US (Continental), Canada, Singapore, Germany, France, Spain and most, not all, other European countries can also bring their cats and dogs into Hong Kong without placing them into quarantine. In addition to the four certificates listed above for Group 1 countries, you will also need to provide an anti-rabies certificate. The animal needs to have been vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before departing for Hong Kong. Your residence certificate will also have to affirm that there have been no cases of rabies in your State (US), Province (Canada), or County in the last 180 days.


You must notify the Hong Kong Duty Officer of Import and Export of your arrival at least two working days in advance. The office can be reached on +852 21821001/


Dogs or cats less than 60 days old or more than 4 weeks pregnant are not allowed to be imported under any circumstances. There are also restricted breeds such as Pitt Bull Terriers (Staffordshire terriers) or the Japanese Tosa breed. You will need to check on the government website list of dogs that are banned.


Time to Enjoy

So, once your pet has arrived safe and sound, you’ve got yourself sorted and it’s time to start enjoying all the things that Hong Kong is so well set up to do. This is an extremely dog-friendly city as you will find out. Dogs that are well behaved on a leash (even large sizes) are permitted to ride in a taxi with their owner with no problem. Beaches are well signposted whether dogs are allowed or not. Cafés will always put out a bowl of water, sometimes without needing to be asked. And expect to get a lot of attention because Hong Kong people love dogs of all shapes and sizes.


Hong Kong is full of hiking trails and this is one of the most popular weekend pursuits by both locals and expats alike. This is also the best exercise for your larger, more athletic dog and something you can do and enjoy together. Having a dog is also a good idea if you are hiking in some of the outer areas where you can come across snakes or wild boar.


But if you have a dog that is smaller and cute, be prepared for lavish amounts of attention from passers-by who will stick around for minutes patting and befriending your dog. Don’t forget, this is great if you are new to Hong Kong and looking to make some friends of the two-legged variety.