Hong Kong

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Pet Transport and Pet Care

Oftentimes, expats can’t bear to be separated from their furry friends. Our guide to pets in Hong Kong provides you with a helpful overview of import rules and responsibilities. Thus, you can decide whether to ship and keep your pets in Hong Kong or to leave them behind.
Since there are some poisonous snakes in Hong Kong, expats prefer to keep their cats indoors.


After completing the tedious paperwork, you need to take one more step before you and your pet can get settled into your new home. You need to arrange for proper transportation and familiarize yourself with procedures at the airport.

Hong Kong law requires you to transport your pet by air via the fastest route from your home country to Hong Kong. When making the reservation for the airline, ship your pet as “manifest cargo”. Pets are not allowed to enter the country as excess baggage.

Make sure to label the cage, box or other container for your pet correctly. To avoid unnecessary delay during the inspection of your pet upon arrival, contact the Duty Officer of the AFCD Import and Export Section at least two working days before your scheduled arrival.

Arrival in Hong Kong

Upon arrival at the airport, your pet will undergo medical examination. Particularly dogs will be officially licensed by AFCD officers. If your dog has a microchip other than that used for the identification of dogs in Hong Kong (an AVID encrypted transponder), then it will be re-chipped in Hong Kong. This procedure takes place at the owner’s expense and will cost you HKD 80.

If you are importing birds, they will be subject to sample testing on the Avian Influenza virus at the airport animal facilities. As this requires extensive laboratory tests, it may take several days until you can take your bird home with you. This procedure is also very cost-intensive, so you might think twice before shipping your favorite parakeet to Hong Kong.

Living with Pets

Owning a pet is quite common in Hong Kong, but many still prefer smaller animals or birds to dogs or cats, as space is usually very limited.  If you want to take your dog with you, you should keep this in mind when looking for an apartment. Furthermore, not all rental agreements allow tenants to keep a pet. You should therefore clarify this issue with your prospective landlord before signing the contract. When going shopping in Hong Kong, you'll notice that veterinary services as well as pet supply shops are readily available. Some larger supermarkets also offer pet products.

It is important that you protect your cat or dog against fleas and regularly check for ticks, so that your pet can safely enjoy its new environment. Snakes can be a problem, especially in the countryside, as everyone reading up on travel health in Hong Kong will know. You should therefore keep your cats indoors. Cases of attempted pet poisoning, although occasionally reported in recent years, have declined dramatically due to educational campaigns and police attention.

In Hong Kong, great attention is directed towards keeping parks and public areas clean. It is important that you always clean up after your dog, as any failure of doing so may result in an on-the-spot fine. In quite a few parks, specific collection bins for dog waste are available.

Furthermore, if you own a large dog, you have to keep it on a leash in public places at all times. You can, however, register your dog for an examination by the AFCD to prove that it can be controlled off-leash. If you pass this examination, you are allowed to walk your dog without a leash.

You need to renew the license which your dog receives upon arrival in Hong Kong every three years. With every renewal, your dog has to be revaccinated against rabies.


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