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Can I take a pet while traveling in China?

Yes, it is possible, but quite complicated. If you decide to take your pet with you during your journey in China, there are quite a few things that you should consider and do.  

1. At first, you need to get a health certificate of immunity at a health and quarantine department of county or higher level in China, which is only valid for maximum 5 days.

2. When you are ready to book the flights, you should inform your travel agent or airlines of your requirement, and show them the animal health certificate. After the approval of the airlines, you can buy the flight tickets and travel with your pet in the same plane.

3. You are suggested to arrive at the airport 3 hours before departure to handle the check-in service for your pet. You should prepare a metal container for the pet and keep clean. Airlines will charge based on the excess luggage rate and give you a claim tag so that you can get your pet back after landing at your destination.  

It is more complicated to travel with your pet on train. Besides the animal health certificate (valid for 5 days), you also need take your pet to go to the designated veterinary station for the approval. Besides, you should prepare a metal container for your pet so it won’t contaminate the cargo carriage. You can’t stay with your pet at the same car, while you are allowed to go to the cargo carriage to feed the pet. 

Service animals, such as guide dogs, are not considered pets. According to the regulations of CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China), they will be allowed to board the plane and stay with the owner, but in practice, you still need to check with the airlines via your travel agent. Generally speaking, the pets in China refer to those regular animals like cat, dog, not those weird and dangerous ones like snake, lizard, etc. The latter ones could be rejected by the air carriers. 

Therefore, if it is not a must, please leave your pet at home and find a pet care center before your holiday. 

For more info about traveling with pet, we recommend you to read the following articles:

http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/escape/flying-pets-worth-bother-011341

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69549/pb10308-dogs-cats-welfare-060215.pdf

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