How to Register Your Canine Companion in Shenzhen

By Bryan Grogan and Jonathan Zhong, November 21, 2018

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In the news recently was an ongoing crackdown on dogs, dog owners and stray canines in a number of Chinese cities, most notable among them: Hangzhou. But what does the recent clampdown mean for dog owners in Shenzhen? And what are Shenzhen’s dog regulations? We’re here to fill you in…

We reached out to Shenzhen Urban Management Bureau and they told us there are no proposals for new regulations for dog owners yet. At present, we are aware of three cities that have implemented restrictions on dogs in public: in Hangzhou, where dogs can only be walked from 7pm-7am, in the autonomous prefecture of Wenshan, where dogs must be inside between 7am and 10pm and, most recently, in Wuhan, where dog-owners walking dogs without a muzzle and a leash can be fined up to RMB1,000 from January 1 onwards. 

Staff at the Shenzhen Urban Management Bureau do want to remind dog owners of the following two points:

  • Dogs in Shenzhen should be walked on a leash

  • Dog owners should make sure that their canines wear a muzzle outside 

While reports have surfaced of dogs being rounded up – and in some cases killed – out of cities like Hangzhou, we have yet to receive any verifiable reports of this happening in Shenzhen. Still, we highly recommend you do not let your pet outside of your home or apartment without accompanying it.

A member of Karuna Rescue in Shenzhen told us that, while no changes have been made in Shenzhen, it is still very important for all pet-owners to follow the laws and make sure that your dog is registered, has gotten its shots and is walked on a leash away from old people and kids. They advise folks to follow the rules and there should be no problems. 

In Shenzhen, it is simple for dog-owners to register their dogs, and free. If you are not a Chinese citizen and do not have a Chinese national ID card, here's what you need to do to register your pet:

1. Make sure that:

  • you have legal proof of your identity;

  • you have a fixed domicile (meaning owning a property or having a rental for over six months);

  • your domicile is a one-family residence;

  • you have a special area for keeping the dog, which can assure both the animal's safety and the safety of others.

  • your dog is not one of the 27 breeds that are forbidden to keep in China.

2. Documents and materials required:

  • Your visa and proof of residence. The latter can be your property ownership certificate or lease contract. Make sure to bring both the original and the copies of the proof when you apply for the registration.

  • One headshot and three full-body pictures of your dog (standing on four legs, standing on one side while facing the camera with its eyes visable).

    dog-full-body-picture.jpg
    Image via Shenzhen Bendibao/WeChat

  • A vaccination certificate for your dog. All dogs in China are required to get vaccinated against rabies on a yearly basis. Make sure the certificate is valid and that your dog is properly vaccinated at officially designated places.

  • For registration of seeing-eye dogs, make sure to present your disability certificate.

3. Registration process

When you have all the required documents and materials in place, head over to the designated registration spots in your neighborhood and fill out a registration form. The places for registration can vary depending on the street or community you're living in, so we recommend you first check with your local urban management departments.

If you register at a district office, you can get your license on the spot if the registration is granted. For those registering at a neighborhood service center, it usually takes a few days before your license is approved and you'll then either have to go back to collect it or have it mailed to you at your own cost.

4. Points to note:

  • Even with a license, you still need to be careful when taking your canine companion out as many public areas in the city, including schools, movie theaters, sports centers, most parks and all public transportation (except cabs if allowed by the driver) are off-limit for dogs. Punishments for bringing dogs to the abovementioned areas can include the pet being detained by overseeing authorities and a fine of RMB500.

  • According to the current laws on dog-keeping in Shenzhen, your dog will also be implanted with a microchip if the registration is approved, which serves as an electronic tag that stores all the information about your pet and is said to be harmless. 

  • Remember to renew your dog-keeping license once a year. Each year dog owners are required to vaccinate their pet and go through the licensing process again.


If you are a Chinese citizen with a national ID card, you can now register via WeChat by following the WeChat Official Account number '美丽深圳' (Meili Shenzhen.) Here's how you can do it:

1.Navigate to the bottom right corner of 美丽深圳's homepage: 

1914210553.jpg
Screengrab via 美丽深圳/Wechat

When you click 便民服务 (bianmin fuwu – convenient services) you will see this page: 

1673486834.jpg
Screengrab via 美丽深圳/Wechat

Tap on the icon marked 养犬服务 (yangquan fuwu – dog-raising services) and you will then be brought to this page: 

839986692.jpg
Screengrab via 美丽深圳/Wechat

If you click on the first button (线上办理养犬证 xianshang banli yangquan zheng – register your dog online) you will be brought to the registration page, where you can fill out information for your dog. If you tap on the second button (办证点地图 banzhengdian ditu – where to register your dog) you will be shown a map of where to register, the third button (办理结果查询 banli jieguo chaxun - see registration results) shows users the progress of the registration and whether it's successful, while the fourth button (文明养犬小知识 wenming yangquan xiaozhishi – tips for being a responsible dog owner) offers tips on responsible dog keeping. 

2. Fill Out The Registration Form:

2021615167.jpg
Screengrab via 美丽深圳/Wechat

For this part of the process you will need to provide information on the dog's name, breed, color, date of birth, sex and more. A good grasp of Chinese is sure to help you with this part. You will also need to provide one headshot (2.5 x 3.6 cm) of your dog, as well as one full-body picture (5.5 x 8.4 cm). 

3. Add Dog Owner's Information

948234127.jpg
Screengrab via 美丽深圳/Wechat

Here you will need to provide a range of information about yourself, including your ID card number, your address, photos, phone number, number of dogs, photos of your ID card (front and back), proof of residence (property ownership ceritificate or lease contract) and more. Note that if you have two or more dogs at one address, you will first need to get the approval of the property owner committee or that of the neighborhood committee, and if your current address is different from the one that's one your ID card, you'll also need to obtain proof of residence from the community workstation or from the neighborhood committee first.

4. Delivery Information:

69227535.jpg
Screengrab via 美丽深圳/Wechat

Finally add details about the delivery address, the name of the person who will be accepting the delivery, as well as the phone number of the person who will receive the license. 

And then...

1220644912.jpg

Screengrab via 美丽深圳/Wechat

...success! Sit back and wait for your receipt of registration to arrive. 

For updates on pet regulations in Shenzhen, we recommend following the Shenzhen Urban Management Bureau on WeChat (ID:深圳城管) and staying tuned to That's.

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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