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Living in Hong Kong with your dog: Your guide to pet registration and more

Hong Kong may be known for stringent pet ownership and import laws, but the city is an exciting place for dogs to live. There are plenty of places to walk your pet and ensure your dog has a happy and healthy life. If you are planning to travel to Hong Kong with your pet, read on for some important dos and don’ts of pet ownership in the city.

Pet parent responsibilities

As a canine parent in Hong Kong, be sure to follow the local laws. It is mandatory for puppies over the age of five months to have a dog licence and a microchip implant. Your dog should have had all the standard vaccinations such as rabies, canine distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and leptospirosis. The vaccine against rabies is repeated every five years.

The dog licence is an important document, and you can apply for it at any of the licensing centres run by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) at Hong Kong. You can also arrange for dog licences at SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), and at registered veterinary clinics.

Hong Kong has strict lead laws; dogs can only run free in pet parks. All dogs must be kept on a lead in public places, and for dogs that weigh more than 20 kilograms, the leash should not be more than 2 metres long. Failing to adhere to these laws can attract a fine of 25,000 HKD or a three-month prison sentence.

In Hong Kong, it is common to see dogs being carried around by their pet parents or walked in a doggie stroller. If you are walking your dog on the streets or taking him or her to the pet park, make sure you always pick up after your pet and dispose of it the correct collection bin.

Hong Kong has strong pet welfare laws that protect pets from being abandoned with fines up to 10,000 HKD and maybe even a six-month prison sentence. You can prevent accidents by keeping your dog secure all the time and using identifying tags in his collar.

Housing your dog

Hong Kong has several pet-friendly housing options; remember to check with your landlord whether the house or apartment is dog-friendly before moving in. Public housing estates generally have a no pet policy, but most private residences allow pets. Hong Kong has thriving pet-loving communities in neighbourhoods such as Happy Valley, Ap Lei Chau, Sai Kung and Homantin.

Pet parks and pet cafes

Hong Kong has over 30 dog-friendly parks that are maintained by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Some of Hong Kong’s more famous dog parks are the Victoria Peak Garden, the Central and Western District Promenade, Quarry Bay promenade, Tung Chung North Park and the Ap Lei Chau Waterfront Promenade. The Quarry Bay Promenade has a large pet garden and plenty of benches and dog bins. Sheung Wan Pet Garden in the Sheung Wan section of the Central and Western District promenade has various facilities including fenced off areas for dogs to play. A stone’s throw away from Central, this pet garden has dog bins, garden benches, a dog latrine, and handwashing facilities. These dog parks are great places to socialise and exercise your pet.

Hong Kong has many pet-friendly cafés where you can hang out with your dog. The StazioneNovella is an Italian Wine Bar on Staunton Street, which welcomes dogs at the bar with a complimentary treat and a birthday cake on your dog’s birthday. The Open Door Café and Courtyard is another dog-friendly café that sometimes hosts pet events such as dog yoga and doggy playdates. Be sure to check them out.

Hong Kong may have restrictive pet rules, but it is still an enjoyable city to live in and explore with your pooch. If you are moving to Hong Kong or making plans to travel to the city with your pet, our team of experts at Petraveller can help.