Pet Central – a dogs life in Hong Kong
Hong Kong residents love their pets, most particularly man’s best friend. No matter where you go you will see dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds strutting around the streets of Hong Kong.
Some look pampered wearing coats and shoes, some look tough guys with bandanas and sunglasses and some just look like they are having a seriously good life! And they certainly are!!
When walking around the busy city suburbs a dog will always gain much attention. Some locals are a little frightened or nervous around even the smallest of dogs, so it’s always good to encourage your pet to be good with strangers and not snap and bite at curious fingers. On a leash, you are always welcomed at café’s and outdoor dining areas and staff will usually give you a bowl of water for your dog.
Selecting a Friend
You can choose to either buy privately or adopt a puppy or an older dog from the Hong Kong Dog Rescue Centre in Aberdeen. They have a wide range of furry friends with bright eyes, totally looking to go to a nice home. Always best to talk to the people at the shelter about your lifestyle and the size of the place you live in. Puppies require a lot more work and training, and will definitely chew through your belongings. If you don’t have time to go through this period, it is wiser to choose an adult dog who has already been trained.
Whichever way you decide to go, it is really important for both yours and your new dogs mental health in choosing a dog which fits your home size. Inner Central suburbs are best suited to smaller breeds, where they don’t need a lot of room to move about, and a walk on a leash around the neighbourhoods is mostly all that’s required.
If you decide on a larger breed, it is much kinder to your animal if you have space to accommodate them and are very close to parklands and beaches. Some of the beaches are dog restricted, however there are enough that are not such as Back Beach at Shek O, or in and around Sai Kung. A larger dog is an asset if you are a hiker. They will sound the alarm for snakes and porcupines and any other animal that may put you in danger.
A dog should be acquired with the mindset that this is a friend for life, and unfortunately with a transient population of ex pats in Hong Kong, what seemed like a good idea at the time has often resulted in a little or larger darling being left behind and ending up at a dog shelter. Generally, most other countries will welcome your dog when you move due to the tight Hong Kong restrictions.
Doggie rules in Hong Kong
Owning a dog in Hong Kong comes with certain requirements. For example, it is illegal to own a dog that is more than five months old and is not licensed. Every dog you own must be inoculated against rabies, microchipped and licensed. A dog license is valid for three years and can be renewed by re-vaccinating the dog against rabies. It is also non-transferable, any change in ownership should be reported to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) within five days.
Best Areas to Live With Dogs
Bigger breeds – Outer suburbs on the South Side such as Stanley, Repulse Bay, Shek O. Anywhere in Clearwater Bay and Sai Kung (New Territories).
Smaller breeds – City built up areas such as Soho, Wanchai, Sai Ying Pun, Kennedy Town, Causeway Bay, Aberdeen, and Kowloon side.