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Dogs’ Life in Xi’an E-mail
City Life - Blogs & Columns
Written by Hou Jing
It is about 8 in the evening, after supper. In a residence community or in the less crowded streets in Xi’an, there are usually people walking leisurely with their dogs, big or small. Some of them meet frequently so their pets become buddies as well. These dog lovers talk about the funny things their dogs did and exchange information about raising them. Once in a while, something unpleasant occurs—a dog fight. So, either owner will have to take his baby away and keep walking.

The above is a common scene of night life in the city. With a rising living standard and a greater yearning for companion, the number of dog owners hikes. Just like any other place in the world, people regard their dearest doggies as friend, child, lover or everything. The interesting part is that in Xi’an most dog owners are either senior or young people in their 20s. The middle-aged are rare, possibly because they are busy striving for a better life.

For the elderly their pets are the perfect substitutes for their grown-up children since some of their homes are empty nests. Small-sized dogs, like Pekingese or Pomeranians, are favored especially by them. In the dusk of the evening, an old lady steps mincingly along the city wall, with her cute little pal following around, which is repeated every day.

For the dog lovers among the younger generation, things may look different. Not like their elders, most of them prefer medium-sized and big-sized dogs. Golden retrievers, Labradors, Huskies, Samoyeds and Collies are largely seen with smartly-dressed chicks or guys who believe their dogs could make them stand out in the crowd. The Internet brings young people together for activities organized for their dogs.

A weekend spent in the countryside or in a mountain is most joyous and refreshing for both owners and dogs. A group of dog lovers helping stray dogs is often heard of. The most visited websites by them are and There are web pages and programs made for Xi’an on them.

For dog owners in their 20s or early 30s, the life of their pets may not be the same for good, for the ownership is susceptible to a few changes. A young person may move elsewhere or get married. What if the new job cannot bring his dog a sweet home and what if the other half dislikes animals? And it is still generally believed in China that pregnant women cannot live with dogs. Some newlyweds are talked into giving up their pets if having a baby is the next plan. So when the time comes to say goodbye, it costs a person and his dog more than tears.

Besides these dog lovers, there do exist those who don’t do justice to canine. They are overly protective and believe all dogs are ready to bite. It’s a shame. They are not ignorant, but keeping their hearts shut. Considering the magnitude of these people, dogs’ life in Xi’an has its limitations. By far, there is no dog park in the city. Dogs are not allowed in all public places except the streets which only registered dogs can go to. Some residence communities strictly forbid dog keeping.

The charge for registering a dog in Restricting Dog Keeping Office is 600RMB and additional 100 yuan for vaccination every year, very expensive compared to the average income of Xi’an citizens. There are pet stores or hospitals in many streets. However, either the price there is unreasonable or the service is less qualified. Purchasing on line (www. might be a good choice.

As the viewpoint of animal welfare is being accepted by more people, dogs’ life in Xi’an will surly improve. And there will soon be a time when every dog has its day.

Our valuable Editor Hou Jing has been with us since Friday, 06 March 2009.

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0 #2 LIsa 2013-05-05 13:41
Yes, I'm in Yang Ling South of Xian and I need to find a VET that can micro and vaccinate my dog officially so he can go home with me this summer. Please,if anyone knows a good official VET in Xian please, please, forward their address, email, and phone number.
The only VET I know is in Shanghai and that is so far to travel with my dog and a huge hassle more to get local domestic papers so he can travel to Shanghai. I have a pet service that will pick him up and export him for me if I can get his shots and micro chip done...

0 #1 Zachy 2009-06-26 01:30
Interesting article as well, thanks!

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