Dex, this may prove more challenging than you expect it to be...
First, general info on puppy and dog vaccinations is easy to search up...jusgooglit.
The best site I found so far is DogEducation, at www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1648&aid=950
This page takes you to the basic schedule/list of core and optional shots for adult dogs. Follow the "Vaccines and Vaccinations" menu entry to get excellent detailed info for both dogs and puppies.
Of course, this stuff is for a Western audience...people from an advanced, clean, and decent country (i.e. the USA
). I think it's pretty safe to assume that the overwhelming majority of canine conditions seen in the West will also be seen in China, so this info will apply there. Of course, unless you can find a good Dictionary of Veterinary Medicine (
), it's going to be hard to discuss these issues...but if you can find a good Vet, he'll likely already know what to do.
Sadly, this last is the hard part.
The Chinese don't seem to have a long or large history of keeping pets, except for more passive and delicious creatures such as some birds and fish. Dogs in particular are booming now, but haven't been seen much until pretty recently. I have Chinese friends on both sides of the Pacific who get nervous around dogs, including a few who become paralysed with terror. All this would suggest that much of the "dog infrastructure"- sellers, supplies, vet care, etc. can be pretty undeveloped and rudimentary, and finding that "good vet" may be quite a feat. I got the impression that dogs were raised by dealers in rather squalid conditions and were likely to already be ill. You can easily find the upper-end big-brand lines of dog food and so forth (such as Iams and some Japanese and European brands) but have a harder time finding more basic and affordable products.
The Chinese seem still largely pretty clueless on handling and living with dogs...cruel treatment, abandonment (or eating
) of no-longer-wanted dogs, letting dogs run amok in public places, and so on are conspicuously common.
Also, China isn't well set up for dogs. 99.9999999999999999% of residents live in relatively small spaces, and have no yard or other empty open space where a dog can be released to chase squirrels and bark at the neighbors.
This places greatly increased responsibility upon you, the ethical dog owner. (At least you'd better
be an ethical dog owner, or we'll come croak you...
) The need to take your dog out for exercise and toilette requisites will be much greater and more important.
Furthermore, pet animals in China can face health hazards that we are not familiar with. For example, in many parts of China there is a much higher presence of soil- or water-borne parasites. In some places there is lots of inexplicably filthy (even by garbage standards) garbage on the streets, which any dog in the world will naturally race to in order to sniff and eat.
These days it's pretty trendy to be seen out walking a dog, especially an expensive pedigreed model. But I think the trend may well fade away...dogs can be a real pain in the ass in China. Much though I despise cats and adore dogs, I gotta concede that if you really want a pet in China, a cat makes a lot more sense under the conditions.
As expats, we face another challenge that the homeys don't have...if you ever return home, getting your beloved pet back into your own country can be difficult, lengthy, and expensive. Many countries require that incoming pets spend weeks or even months in quarantine before the Health, Agriculture, and Customs people will give the go-ahead and restore your pet to you. Conditions in these quarantine facilities can be pretty, well, uh....squalid
, and traumatic for the animals. Not to mention for YOU.
Adopting a pet is never something that should be entered into on impulse, and this seems about a hundred times more true in China. I LOVE dogs and (usually) love keeping them, but fear it will be a much bigger job than you'll know.