SHANGHAI, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Spring Festival travel period in China is often dubbed the world's largest human migration. Today, a growing number of pet animals join in this massive movement.
As pet owners gather with families for the country's most important holiday, many of them are now taking their furry friends along rather than leaving them to the care of friends, relatives or pet shops.
During the festival, 3-year-old Pomeranian Mojito traveled by car with its owners to a resort in eastern China's Zhejiang Province.
"I have prepared enough dog food for 10 days, brought various medicine and hygiene products and a big dog bed," said the dog's owner Zhou Yanan.
Zhou started planning months ahead for the trip, scouting pet-friendly hotels and tourist attractions as well as devising plans for contingencies. Zhou said it was a painstaking process, but she enjoyed it.
"My pets are my family. I don't want to be separated from them, especially during the Spring Festival," she said.
Jing Xiaoping runs an upscale pet shop in Shanghai that has offered pet boarding services for 25 years, and holidays are usually its high season. However, business is starting to go down.
"According to our survey before the Spring Festival, about 70 percent of pet owners would choose to spend some quality time with their pets during the holiday, either taking them on the road or staying at home," said Jing.
In recent years, transport services provided by railway authorities and airliners have also made it easier for pets to travel with their owners.
According to railway regulations, pets that pass quarantine checks can be transported in designated cars of a train and travel with their owners.
Last year, a number of Chinese airliners piloted a cabin transport service for pets, allowing passengers and their pets to share the same flying experience.
In China, owning pets is a growing trend. The pet dog population in China reached 27.4 million in 2018, ranking third in the world after the United States and Brazil, according to official statistics.