Living in a foreign country with your pet can have a degree of difficulty associated with it. Meeting certain criteria for shipping and making sure the pet has proper medical records are one issue, while the possibility of your pet being lost or killed during transport is yet another. In some countries your pet may become the centre piece of someone's dinner table, while in still another country your pet may be considered sacred, or evil. You can find pets, including cats, just off of the Chungmuro subway stop. There are many pet shops together in this area.
Many people choose to bring their pets with them to South Korea. There are, however, strict and specific rules and regulations as to how this is done.
All live animals and animal products entering Korea must be accompanied by valid certificates issued by the exporting country's government. Along with obtaining the necessary paperwork to get your animal to Korea, you must also arrange for transportation. Most pet owners prefer to have their animals on the aircraft with them, so be sure to make the necessary bookings at the time your personal flight arrangements are made.
You are urged to check with your local veterinarian six weeks before your departure about an immunisation for your pet to guard against a very common disease found in quarantine called "Kennel Cough".
Declare all import animals and animal products upon arrival to the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, where they must be inspected. Cloven-hoofed animals and their products that are shipped from import-restricted areas will be sent back or destroyed.
The Republic of Korea has a 10-day quarantine period for all arriving animals. To pick up your pet, you must have:
1. Certificate of excess baggage or bill of lading for animals arriving by air freight.
2. Copy of health certificate.
3. Copy of owner's military orders.
4. Proof of identification.
5. Power of attorney if you are acting as the owners representative.
Rabies vaccinations must be over 30 days old to stay at the quarantine centre (i.e. if your pet had a rabies shot 10 days before your arrival at centre, your pet will be required to stay in quarantine for 20 days). You are permitted to visit your pet during the quarantine. Many owners have chosen to take food to their pets since some may not like the food given to them while in quarantine.
For further details, please contact the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service. Address: 480, Anyang 6-dong, Manan-gu, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, Korea Tel: (031)467-1946/1949 Fax: (031)467-1956
If you need a vet, pet supplies or pet food in Seoul, you're in luck because there are many places to buy pets, have pets groomed, examined and cared for. The same is true for finding pet food. Most Western brand pet food is readily available in Seoul. It is quite common in Seoul for families to have pets, which are usually dogs of a small variety. Cats can be found in and around Seoul, but many wander the streets, unwanted. Traditionally, cats are not a popular animal in South Korea as they carry bad connotations in Korean culture. However, more South Koreans are adopting cats as pets. Very few cats are seen in local pet stores compared to dogs, but they can still be found.
As a reminder, don't forget that the many airlines have their own rules and regulations concerning the shipment of pets and other animals. Do contact your airline concerning this issue before travelling, well in advance of your departure date, and then reconfirm any information a few weeks before your departure, and then again a few days before your departure. It is also a really good idea to have a special note added to your file in the airline computer that you are making the trip with a pet(s) and that if any concerns arise pertaining to pets being shipped, that they call you.