Bringing Pets to South Korea
I left my pet behind when I went to South Korea, but I missed him terribly. I thought long and hard about taking him overseas, and I couldn’t find much information online about bringing dogs to South Korea. In retrospect, I think that I could have managed to care for my small dog in South Korea. Koreans just tiny dogs, and my dog is small, but not really small enough to carry around in a purse or bag. There are pet groomers in South Korea. I am sure that there are also boarders for pets in South Korea. If you are teaching in South Korea, and will be staying in an apartment provided by your school, understand that your apartment may be very small. It could very possibly be a one-room apartment (a studio apartment). Having a mid-sized pet in a tiny room may not be a great idea.
I also wouldn’t advise your to bring your pet if it barks a lot. You don’t know how your neighbors will react. Imagine how you would feel if a neighbor came to complain and began speaking Korean to you. If you can’t speak Korean, you will feel helpless and a bit worried. I will say, that someone had a dog in my first apartment in Korea. I could hear the dog barking sometimes, but I’m not sure if that was a problem for the other tenants. I didn’t mind. I saw people with small dogs regularly in South Korea, and most people live in apartments in the city.
Quite a few foreigners buy pets while they are in Korea. A couple of my friends did this, and their pets were adorable. So, that is an option. Just try to line up some pet sitters when you decide to travel. Decide if you will have the time to care for a pet and whether or not you want to go through the trouble of finding pet setters when you want to vacay without your furry friend.
If you plan to bring your own pet with you, make sure that you let your school know far in advance if the school is providing your apartment. They may have to find an apartment that accepts pets. Also, check with customs on rules about bringing pets into the country.
Just like in America, I don’t think that dogs are allowed in many public places. However, if you have a small cute pet in a bag that looks like a purse, no one will probably bother you. You may have to be extra careful with your pets’ health in South Korea. I’m just saying that a dog from America, Canada, or Australia, may get sick while getting adjusted to the climate and environment in Korea. Many of us foreigners got sick one way or another in the first few months of arriving in South Korea. I wouldn’t let my dog walk around South Korea without watching him very carefully for fear that he may try to eat something nasty in the street. It’s also common for people to spit on the street in South Korea. I’ve actually seen dogs with tiny shoes on their feet. Just like humans, I’m sure that the shows are removed when the pet goes inside the home.
If you decide to bring your pet to South Korea, research the fees for taking your pet home with you. A friend of mine mentioned that bringing the pet to Korea from the U.S. was fine, but when it became time to send her pet home, it was extremely expensive.
I am glad that I didn’t bring my dog, although I missed him. I didn’t want to have to deal with having to find a pet sitter or worry about him getting sick. My dog also barks a lot, especially when I’m not around. I wouldn’t even be able to understand my neighbors complaints. It may also have been difficult to explain how I wanted him cut to a pet groomer.