My Adventures in South Korea

Bringing Dogs to South Korea

I have been meaning to do this post for a while now. Many people wonder what it’s like to bring dogs into South Korea. Many people also ask “Can I bring my dog to South Korea?” It’s hard to find straight forward information about taking a dog, or pet for that matter, to South Korea and it’s also hard to find information on how life is for dogs here. Hopefully I can answer some of that below!

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When I first started researching on how to bring a dog to South Korea, I had the hardest time finding a good resource to let me know exactly what I needed to do. I called embassies, airports, searched blog forums and talked to vets. It seemed that everyone had a different answer or directed me to another person. Regardless, I was able to find a somewhat clear answer on the steps you need to take to bring a dog to South Korea. I would recommend that if you are thinking about brining a pet to South Korea, you start getting all your pet’s paperwork done about 4 months prior to departing.

Here are all the steps we needed to take, as of June 2013, for when we arrived. I don’t think anything has changed but its always good to check!!


  • Number 1: Make sure your dog is Microchipped.

Microchipping our dogs cost about $30 per dog (not too bad!). You must make sure that your microchip is ISO-compliant (ISO11784 and 11785 standards). The microchip number must be 15 digits long and must start with 985. If you mention this to a vet, they should know which microchip you need. If your dog is microchipped and it doesn’t match ISO standards, I would recommend you microchip them again to make it easier. They will scan your dog for a Microchip when you arrive at the airport!

  • Number 2: Make sure all your dog’s shots are up-to-date, especially your rabies shots

We started updating our dogs’ shots about 4 months prior to leaving for Korea. It is a good idea in general to vaccinate/update your dog for the year, but the most important shot that you must have up-to-date is the rabies shot. Try to update your dog’s rabies shot at-least a month before you send the blood work for the Rabies Titer Test (they recommend that you send the blood 30 days+ after the rabies shot, so if you get it updated 5 months in advance, for example, you’ll be fine!)

  • Number 3: You need to get a Rabies Titer Test

The Rabies Titer Test, also known as the rabies-neutralizing antibody test is a test that checks your dog’s blood to make sure that it has the antibodies to fight rabies. The test must be administered by an internationally approved laboratory or by the competent authority of the exporting country, no more than 30 days but no later than 24 months prior to boarding with a positive result of at least 0.5 or higher.

In other words, you must send your dog’s blood to an approved laboratory to get it tested. The blood work must come back with a test result of 0.5 or higher. The results of the titer test must be in the health certificate.

Make sure that your dog is microchipped prior to getting the blood work done. Laboratories keep track of the blood through the microchip numbers.

We got our titer test done by Kansas State University Veterinary Services. It takes 3-4 weeks to get the results so make sure you do this early! You also need to do this through a veterinarian. We did it through our vet and it made things much easier. I would recommend printing out all the paperwork and then have your vet go through it with you to make sure you get everything you need.

Once we talked with our vet and got the appropriate papers, our vet drew blood and then had us ship it via FEDEX, overnight to the laboratory. It was nice because we were able to check the progress online by using our dogs’ microchip numbers. After about 4 weeks, our results came and we passed. It’s always good to do this early incase you might need to resubmit your papers. Costs for the test should be on the website, along with any costs your vet might have.

  • Number 4: You must get an International Health Certificate no earlier than 10 days before your flight.

10 days before you fly out to South Korea, you will need to go to your vet to get an International Health Certificate. The window for this is very small because if you get it any earlier than 10 days, it will void. You must get the International Health Certificate within the 10 days that you will be going to Korea. We got ours about 2 days before we flew out of the country, to give us 8 extra days, incase our flight might be delayed. This was about $60 per dog, from our vet. The vet will fill out this health certificate and it will include your dog’s entire health history.

Make sure that the results of your rabies titer test is on the health certificate!

I also made sure to get multiple copies of this incase I needed it anywhere else.

  • Number 5: After you get your International Health Certificate, you must get it endorsed by your State Veterinarian at your state USDA Office.

The day after we got our International Health Certificate, we went and got it endorsed by our State Veterinarian. We were lucky that our USDA office was an hr drive from us. Definitely plan ahead for this, incase you need to make a long trip, because you only have a 10 day window for this.

You will need to take your International Health Certificate, your original Rabies Titer Test Results Certificate, a rabies shot certificate (you can get this from your vet), and money for the payment. Ours was about $120 for both dogs, in the state of Florida. *Check your State’s USDA rules incase you might need anything else.

The state vet will endorse all the documents and will give you 4 copies with your original paperwork. You will give a copy to immigration when you bring your dog to Korea.

  • Next: You need Β to make the proper travel arrangements for your pets!

This is something you definitely need to do as soon as you know when you will be flying to Korea. We knew ahead of time, even before we finished getting all the stuff mentioned above finished.

Many airlines have strict pet policies so its very important to research them early! I know with dogs flying in cabin, they have to be a certain weight and height. Some airlines even restrict breeds. The dogs also need to be in airline approved dog carriers. We used Teafco’s Argo Petaboard, and both our carriers were great!



Each airline has its own rules so please check up on them in advance!

I have never flown a dog in cargo, only in cabin, and I can recommend to bring pee pads! From time to time we were able to take the dogs (in their carriers) to the bathroom and lay the pee pads out for them and let them stretch their legs!

Flying is different for every dog but you can talk with your vet to see what options you want to take. If you want to read about how our poms did, you can click here!

**Update July 2017**

The Teafco Carriers that we used on our dogs, don’t seem to be in production anymore. I know that if you go to Teafco’s Website here, you will find other carriers they make that might be similar to the ones we have. Amazon sells Teafco products as well, but they are more costly than I remember buying ours for in 2013! Airlines update their policies all the time, so the standards might have changed, but just make sure you do your research to find the best carrier to meet you, your dog’s, and your airline’s needs! πŸ™‚

  • Finally: Make sure you have their paperwork on hand.

Once all above is said and done and you land in Korea, you just need to make it through animal quarantine. Β We did everything mentioned above and when we got to inspections with Milo and Luci, the Korean Inspection Officer looked at our papers, scanned our dogs for microchips, documented that our dogs were in Korea, and then we were on our way! All we had to do was leave a copy of our papers with them. My biggest fear was that we would have to quarantine our dogs. Luckily, being prepared helped. Not only did we get through but it only took about 15 to 20 minutes.

A Dog’s Life in Korea

Honestly, besides a traumatic plane ride and some crazy new smells, I don’t think my dogs know anything different about where they are. Koreans are still not as dog/cat friendly as America but they are definitely getting there!

I have had no trouble finding pet stores, veterinarians, and even pet hotels (and our dogs had a nice time staying at one when we went to Japan). There are also a lot of vendors who sell pet supplies and even doggie clothes. I don’t know how it is in other cities but Seoul is a good city for pets. I have seen a lot of Koreans with small dogs and even some big dogs! Most people smile when they see our pomeranians, though there are the occasional people who are afraid.Β Seoul has many parks and trails where people take their dogs and dog parks are starting to sprout around in places.

If you are thinking about coming to teach/live in South Korea and love your dog/cat, I would definitely think about bringing them. It does take a lot of research and paperwork, but its worth it in the end! It’s also much easier to take them back to the States, once your time in Korea comes to an end (though I don’t know all the complete steps you need to do). For some people, having a pet might hold them back, but I can’t imagine my life without my pups! It’s definitely something that is possible if you want! πŸ™‚Β I hope this can help!

Resource Website: Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency Korea

**UPDATE** April 9th, 2014 – Apartments & Dogs

This is just a small update of information. I have many people who email me and ask me about my apartment situation with my dogs. I will talk about my experience here, but I know that this might not be the case for everyone!

When John and I applied to schools in Korea, we were very honest about our dogs. With that being said, when we found a school that allowed dogs, we also made sure the housing was pet friendly too! My advice for anyone trying to bring a dog is to be honest with your school. It makes the entire process much easier!

Many people have also asked me about apartment hunting with a dog. Unfortunately, I cannot help too much in that department because my housing is through my school, but I do want to say that South Korea is becoming more pet friendly each and every year. I think many people are adopting dogs and that landlords are becoming more accommodating. The best advice I have for apartment hunting is to also just be honest! It will save you so much trouble!

Hope this can help and good luck!

All the pictures below or above are of my pups in Korea πŸ™‚





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76 Responses to “Bringing Dogs to South Korea”

    • talaghemand

      Aww you definitely should think about it! By the way it sounds, you guys will be leaving soon, so not sure if you will meet the time limit :/
      But maybe next time?

      • Tara

        Yeah, hopefully we will be leaving soon! Our VIN are taking forever!!! Maybe if we end up staying more than one year though we will bring her over. I don’t think I could do two years without her!

  1. negar

    Hi there! I’m a new reader here and let me tell you, I’m already obsessed with your post πŸ˜‰ and looking forward for your next ones. your blog gives me so much hope and inspiration beside I’m falling in love with korea πŸ˜€

      • negar

        actually , I really like to do that but I don’t think it would be possible any soon , till then I keep enjoying your blog and gathering as much information as possible so I can use it later πŸ˜‰

  2. Megan Lyon

    Have you talked to anyone who flew a bigger dog to Korea with them? My husband and I are moving to the army post there and our dog is about 70 pounds. I would buy like 2 airplane seats and put her crate beside me if I could but I know that isn’t possible. I am EXTREMELY nervous about having to fly her in cargo. She’s been on long road trips with us and did great with medication. She is a very active dog so being in a crate for 17 hours makes me feel horrible.

    • talaghemand

      Hi Megan,

      Unfortunately I don’t know of anyone who has flown with their big dog in cabin, only in cargo. I had a friend move back to Canada and he had his medium size dog fly in cargo. I know his dog was fine, but I do agree with you that it’s nerve wracking for a dog to fly in cargo.

      I would suggest calling different airlines to see what the options are for big dogs flying in cabin. I have heard that if your dog is a therapy dog or a type of service dog, then it might be acceptable, but definitely look into that! I think for a therapy dog, you just need a doctor’s note, and then you can register your dog so they can get the paperwork needed. Also talk with your vet to see what options you might have.

      The hardest part is bringing your dog to South Korea, but afterwards everything will be fine. I have seen a lot of big dogs here!

      Please let me know if you have any other questions and good luck with everything!

      • Megan Evans

        Okay. Thank you for the info! Our dog has all the training classes besides the last one to be able to be a service dog to other peopl. Makes me wish now that we’d finished it out. Haha. I’m just going to call and see. I appreciate it! Happy Holidays! πŸ™‚

    • Ali

      I randomly found this blog looking for info about the health certificate timeline. I adopted a dog and cat when I was in Korea and flew them back to the US. My dog had to fly cargo and it was fine. I was terrified. I flew Delta and they were fantastic. I’m about to move BACK to Korea with both of them and my pup will fly cargo again. She’s under 30 lbs but has the VariPet Intermediate Kennel (one size bigger than she needs). Everyone I know who has flown pets cargo with Delta has had a great experience. They were very caring.

  3. Yalanda

    Hi! Just out of curiosity, are you working in a public or private school? Our recruiter told us that public schools do no allow pets and that private schools are doing so less and less as well. Do you have any insight?

    • talaghemand

      Hi Yalanda,

      I am currently at a private school. When I was applying to Korea last year, I ran into the same situation with public schools. Public schools don’t accept pets anymore. I don’t know the reason why, other than rumors that sometimes, people with pets left their apartments in bad conditions. For a private school, it’s a case by case situation. Each private school is different and has a different owner so the rules are different. Some of the schools might allow pets while others might not. Some accommodate housing while others might only give a housing allowance.

      My advice is to keep looking till you find a school that can meet all your needs! Good luck!

  4. Seulgi

    Hi. I definitely enjoyed your journal and helped me to understand a lot. Thank you so much:) By the way, you have a same lovely Pomeranian I have >u< so adorable. β™₯

    And…! I was wondering if I can ask you about more informations.. I will be flying to Korea with my dog( black Pomeranian 11lbs) on Aug, but I havent started anything yet dont know what to start.. I've never done this before, and Im so nervous…
    I'm going to take my dog to Vet tomorrow to get documents that you've posted.. The thing is I have no idea how to get a flight ticket with a dog…
    Do you mind if I ask you which airline you got when you went to Korea? and..How many lbs was your dogs? I have researched that only 11 lbs include carrier bag is allowed in cabin. and my dog is 11lbs.. I want to be with my dog while we are flying…T_T
    I've had so many questions in my head. these are only I can think of right now.. : (
    I will be so appreciate if you can help me through lil bit.. Y_Y Thank you!

    • talaghemand

      Hello!! Thank you for reading my blog! I am so happy it has helped you with information you need on bringing your pup to Korea! Definitely follow all the steps I posted for bringing your dog to SKorea. Make sure your dog is microchipped, has their shots up to date, get the rabies titer test (do that asap!), and then 10 days before flying make sure you get your vet to give you a rabies certificate, an international health certificate (with the titer test result on it) and get that notarized by your state USDA. I made sure to list everything in detail though on the post above!

      As for the airline, I flew United with both my dogs. I believe their weight limit is 15 lbs with the carrier. I had no problems flying with United and the dogs flew in cabin with me! It wasn’t as nice as Asian Airlines but worked!

  5. rachel wright

    SO helpful! Thank you! I am moving to Korea to teach in a couple of months and can’t stand the idea of being separated from my 19 year old chihuahua; this blog post has been the most helpful thing I have found!

    • talaghemand

      Thank you for reading my blog! I am glad it was helpful!! Good luck with your process on coming to SKorea!! πŸ™‚

    • Billy Fisher

      Rachel, How did it go with your chihuahua? We have a chihuahua, yorkie mix. He tends to bark and get nervous in public places, so I was curious how yours did on the airplane (cabin or cargo)? Thanks!

  6. Neene

    I’ve been offered a 4 month teaching job in Korea, and really want to take it, but I have a service dog. I could do without him out and about, but I really need him at home. (I’m also hoping he could at least come to my office when I’m not in class.) I know he’s legally “allowed” to fly in cabin, but my biggest concern is that he’s 60 lbs and would obviously need to go potty during the flight and stretch his legs. How accommodating did the airline seem to your dogs’ needs? Have you heard that some airlines are better than others?

    Thanks for your blog! I was so happy to discover it as I’ve been trying to answer all my questions about Korea before making a decision!

    • Neene

      Also, what do you do for dog food? My dog has a little bit of a sensitive stomach. Do you have good options?

      • talaghemand

        The good thing about Korea is that they have many brands of dog foods from America! I usually buy Royal Canine for my dogs here!

    • talaghemand

      Hello! Thank you so much for reading my blog. With my dogs, we flew United Air, so I can only speak on their behalf, but over all it was easy flying with them. Anytime I needed to give the dogs a break, I would take them to the bathroom. They had to stay in their carry-on so I would just carry that to the restroom. Once in there, I would take them out and let them stretch their legs. I am not sure about how it would be for a large dog to fly in cabin, but since your dog is a service dog, I bet there are different ways that airlines can accommodate him/her to go to the bathroom/stretch his legs on a flight! πŸ™‚

  7. Naomi

    Thank you so much for this information! My dog is my companion animal and can fly with me in the US on my lap etc, so I am hoping this will be true across sea to S. Korea. My biggest fear has been about having to quarantine him upon arrival. Do you know what the fee is over there a day? I’m guessing its about $100/day.

    Congrats on your smooth travels with your furry friend.

    Thanks again πŸ™‚

    • talaghemand

      Unfortunately I don’t know the quarantine fees, but if everything is done that I listed above, then you shouldn’t have any problems and will only be at Animal Quarantine for 15 min!

      Good luck and thank you for reading my blog! πŸ™‚

      • Naomi

        Thanks so much for your response. Just now seeing this! Happy travels πŸ™‚ and keep blogging

  8. Christine

    Awesome blog post!! πŸ™‚

    Are dogs allowed on public transport? How are Koreans with bigger dogs (we have a GSD)?

    Thank you

    • talaghemand

      Thank you for reading my blog! I am no longer in Korea (left a month ago, and miss it!!). While I was there, I never saw big dogs on the public transportation, but I think as long as they are on a leash or crate, then it should be fine! Good luck!!

  9. Billy Fisher

    I saw that you are no longer in Korea, so were there any quarantine restrictions for your dogs on the way back? Also, we have a small dog that barks and gets nervous without us. Would you recommend cabin travel or not?

    • talaghemand

      Thanks for reading my blog! Even though I left Korea in July and I am no longer very active on writing here, it’s wonderful that people can use it as a resource!

      To answer your question, it was much much easier bringing the dogs back into the states than it was bringing them into Korea. We talked with a vet in Korea and got them an international health certificate to prove they were up to date on all their shots. We also made sure they were up to date on rabies, just in case (though they were from coming into Korea). Once leaving, in the Incheon Airport, we had to take them to animal quarantine where they looked at their health certificates and made us pay a 10,000 won fee. Then we were good to go! Talk with a Korean vet though to make sure you have all the up-to-date papers you might need, or will need, incase I might have left something out! Though the process was much easier coming home, I would hate to have left something important out that you need!

      Our dogs flew in cabin both to and from Korea. On the way to Korea, we sedated them and they did horribly. The sedations made them more nervous. On the way back from Korea, we didn’t sedate and they were great! We took them to the plane lavatory every few hours to let them stretch their legs, but otherwise they slept. I would recommend getting a dog carrier and having your dog start sitting in it so he can get used to it. Flying in cabin was easy for us, but every flight can be different with small dogs! You need to call your airline to reserve in-cabin space and it usually needs to be a month in advance, so keep that in mind!

      • Billy Fisher

        Thank you so much for your reply and blog. It’s been extremely helpful as my wife and I consider an opportunity to work at a school in Seoul. I have just a couple more questions if you don’t mind concerning dogs in Seoul. You’ve said that vet care and pet supplies are easy to find. Would that include puppy pads and special food? Our dog has had the bladder stone surgery and he is now on a special diet (Royal Canin food). Do you remember seeing that brand in any of the stores? It looks like there were many green spaces where your dogs could get out an walk. Were there places close to your apartment for that?

      • talaghemand

        Hi Billy,
        My dog actually had bladder stone surgery in Korea! I did a blog post on it! I was really impressed by our vet because it was a scary ordeal when we saw our dog urinating blood and we found out what it was! I’ll post the link to that post –

        Anyhow, after our dog had bladder stone surgery, he was put on the Royal Canine S/O food! We lived in Bundang (a district in South Seoul), and our small local vet had that food, so I know that other bigger vet offices will probably have it as well! Royal Canine is a popular brand in South Korea. As for pee pads, they are everywhere! Koreans love small dogs and they like the apartment lifestyle, so many just train their pups to go on pads. Since Seoul is a big city, you’ll see lots of areas with little green spaces, but there is always a park close by! We lived across the street from a big walking track along the river. Many people rode bikes and walked their dogs there! One great thing about Seoul is that you aren’t ever far from a park!

        Once you know the district of Seoul that you will be living in, see if there is a Facebook group for that area! Usually there will be and lots of expats will be able to help you find local vets/parks etc. If not, there are many general expat groups just on Seoul where you can ask expats advice on the best things! We were always able to find a pet store/vet/boarding when needed. Many vets also double as pet stores, but you also can get pet supplies in places like Emart (almost like a Target) or Costco.

        Hope this helps and please feel free to ask any more questions if needed!!

  10. Billy Fisher

    Thank you so much for your reply. It’s definitely been helpful. We’ve never flown with our dog before, but we also can’t stand the thought of not bringing him with us. Your blog and responses have helped us tremendously!

  11. Daniella Gonzales

    First off I love this blog and how helpful it has been in understanding life in Korea! Second, without sounding ignorant…before I found this blog I read an article about pets being stolen for dog meat…I was wondering if you ever felt unsafe while walking your dog? Where you ever concerned for your dogs welfare…etc. Thank you and sorry for sounding probably ridiculous!

    • talaghemand

      Hi Daniella! Thank you for reading my blog. Though my Korean adventure is now over, I love how the blog is still helping people! To answer your question, I never felt unsafe when walking my pups. We lived a great life in Korea and were close to vets and anything we needed. I have never heard anything about dogs being stolen for dog meat, so I don’t know anything about that, but we were always safe.

  12. Lisa

    I am hoping to go abroad to teach in Korea and really want to take my dog with me, but am worried about here potty situation. My dog is potty trained for outdoors. Is there anywhere to take my dog to potty outside in the streets of Korea, or would I have to train my dog to potty on pads inside the apartment?

    • talaghemand

      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for reading my blog! Though it has almost been a year since I left Korea, I love that my blog can still reach out and help people! When I was in Seoul, I had no problem walking my dogs and finding grassy/outdoor places for them. If you work for a school, more than likely your housing will be close to a park/residential area. I’m not sure about other cities besides Seoul, but as for Seoul, I never had an issue! There was always a park somewhere and it was a nice walk talking my dogs! My dogs are little so I always kept a pee pad in my apartment just incase, but I walked them outside everyday. Good luck and please let me know if you have any questions!

      • Lisa

        Thank you for your response πŸ™‚ Appreciate it greatly!

    • Ali

      It depends where you live. I’m near Gangnam in Seoul, and there is no grass near my apartment. The closest is a 25-30 minute walk to the Han River. That doesn’t really work when your dog needs to potty. My dog pees and poops in the street. I pick up the poop and try to remember to bring water to toss on the pee. I’ve gotten snide comments when my dog poops in the street but I pick it up everytime so I just ask people if they’d rather me just leave it on the street.
      I’ve never lived in an area of Seoul that had grass nearby (lived here for 6 year and recently came back after a 2 year break– have lived in 3 different parts of Seoul).

      • talaghemand

        I guess it does depend on your location! My sister lived in Gangnam but was right next to the river, so if I ever stayed with her I never had issues. I was in Bundang and had the park right behind my apartment. I never found it to be an issue anywhere in Seoul though when I travelled with my dogs.

  13. Carolina

    Hi! How did you find a public school that allow pets? I haven’t had much luck and I’m getting a bit sad. Private schools don’t seem to be very trustworthy so I am a bit hesitant on signing with one. Any advice on finding jobs? Thank you!

    • talaghemand

      Hi Carolina!

      Thank you so much for reading my blog! I hope that whatever info I have up here might be helpful to you on your Korean adventure.

      To answer your question, I was working at a private school in Korea. When I first started the job hunt, I searched hi and low for a recruiter to work with, to get into the public school systems. Because I had two dogs, I was unable to find any jobs. Apparently in the past, dogs were allowed with programs like EPIK, but they have changed their rules and now will not allow dogs. I think that once you are in their system and have worked in Korea, that then you can get/bring a dog, but they won’t hire you if you initially want to bring a dog from overseas. They also have a long training session in the beginning of your hire, and you stay in a hotel, so during that time you’d have to board your dog.

      Because of all that, I decided to go with a hagwon. They set their own rules on pets. I made sure that with each company I interviewed with, that I mentioned I had dogs. It made it easier for us because when we arrived at our school, our dogs were expected. Hagwons are each different so make sure to do your research! Sometimes you might read bad reviews about one, but then another hagwon under the same franchise might be great! I think each school has its issues, as even mine did, but as long as the employees are paid on time and get decent housing and pension/health benefits/vacation time, then you are in good position. If you are interviewing at a potential school, try to talk to current employees at that school to see what they might think. Facebook has lots of Korea Expat Groups where you can post your questions and hear opinions from others!

      Hope this helps and please feel free to ask any more questions!!

    • talaghemand

      The costs were from 3 years ago but I want to estimate that for both dogs that I paid a little over $600. This included microchipping, vet bills, vaccines, the antibody test, the health certificates, airline tickets, carriers, etc.

  14. Jasmyne Trimble

    I am curious. What airline did you fly on? The dimensions on that carrier our way larger than what Air Canada has told me.
    Also, I also live in Florida too… I keep getting mixed answers on the internet about where the state veterinarian currently is. Is in Tallahassee or Gainesville now?

    • talaghemand

      Hi Jasmyne,
      Thank you for reading my blog! We flew on United Airlines. They didn’t check the dimensions on our carriers while we were in the airport, but I made sure that the dimensions were approved before buying the tickets! On the Stave Veterinarian, we went to the location in Gainesville. There might be one in Tallahassee that I am unaware of, but as of July 2013, there was definitely one in Gainesville. Hope this helps!

  15. Jasmyne

    My cat bites. Should I be worried about animal quarantine? If his papers are fine and he bites someone, will they still release him?

  16. jennalee

    Hello! GREAT BLOG POST. This is extremely helpful for me as I am now looking into bringing my pup with me to the ROK later this year.
    I am curious, how big is your white Pom? I’m nervous about finding the right size carrier for my mini Poodle/Affenpinscher mix. He’s about 10 lbs and standing from his legs to his back he’s probably 12in or just a bit over. He looks about the same size as your white Pom, so I’m just wondering if the pet carrier you used would also accommodate his size.
    Thank you again for all the info, this is amazing!

    • talaghemand

      Hello and thank you so much for reading my blog!! I am so glad that it has been so helpful! My white pom is about 8 lbs and he is about 12 inches tall! With that being said, I think that this carrier will work great for your pup!:) Good luck with your Korea adventure! We loved having our dogs with us and you will too!

  17. Viv

    Hello, my husband and I are not sure where we will get stationed. But the closer he gets done with AIT the more it’s looking like South Korea. We are supposedly suppose to leave in June. Do you think its too late to get him ready due to the vaccination? It will only be 3months prior.

    • talaghemand

      Definitely start getting your dog ready now!! It might be cutting it close to the time, but it’s worth trying! The biggest thing is the rabies tieter test. You might want to see if you can get that expedited. I would contact the lab that you are sending it to, to check and see if they do that! Good luck!

  18. Christina Hsiao

    First of all thank you so much for the info you have provided on this blog– I came across it when I was Googling for how to bring my dog with me to Korea for a 1 week vacation in October of this year. I am researching where to get the titer test and the International Health Certificate now.
    Can you please tell me if I can bring my dog to restaurants in Seoul if I keep him in a carrier? He is a psychiatric service animal for me which is why I am taking him– but in the US I can take him with me everywhere and I am not sure if they will allow me to do that there- especially in restaurants. I have seen Koreans on IG bring their dogs in dog carriers to restaurants and it seems to be OK but I really don’t know how it is there- frowned upon?? I also noticed that most of the hotels I was looking into booking in Myeongdong do not allow pets, so I am now looking into a hotel in Gangnam (one of 3 I found in all of Seoul which are pet friendly) even though I would much rather stay in Myeongdong.
    If you have any info on this matter can you please let me know?

    • talaghemand

      Hello and thank you for reading my blog!! I apologize that it has taken me a few days to respond. I’m in the States now so sometimes it takes me a while to check my blog. I’m so glad that it has been helpful in answering some questions you might have!! Now to answer the questions you have for me now – Unfortunately I am unsure about both questions you are asking. When I went to Korea, our apartment was set up for us, so I never looked for a hotel that accommodated dogs. Maybe you could look at some Air B&B rentals and see if they might approve. Also, I never really took my dogs with me to restaurants. I would say that it probably would be okay if you went to a place that had outside seating, but I’m not really sure about indoor places as I never saw a dog or took mine with me. I don’t know how Koreans view service dogs. If you go on Facebook and check out some of the Expat groups’ pages for expats in Seoul, they might be able to help!! Also, if all else fails, there are many street vendors that sell wonderful foods that you eat outside! Hope this helps and good luck with all your travels!!

  19. Lola

    Christina –
    I lived in Seoul from February 2008 until October 2011 and had a Service Dog that was recognized by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare. I just double checked that the laws have not changed; they are the same as they were when I was there other than the FAVN and quarantine requirements.

    First, for public access, they do not recognize Pysch SDs, ESAs, OR Therapy Dogs. During all of my time there, I never saw a pet dog in a restaurant. Technically, the law only recognizes Guides and Hearing Dogs. Those with dogs from an IGDF or ADI program will find approval much easier. While I was there, I know of several teams that approached the MH&W for approval and were turned down

    Also, I saw where people were asking about taking dogs on trains and subways. I saw plenty of purse dogs in carriers, but only large dogs in crates on the trains (not the subways). Guides and Service Dogs are allowed uncrated.

  20. Amanda


    I was wondering if you knew of any dog breed restrictions? While searching online I can’t find any solid answers. One websites says there there are and has a list but doesn’t give any sources.

    • talaghemand

      Hello!! Sorry it took me a few days to respond! I have never heard of a breed restriction list. I don’t remember coming across one when we were looking to go to Korea. I am assuming it might be for bigger dogs maybe known to be aggressive? I think maybe check some of the expat groups on Facebook or the group “Airborne Animals” and see if they might be able to help out! It’s a closed group, but they are always accepting requests to join, and there are many people in the group who can help!

      Hope this helps and good luck!!

    • Ali

      I’m one of the mods of the Airborne Animals group. Which breed are you curious about? I know of one woman specifically who brought her pit bull, if that’s the breed you have.

      • Amanda

        Yes, I have a pit bull. So many places have banned them I was wondering if South Korea was one of them.

      • Ali

        Hi there! Sorry it took me so long to get back with you. I just spoke with someone who brought their Pit Bull here from the US. She said they aren’t banned in Korea but her only option was to fly United via cargo in a steel-locked cage. Flying cargo is very expensive so keep that in mind. If you want some recommendations for pet shipping companies, just let me know or request to join the Airborne Animals group.

  21. SC

    Hi there, I’m planning on bringing my dog to Korea too, but I find these regulations ridiculous. There are some owners who don’t approve of microchipping, and I’m one of them, and the first regulation definitely violates the owner’s right of way of taking care of their dog. It’s inputting something into their bodies and there may be side effects. Also, the costs of tests and so many other ridiculous certificates. Is the Korean government going to compensate for the expenses it’s charging me? It’s not like they have so many restrictions on incoming human babies. I’m really frustrated with them – I’m not taking it out on you; I just want an opinion as a fellow dog owner. Could you let me know what you think? Thanks x

    • Ali

      Honestly, you can complain about Korea’s regulations (Australia, South Africa and the UK are MUCH worse) but if you’re planning to bring your pet here, you will HAVE to do these things or your dog will be quarantined at your expense until the regulations are met. You will NOT be reimbursed by the Korean government.

    • talaghemand


      Thank you for reading my blog! I am sorry about your frustration. Every person taking their dog into Korea has been in your shoes. Unfortunately, these are just the steps you have to take to get your pet into Korea. Korea is actually one of the “easier countries” to get your dog into, if you follow all the steps. They are a lot though, and I understand you are frustrated, but your dog will not be allowed in the country and will be put into quarantine (at your expense), if you don’t follow all these rules, yet still try to bring them in. Korea does not think like the United States, when it comes to violations of owners rights with pets, so even if you don’t agree with microchipping, if you don’t microchip your dog (with the correct microchip), your dog won’t be allowed in. One of the very first things they do when you take your dog off the plane and to Animal Customs and Quarantine, within the airport, is scan for that microchip. Also, though I agree with you that the cost of all these tests/procedures are expensive, the Korean government frankly could care less and they will not reimburse you. They see it as your choice of wanting to bring your dog into their country, so you must follow their rules.

      I know it can be overwhelming and frustrating, especially when thinking of everything you must do, but if you do everything on time and according to the rules, your dog will breeze through quarantine with no wait time, and you will have your precious fur baby with you! If I were you, I would just bite the bullet, get all the stuff done, and get it over with. Unfortunately you really don’t have any other choice and the last thing you’d want is not doing something right, and then having to pay for your dog in quarantine until you fixed it (which could cost you triple the amount than if you do it right the first time).

      Good luck!!

  22. Bianca

    Hi! I’m leaving for Korea in a little less than two months (just found out a week or so ago). I’d like my pup to come with me, but it seems like I’d need more time to get all this stuff done. He has an appointment to get a microchip next week. He had his rabies shot last November and is set to get his new one again this Novemver. However, to wait 30 days after that to do the blood test and then another 30 days to get the results will be too late! Do you happen to know if you can do the blood test before the rabies shot (seeing as he’s already had one, albeit almost a year ago) or does it have to be after his most recent shot?


    • talaghemand

      HI Bianca,

      Thank you for reading my blog!! To answer your question, though I’m not a vet (double check with your vet just incase!!), I think you should be fine just going ahead and getting the tieter test done! A rabies shot should be good for 3 years, so if you got it last November, your dog’s blood should reflect that! You can even talk you your vet about getting the new rabies shot and getting the blood drawn and sent for the tieter test on the same visit. Your vet will probably be able to advise more on that, but more than likely your dog’s tieter test should be fine.

  23. Raspberry Dreamer

    Lovely, you did a Wonderful job at talking about how easy/hard it was to travel with your pets. I have two cats and one dog. And as I am hopefully going to go to South Korea for college, I am happy to finally find a reliable resource that helps me out!

    Thank you dear!


    • talaghemand

      Thank you so much for your comment!! I’m so happy my blog could help! Good luck on your move to South Korea for college! You will love it!! πŸ™‚

  24. Susan

    Hello, thanks for all the information on your blog. I’m actually Korean-American who has brought a poodle from Korea to the US with little hassle, but would like to take him back to Korea next year for about a year. He’s about 10 pounds. I used Korean Airlines and when bringing him to the US I was told he would have to be in cargo. Although I didn’t like it, I thought I had no choice in the matter. Not sure if you mentioned it anywhere in your blog but may I ask how big your dogs were? Also, I was told that the carrier had to be metal or plastic or a combination of the two, but yours looks like it’s mesh/fabric. Could I ask about that as well?
    Thank you πŸ™‚

    • talaghemand

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you so much for reading my blog and I’m so glad that it could help!! Sorry it took me a few days to respond! It’s so exciting that you are taking your dog with you to Korea. I think being a 10 lb poodle, you could possibly take him with you in cabin, depending on the airline. Our dogs are and were(when we flew) both an average of 8 lbs (with it changing between 1 lb more or less on any given day). I remember researching at that time and remember how Korean Air had a stricter weight policy. I think my dogs were so close to being on the heavier side of their limit of weight to fly in cabin, so we flew with United Airlines which (at that time) had a more relaxed weight limit of I believe 12 lbs in cabin (double check on that though!). We loved our carriers and had no issue with them. They were a mesh fabric and were very light when we carried them with the dogs inside. If you fly in cabin I know mesh carriers are fine, they just have to meet the size and dimensions the airline you fly requires . If the dog flies cargo though, it must be a metal or plastic carrier. Each airline policy is different so definitely double check everything, but I think with a 10 lb dog, you should have no problem finding an airline to accommodate him being with you in cabin. Some airlines check weight but most don’t so as long as he looks 10 lbs and is in the weight range the airline accepts, you won’t have any issues!! Good luck! πŸ™‚

      Btw- I just checked the company where we purchased our carriers (Teafco) and I realized that the link I posted to their website is not finding our model of carrier anymore (We had the Argo baby) and that Amazon is selling other carriers by them for a very expensive price, so definitely check into other mesh carriers that might work! I’ll update that section of my blog!

      • Susan

        Oh wow, thanks for the (very detailed) reply! There’s such a dearth of information out there regarding pet travel to Korea that first-hand experience is good to know. As for carriers, I’m currently looking at the Sherpa Delta Pet Carrier in Medium. Hopefully I won’t be turned away from the ticketing counter, which is my biggest fear.

        Would you happen to know if you have to pay the pet travel fee for each individual flight you’re on? To clarify, if I have to take AA first, then Korean Air, would I have to pay the $125 AND the $200 for each airline?

        Thanks again πŸ™‚

      • talaghemand

        Hi Susan!! When we bought our flights to Korea, we only paid a single air fee for each dog, even though we had two separate flights. We flew only through United though, so I believe that is why. Unfortunately I’m not sure if you have to pay a pet fee per airline, but my gut instinct is telling me that you might have to. I’d definitely double check that though!! πŸ™‚

  25. Susan

    Okay, so I’m leaving for Korea in 3 days. I just wanted to stop by and thank you again because your blog had the most comprehensive, clearly-stated information out of anything I’ve looked at, and that included the info on the crappy official Korean government site for pet import. The vets at my clinic were astonished that I wasn’t using a pet relocating service (which costs 1000s but apparently a lot of people utilize since they find the whole business overly complicated), and I told them that I didn’t need to because I knew all the steps involved, thanks to you. So I’m very grateful. You’re doing God’s work, lol.
    Thanks again for the detailed info and taking the time to respond Wish you the best in whatever it is you’re doing and take care πŸ™‚

    • talaghemand

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! It made my night! I’m so happy my post was able to help you and you are going to love having your pet with you on your journey to Korea. Good luck on your upcoming travels! I wish you all the best! πŸ™‚

  26. Milly Schmidt

    Hi Tara! I’m thinking of teaching English in South Korea next year (Spring 2019), but the only thing stopping me at the moment is my dog. She’s a cavalier and I can’t really live without her! Another problem is, I live in Australia so it’s really difficult to bring animals back due to our super strict quarantine laws – I’d probably have to stay in South Korea until my dog died of old age, which might not be for another 3-5 years! LOL. I wish I lived in the US, it seems so much easier to bring them back home!

    I’d really like to work at a Public school over there (one of best friends worked at a public school with her husband and loved it), but I now realise that won’t be possible if I want to bring my dog. As you said to someone else, I could always do a bit of research to find a reputable private school, or I could work for a year on my own and then bring her over if I wanted to stay longer. Oh and I don’t think I’ll be able to fly with my dog in cabin, which is another deterrent (cavaliers are usually 13-20 pounds). The thought of putting her through the trip alone (even if only 10 hrs direct) is a terrifying one. Anyway, thanks for a wonderful article, it’s given me some hope that I may be able to apply next year! If I ever get over there, I’ll definitely have to blog about it too! Thanks, Milly

    • talaghemand

      Hi Milly! Thank you for reading my blog and reaching out!! If you choose to come to Korea and you were able to get a school to let you bring your dog, you would definitely have an easier transition! I agree that the older the dog gets the harder it is, but if you did choose to bring your furry pal, I don’t think you’d regret it! Korea is also becoming more and more dog friendly which is great! πŸ™‚ Good luck with whatever you choose to do in the future! Korea is an awesome place! πŸ™‚


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