Pets In Korea
If you intend to ship a pet to the Republic of Korea, contact your local veterinarian to learn about specific shots and additional medical advice including breed restrictions. The export process involves:
- Updating vaccinations
- Completing disease testing
- Obtaining a health certificate from a qualified veterinarian
- Having your paperwork reviewed and endorsed by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The Republic of Korea requires pets (including military pets/dogs) be current on rabies vaccinations (given at least 30 days prior to arrival in Korea), have an ISO-compliant microchip, receive a rabies-neutralization antibody test (0.5 IU/ml or higher), and be accompanied by a valid health certificate including government endorsement.
For the most current information on importing and exporting pets between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea as well as required documents, see the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The cost of transporting a pet to your new duty station is the owner’s responsibility. Pets must be flown to Korea via commercial airline. AMC flights cannot transport pets into Korea.
There are restrictions on pet travel into Korea from May through September due to extreme temperature. For international flights, you will need an International Pet Carrier that is the appropriate size for your pet and compliant with your designated airline's pet traveling rules. Ask your airline for exceptions to the policy. If you pet is traveling in the main cabin, contact your airline or code share for airplane underseat measurements and weight restrictions.
To leave the Republic of Korea, by Korean law, all dogs and cats must have:
- Proof of a rabies vaccination within the last year (not sooner than 30 days)
- U.S. health certificate issued by a military veterinarian within 10 days of departure
- Korean health certificate, preferably on the day of departure*
*The Korean health certificate may be obtained up to three days prior to departure and is issued by a Korean veterinarian.
For the most current information on returning with your pet, please see the U.S. Department of State website on Pets and International Travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on bringing a pet to the U.S., or the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
Military Veterinary Services
The closest U.S. military Veterinary Treatment Facility (VTF) is located at Camp Walker in USAG Daegu, 1.5-hour drive north. The Veterinary Clinic (DSN: 315-764-4858) provides routine and urgent medical care for pets. The clinic also has a stray animal facility that can help you to adopt a healthy pet.
The main U.S. military veterinary clinic for the Korean Peninsula is located at USAG Yongsan in Seoul (DSN: 315-737-2450).
The 106th Medical Detachment Veterinary Service Support makes periodic visits to CFAC in Chinhae. Veterinary visits are coordinated through the Medical Clinic and advertised in advance. Pre-registration is required to schedule an appointment and you must have an appointment to have your pet(s) seen by the visiting veterinarian. Cash payment is required; credit cards are not accepted.
Please visit the 106th Medical Detachment Veterinary Service Support for comprehensive information about Veterinary Services provided in Korea.
There are no U.S. Military pet boarding kennels available in Chinhae. This service is available at the USAG Yongsan’s Pet Care Center in Seoul (DSN: 315-736-6426) and the Osan Boarding Kennel on Osan Air Force Base (DSN: 315- 784-4314). For more information, please see the Yongsan Pet Care Center website and the Osan Boarding Kennel website.
Local Pet Services
Veterinary Services - English speaking vets are available in the Chinhae and greater Changwon area as well as emergency pet hospitals.
Boarding and Dog Daycare - There are a few boarding facilities and fewer dog daycares but they do exist. Keep in mind that the hours for services vary as do the size of pets accepted so doing research ahead of time is a must.
Pet Products and Food - The market for pet products is fairly well established in Korea with familiar pet brands available at local grocery store chains.
Medium to Large Breed Dogs - If your dog is over 25lbs there are services and products available to you but they may be limited. Koreans do own medium to large breed dogs but they are less common.
Cultural Notes: Pets are very popular in Korea and the market is growing. Similar to the U.S. you are required to clean up after your pet and avoid walking them in areas marked with a "no dog" sign. Please also be aware of dog leash and muzzle laws that may pertain to your breed.