Originally not the best place in the world to have a pet, Seoul is now as pet-friendly as any Western city, with specialized vets for cats and dogs, pet shops (mostly selling tiny puppies) and a few adoption options among expats if you’re interested in making an addition to your family.
There are a shocking amount of stray and orphaned animals in Seoul, and expats have a few organizations set up to help abandoned or abused animals find permanent homes with other expats. It’s easy to send your pet to and from Korea, if you have the money and use a reputable pet travel company.
You can find pet food and other supplies in any vet office or at large grocery/home stores like Emart or Homeplus. While lots of Koreans own dogs, dogs larger than a poodle or a Maltese are rare and Koreans, in general, dislike cats (although as Korean superstitions such as the “cats are thieves” folktale die down, more Koreans are buying purebred cats). Most cats you see in Seoul, sadly, will be on the street. Other pets, such as hamsters and small rabbits are popular with Koreans as they fit into their apartments more easily than a dog or cat.
On average, it is very inexpensive to own a pet in Seoul. Vet bills, food and other supplies can be less than 50,000 won a month. Purebred dogs can range in price from 200,000 won to over a million, depending on what breed and how rare the breed is in Korea. Cats can range from 100,000 won to about a million, and smaller pets can be as inexpensive as 10,000 won for a hamster and 20,000 won for a bunny.