Shipping your pet to Korea is relatively easy depending on your pet’s country of origin and what kind of animal your pet is. If your dog or cat doesn’t need to be quarantined , then you pick pick it up at the airport the same day that it arrives. It is forbidden, however, to bring your pet along with you in the airplane – you must send the pet cargo. With the right documentation, your pet can be shipped to Korea with little to no fuss, and with some great pet travel companies based in Seoul, all of the work can be taken care of for you. This includes shipping a pet back to your home country, if you plan on moving back after an extended period of time.
- Here is a helpful website with pet travel policies from Korean Air:http://www.pettravel.com/airline_pet_rules/koreanair.cfm
- This wesbite will help you download the necessary forms for getting your “pet passport”: http://pettravelstore.com/categories/Pet-Passports/
Cats and dogs coming from Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Jamaica, Fiji, Hawaii, Samoa, Cyprus, Norway, Ireland, Great Britain, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal or Finland will not require any rabies vaccination certificates or quarantine. All other cats and dogs will require a certificate from their vet stating that they have been vaccinated for rabies. However, if your pet does not have the proper paper work from the vet, or is not coming from one of the countries listed above, then it will need to be quarantined for at least 10 days after arriving in the country.
If your pet must be quarantined then you will need these documents to pick them up after ten days:
- Certificate of excess baggage.
- Copy of health certificate.
- Copy of owner’s military orders (if applicable).
- Proof of identification.
- Power of attorney if you are acting as the owners representative.
Cats and dogs under three months of age (from all countries) do not require rabies vaccination but will need a note from their vet stating that they are in good health and do not have any diseases or parasites.
Pet birds will always require five days of quarantine upon arriving in Seoul unless they have already been quarantined in their home country. In this case, they will need a certificate of quarantine from their home country and will still require one day of quarantine in Seoul.
Restrictions when leaving Korea will depend on the country that you are going to, as each country is different. Make sure to check the regulations and fees regarding bringing animals into your country from Korea as well. They will most likely need to be quarantined for a certain length of time.
Now you have all of the paper work complete and you are ready to ship your pet to the Land of the Morning Calm…
The first thing you should do when considering shipping your pet to Korea is the comfort of your pet. Is it better to go with a pet travel company, which is more expensive but more comfortable for your pet, or can you ship the pet from your home country yourself? Should you sedate your pet or would this be dangerous? All of this information can usually be found at your local vet’s office, and of course, your pet’s veterinarian will know what’s best for your pet, so it is highly recommended to talk to your vet before making plans for shipping your pet.
Secondly, you should look into reputable pet shipping companies. Two reputable pet shipping companies used by expats in Korea are : Pet Airline (http://www.petairline.co.kr), and Action Pet Express (http://www.actionpetexpress.com/).
They can ship your pet to or from Korea and provide other services such as finding the right size kennel for your pet and making sure they are adequately cared for during stopovers and before their flight. Expats use Pet Airline almost exclusively for all of their pet travel needs and are satisfied with their service. Probably the best part about using a pet travel company is the fact that they know exactly what paperwork you will need for what type of pet and depending on from where in the world your pet is traveling. They also arrange pick up and transportation to the airport, if the kennel you are using is large or if you are flying out on a different day from your pet.
Pet Airline works with several sister companies, so if you are trying to find a reputable company to use in your home country, you should contact them and they will give you the correct contact info.
Make sure to get the right paperwork and vaccinations for your pet before they leave (usually, you can get the rabies vaccinations done up to ten days before your pets travel). You can get all the necessary paperwork directly from your pet’s veterinary.
Once you get their shots and vaccinations, you will to photocopy the documents and send the copy to your pet travel company. Keep the original documents with your pet, and when the company comes to pick your pet up you can hand over the originals – they will need those at the airport.
For the flight itself, make the kennel comfortable for your pet, avoid sedation unless is it absolutely necessary and leave any toys or blankets inside the kennel so your pet can still smell their home. It will makes things easier for them. Obviously, the journey to Seoul is a long and stressful one, but many expats have shipped their pets and have found that their pets get over their experience quickly and easily.