Wh…what’s this? A TL;DR on a non-serious topic? We’ve been talking about Korea’s stereotypes against foreigners, Korean sexuality, and Prostitution in Korea, three difficult topics, and now we can talk about puppies and kitties! Yay!

So, this topic was pretty straightforward. We’re talking about some of the things we noticed about pet culture in Korea, and how things have changed over the past five years. All in all, things are getting better for animals. Spudgy’s much more welcomed by people and shops now than he was when we first got him. That’s great! There are a few things we didn’t talk about that we can talk about here:

Non Cats and Dogs in Korea

We haven’t really seen anything for rodents, fish, and lizards in the pet shops here. The only place we actually see stuff for them is in the big supermarkets, like Emart and Home Plus. We’ve seen bunnies and hamsters for sale there as well, and cages for these animals, and wood chips, and such. We couldn’t really check out that much more on it, because Martina had a bunny and two dwarf hamsters growing up, and I know if we spend a few minutes in that section we’ll buy all the animals there and Meemers will torte them since he is a kitty. BAD KITTY! So, from a distance, that’s what we’ve seen, they’re around $5.00 – $30.00. Our friend also once bought a hedgehog from HomePlus! It wasn’t the ideal pet. They’re a lot noisier than you might imagine, what with them running around and collecting all your coins and stuff. Also, Korea has a strange obsession with fish and aquariums so if you’re into that, Korea has got you covered.

Pet Food in Korea

It’s difficult for us to compare the prices of pet food in Korea to pet food in Canada, because we rarely buy food in Canada (except when visiting with Spudgy). So all we can really do is tell you the price and then you can compare it to your own prices. Basically, an average bag of food (not those huge jumbo sacks) costs between 16,000 won to 29,000 won, depending on the make. We try to get Spudgy food whose first ingredient isn’t rice, because that’s just not all too healthy. Something starting with meat is best, it usually starts at 27,000 won or so. Is that expensive comparatively? I’m not sure. We also get Science Diet (Mobility Support) from the local vet, but we can’t get it from most pet stores. We get cans of beef and chicken for Spudgy that costs between 1,500 – 3,500 won depending on the size. For Meemers, the dry cat food is the same price, and we get him wet food that costs between 1,000 won (for a single pouch) to 3,800 won for a big can of fish. The pet stores stock Korean brands, Japanese brands, and American of both cat and dog food and treats.

Info On Dog Care

If you’re looking to adopt an animal in Korea or you want some advice on bringing a dog/cat to and from Korea, we recommend checking out Animal Rescue Korea which have great resources in English/Korean for advice on animal hotels, vets, oversea pet travel, house training, and so on. They have a forum that can help you out as well, and if you’re looking to spend your weekend doing some good, they ALWAYS need extra hands to help walk and play with the animals!

Travel to and From Korea with a Pet, New Quarantine Rules in Korea

As of December 2012 Korea changed their quarantine rules in an attempt to be a rabies free country so the rules are a lot stricter now. At the airport I got a pamphlet from the quarantine office with info on what they need, so feel free to save the picture in this blog post and print it out if you need it! I can’t give you the forum to fill out because, as per Korean tradition, they only have it downloadable as a HWP file, which stands for Hangul Word Press. It really makes me angry because HWP is totally fine for people living in Korea, but when you make an entire website for the government run quarantine office that’s supposed to be for WORLD TRAVEL, why would anyone OUTSIDE of Korea use HWP? They could have put it in a PDF or TXT format, which most people around the world could open no matter what type of computer! Why? WHY?!

Second mini-rant, Korea, STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER 6 AND ACTIVE X! You have the fastest internet in the world with some of the crappiest, picture-bogged down, un-loadable sites. AND you need to accept that PEOPLE USE MACS! Stop making websites built for Windows only! And on top of that, after we got a brand new PC, we find out we STILL can’t do online banking because our version of Windows is TOO MODERN FOR YOUR SHITTY WEBSITES TO HANDLE!!! *arrrghhhhhhh* AND I can’t register to do anything because my name is too long for your log in spaces which are made for Korean length names only! Yet, it’s the special “foreigner English page” and I must type my exact name into that space as found on my alien card to register. My full name is longer than 6 letters! WHO INVENTED THIS PLATFORM!!?? *ARGHHHHGHHHHHHHH*

Haha mini-rant over, sorry. Foreigners living in Korea, you know what I’m talking about. *Martina breathes calmly*

Also, it is really important to note that if you’re traveling from Korea back home to your country that the quarantine office at the airport is NOT OPEN 24/7!! If you arrive after they close, you can’t get the papers you need to travel with your pet and you will be totally screwed.

1. Call the airport and ask the hours of the office that day
2. Call the airline you’re travelling with two weeks in advance and let them know you’re bringing a pet (some places have limited pet allowances)
3. The quarantine office accepts Korean cash only for the paperwork to be completed (last time I checked, let me know if it’s changed)

Here’s the quarantine picture. Click on it for ULTRA MEGA SIZE!

Pet Quarantine Info

  1. Hi Simon and Martina! You guys rock! Can you guys please make a video about dog meat in Korea? Is it a common thing?

  2. https://www.koreanair.com/local/na/gd/eng/cs/sn/eng_cs_sn_pt.jsp . I found this on the korean air website, they allow pets (dogs,cats or birds) under 5kg to be carried on for w200,000 and pets over to be stowed away. There is a lot of info on the page that might be helpful.

  3. So… I came back to see this again, because… Well, because. It’s a good informative video. So where is it? Why is it gone? D:

  4. I know this is kind of an old video. But I was wondering where you guys get your cat food in Seoul? I’m considering moving there sometime this year, and I have a cat I’d be bringing with me. I’m not sure where I’d be living exactly, but there have to be more places that sell cat food other than in ‎‎Itaewon.

    Thanks in advance, to anyone who can answer this question.

  5. hey guise! What airlines have you used to travel with your Spudgy and/or Mr. Meemers? I just adopted a cat through ARK, and I’ll be visiting California this summer, but I’m finding that not many airlines allow pets as carry-ons, and I’d hate to put my cat in cargo. thanks!

  6. If you are looking to bring a pet or ship your pet abroad, HIGH PET RELOCATION can help!
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. I was actually quite surprised that you see so many people who are afraid of cats in Korea, because Korea has a bunch of “cat cafes” where you can buy tea and/or a snack and pet a bunch of cats. Obviously, people who are afraid of cats likely just don’t go to the cat cafes, but perhaps they’re catering to an even smaller group of people than I realized if cat-phobia is that widespread. I like to go with my sister-in-law to these cafes when we visit my husband’s family in Korea because I love cats but he’s allergic so we can’t own one.

  8. Hey guiseeee!

    Thank you for this video :) I am in the process of seriously looking at job opportunities in Korea for next year, but I have a question that few sites seem to answer. Apartment rentals and pets – are pet-friendly places hard to find? What sort of fees are associated with it? If the hiring company is initially paying for the apartment, will they be able to accommodate me bringing a dog if I notify them in advance?
    (On the exciting side of things, if I get a job in Korea, you might see my not-so-small 50 lb pushover of a dog wandering around Seoul! haha)

  9. Go on! Adopt a dog from a shelter! When I adopted mine, no one wanted her because she was ill and didn’t had any fur. Everybody thought she wasn’t gonna last. She’s been three years with me <3 Here's a pic of her after a month of treatment.

  10. so if i come with my full wolf-dog mix people will run i see………

  11. What about parrots? Have you ever seen any parrot or small bird stuff in the stores? I’d like to come to Korea but I’d honestly be heartbroken if I had to leave my cockatiel behind.

  12. We’ve got a cat here in Korea. First we had one that we brought, which died of old age, and we got a new one. Few points which I would add, that are cat-specific: Cats are always free, regardless of race, because nobody wants them. Even at the vet, they are struggling to find – decent and responsible – owners for the litter they have. They are fewer cat-specific vets. All the vets know how to tend a cat, of course, but some are more cat-friendly, which can be reassuring. Those also have more choice of cat products, litterbox, cat tree, scratchers, although nowadays those can be found in bigger marts and online (emart, homeplus, etc.).
    The litter – for the litter box – is very expensive (10000wons for 5kg), so having a cat trained to go to the toilets is even better (but very hard to achieve).

  13. As someone who had their small dog attacked by a larger dog, resulting in a $9000 vet bill and a lot of stressful situations, I really do share Martina’s sentiment about leashing your dog. If you know your dog is aggressive towards other dogs, do not put them in a situation where they can or will attack another dog–they’re animals and can snap without warning. You as a pet owner have a responsibility for the safety of your pet and others around you. My dog was really lucky that he came out of that attack alive, albeit disfigured. However, that other dog is now awaiting trial because the County has decided he has to be put down. People really need to understand that responsibilities in having a pet goes beyond just giving it food and water.

  14. Hey guys,

    Thanks so much for doing a video about this. I’m bringing my 50 lb lab/boxer mix and my 7 lb fat chihuahua to Korea in 2 weeks and a lot of my family have been asking about pets in Korea. I’m happy that now I’ll be able to show them this video, so thanks for making my like easier! Lol

    When we’re in Korea, I would love to meet up with you guys sometime so you can see a big well trained dog in Korea! My big girl, Yubin, is very well trained. And she knows Korean and English too! Lol Pretzel the Chihuhua is very spoiled, but he still listens to his mom pretty well. ^^

    My dogs were also rescues, and I’m so happy you guys mentioned not to buy a puppy from those places! Pretzel was saved from a puppy mill at 4 months old, so I like to say I saved him from a life of prostitution, lol. Yubin was also a rescue, even though she was a puppy. Friends of ours hadn’t fixed their dogs, and they had puppies. Yubin got really sick with parvo and almost died because they didn’t want to spend the money to save her, so I jumped in. About $600 and two weeks later, she was my baby. I’m trying to spread the word to all my friends and family about how not to buy a dog and to adopt instead. Thanks again for putting that out there. Maybe some people will remember that when they go to get a dog. <3

    Here's a picture of my babies cuddling! I hope you like it. ^^ And again, thanks so much for doing this topic.

    Love from Texas (soon to be Jindo Island!),

    Yubin and Pretzel's mom <3

  15. Hi Simon and Martina. I was wondering if you could talk about plastic surgery in Korea and how it has affected the people there. Is it really a common practice, and do teenagers often do it to improve their appearance? How is it viewed as in Korea compared to the U.S? Thanks Simon and Martina. Eatyourkimchi fighting! ~ :)

  16. i know this might soud like an immature question but simon and martina, i was wondering if it is possible for a fan who is not korean and isnt planning on joining the entertainment industry to be able to be in a relationship with their biased idol? so basically cana fan and an idol get married

  17. Speaking of pets and animals, have you ever seen horses in South Korea? How do people react to them? I’m trying to imagine, since even where I live (semi-rural US) most people are afraid of my horse (granted, he’s 8 feet tall and roughly the weight of a small car, but still. :P) I’m curious because even in the big US cities where there are no horses, there is still this “omg horses” thing that a lot of girls are into.

    • I’ve seen horses here in Korea twice, which is not a lot given the amount of time I spent in various Korean countrysides. I was always very suprised because It is not a common sight. 2 were in a box in a village, one was in a small pasture (extremely rare sight! Animals are not usually roaming freely in pasture). There’s also one in Gyeongju which is used for carriage tour

      As for a the reaction of Koreans, they weren’t afraid, but they weren’t going on a detour to pet it either.

  18. Hi guise. How does parenting in Korea differ from parenting in North America? Oh and before I forget, do you want babies? When?

  19. Hey! Having been a mommy of a cat for awhile now and gone through various medical emergencies, I have to say I wish I knew about cats and dry food back when we first got him. We’ve been through several instances of urinary blockages. Those, of course end up in a huge scare (their bladders fill up quickly and their lives are on the line.. becoming listless and in pain etc) and very expensive (The vets have to put them under in order to drain the bladder and clear the blockage).

    Having said that, if I had come across this website when he was younger, I think we could have saved ourselves a few vet bills. I wanted to pass it along to everyone because I think overall it will result in a much healthier cat.


    Its a vet that gives you a very clear explanation of what a cat’s diet should be (or at least try to get as close to as possible). Prior to this it never dawned on me that “Oh hay.. my cat should be eating meat and not dried food.” I think it explains there how cat’s digestive systems tolerate dry food even less so than dogs.. so its really unhealthy for the poor lil kitties. I hope this info helps some or many of you. Obligatory peekshure of Munchkin, our little baby. He was found in a parking lot as a teeny kitten. He grew up so big lol.. but full of love and adores humans for they are sources of pets and fishies for his belly.

  20. What are some qualities that makes a man “manly” in Korea?

  21. Molly’s (in Emart/Emart Traders) has large dog items, like bones, leashes/harnesses/collars, beds… :)

  22. What is exercise culture like in Korea? In North America, it’s all about “getting big” and lifting weights. I’m curious to know the exercise culture is like in Korea, and if it’s almost purely for aesthetic reasons like in North America. Thanks!

  23. I’ve got a question for the EYK crew :3
    i was just wondering about the television programs over in Korea and what kind of shows are aired.

    like, what’s the censorship over there and yes, i know about the korean dramas, variety shows, etc. but is there other stuff like anime or cartoons?

  24. I have a question about pets … sometimes i’m just walking around and i see a dog or a cat and i just go and stroken them (? (i’m sorry i don’t speak english so i don’t know if you’ll understand ) so..what happens in korea? can you just go and do that? :(

  25. This video makes me sad. My dog for 10 years just die on Monday, it broke my heart, and I don’t think I can have another dog for a while. So, for pet owner, cherish all the memory. It’s very important, and you will never know when your love one leave you.

    On another note, I’ve a super fear of cat (for good reason), so if I now of someone who own a cat or there is a cat shop, I shall not even go near it or if I’ve to go somewhere, I will take the long route instead.

  26. What about parrots? I plan to come to Korea after I graduate with my undergrad degree and I own a parrot that I would potentially like to move with me. Do people in Korea own other pets than cats and dogs and do you know if it would be possible to fly over with a bird?

  27. i want to know about sasaeng fans. i’ve been reading articles about some
    things that have happened with different k-pop groups and i want to
    know what people are doing about them. like is anyone trying to stop
    them at all? AND WHERE ARE THE PARENTS!? i’m really concerned about it
    because of some of the articles i read about them like when an Exo fan
    purchased the same van as them and Luhan almost got in and also the
    rioting at Changsha Airport when Exo arrived. i just recently heard of
    these “fans” and i’m surprised about what these people do and it really
    concerns me. to be honest i’m actually scared to go to k-pop concerts
    now because i know that there will be sasaengs there and i know that
    they will threaten and hurt regular fans as well as the idols. i want to
    know what people are doing about it. PLEASE CAN YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT

  28. It’s so sad people aren’t educated enough to take care of their animals… but then again the same goes for being well educated before taking care of a baby… education is quite a big word… in my country people don’t clean after their dogs either T_T… argh sometimes I wish I was able to promulgate laws TT_TT…

    Thank you for the video! It was nice to see you talk about a more happier topic :)


  29. Dude, can our babies have a doggie playdate?? XD Although my Bernie might not be able to handle Spudgy’s suaveness. kkkk

    I must say that I can’t agree enough with how wonderful Animal Rescue Korea is. Not only did I find my dog through them, they have great information on everything about having a dog in Korea, from English-speaking vets to the international travel process. And it is possible to adopt a puppy, instead of an older dog (although older dogs are awesome!!), if that’s what you want. My dog’s mom was abandoned when she got pregnant, and one of the ARK regulars took her and her surviving baby in until someone could adopted them. Unfortunately, as Simon&Martina said, pets as family members, more than just pets, hasn’t become a standard here yet, so abandoning pets when they become inconvenient is a fairly common occurrence.

    It’s also true that it’s still hard finding things like doggie-daycare, although there is a pretty big pet-sitting/dog-walking network run by foreigners through facebook. I’m hoping the daycare especially will catch on more, so I can leave my dog to play with other dogs during the day~! It’d also be nice if apartment policy would catch up too. Most apartments here have a no-pet policy, so many people with pets have to try to conceal their existence. Luckily my current landlord is really nice, but worried about the next place… >.<

    Thanks for the great and informative vid, EYK~~ <3

  30. Very cool for raising dog adoption awareness! My heart shattered when it was mentioned puppymills are big business in Korea. I volunteer for the Italian Greyhound Rescue, and I understand wanting to rescue every last dog.

    On a happier note, here is my adopted family racing through the dog park. It’s true that the older dogs are easier to train and less stress than puppies!

    • My family had a retired racing greyhound for 14 years, and the deciding factor on my new vet was that they have several greyhounds in the staff-family. I’ve seen one of them every time one of the cats has to go in and it always makes my eyes well up a bit. Our Maggie was one of the best dogs ever. After she learned how stairs work and how not to poop in the house, anyway. =D

  31. Department of Reunion is apparently a country. Anyone know where that’s located? (See pamphlet in blogpost)

  32. HI @simonandmartina:disqus maybe you shoud do a shoutout to TAEMAN today as it is his birthday :)

  33. *spudgy voice* “that’s right, bitches.”

  34. I’m really glad that pets are becoming more common in Korea because they gradually become accepted as being part of the family and then people start to care more about animal rights.

    I’ve noticed a big difference between Seoul and countryside areas. I’ve seen things that have made me want to cry for days in the rural areas of Korea…. dogs that are tied up for their entire lives so they can’t walk properly. Whole rows of dogs crammed into cages (not even the type of dog people eat), exposed to the weather and sitting in their own urine and faeces. I’ve seen such sad dogs with matted hair and fleas and bald patches that are treated like total shit… Rural areas especially need a lot of education about animals.

    I know what you mean about people not understanding the importance of training. We lived with this Korean couple in Sydney in a small apartment and they got a Malamute puppy! A huge puppy in an inner city apartment! And they work all day and think the dog will be fine by itself! So ridiculous. I was so shocked and tried to intervene a bit because I did do a course on dog training and animal care. The dog would never listen to them but would listen to me (because I went through basic commands with it).. it was only a puppy but already biting and drawing blood. The guy in this couple refused to take the dog to puppy school, he was very stubborn and arrogant. The dog of course became too much to handle and one day just disappeared…. so unfair and sad for the dog…. I don’t know what happened to it.

  35. speaking of vets,, I didn’t know it was much cheaper than western countries, but I do know that healthcare fees are much higher here than healthcare for people. How is it back in Canada? Are healthcare for pets more expensive than for people?

  36. My boyfriend and I might end up moving to Korea in the next couple of years. Our dog is 75kgs & like 1m in height. Spudgy can horse ride him.

  37. hello~ I think it would be interesting for the crew to talk about celebrities dating in korea. (not only idols but actors and variety people, etc.) because in the majority of countries this is something pretty normal, sure there’s always gossips and stuff, but in S.K. sometimes it seems like they are fine with it and other times it turns to be a completely scandal. I guess I’m curious about what conditions make it a scandal? :s thank you!!

    P.s: Eat your Kimchi is amazing`~~~~~ I love you guys!

    • Yeah, it’s delicious. You can find it in the big supermarkets now. Mind you, it’s farmed kangaroo not wild. But every now and then we do get times when there are kangaroo population explosions and professional hunters are sent out to cull the herds. I don’t see any problem with it as long as it’s done humanely. Kangaroos aren’t endangered btw.

  38. I am so happy you chose this topic! I have been nervous at the thought of bringing my dog overseas. She is a big 50lb mush and I remember in one video you said people were scared of Spudgy- they may have a heart attack with my dog then.

    Is the quarantine mandatory for any dogs or just those without microchip/vaccination proof? I couldn’t read the form very well.

  39. Look! Its Super Poop Man!

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