July 18, 2013
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!