Traveling with Pets
Traveling overseas with a pet requires additional planning and preparation. We all love our pets like family, but remember that bringing pets to South Korea is a privilege, not an entitlement. As such, the Contract Travel Office (CTO), does not book pet flights, but they can book your Soldier and family on a pet-friendly flight with the CTO contracted airline Patriot Express or other airline if authorize to travel commercially. All costs associated with pet travel are at your expense. Commercial airline carriers may have specific pet policies or limitations that further restrict pet travel. Traveling with pets requires a lot of pre-planning. Do not forget to connect with your sponsors and read all the associated material related to travel and South Korean Requirements. Just remember that everyone’s experience traveling with pets is different and pre-planning as far in advance as possible will pay off.
Note: Soldiers traveling without dependents will stay in barracks or senior leader quarters and pets are not authorized in those facilities.
Note: Due to increasing airline restrictions on pets, many families are running into trouble getting their pet OUT of Korea. Pet exportation costs, depending on the size of the animal, can cost upwards of $15,000 as of April 2021. Before deciding to bring your pet, please do your research and decide if the risk of high exportation costs is worth it. Abandoning your animal in Korea is punishable via UCMJ IAW USFK 40-5.
Note: Note: Please keep in mind that certain medications, prescription diets, and services are unavailable through the military veterinary clinics in Korea. Before deciding to bring your pet, do your research and decide if the level of care needed is available at your location.
Planning Pet Travel
There are currently only two ports of entry for pets (dogs and cats) into the Republic of Korea (ROK):
- Osan Air Force Base – Patriot Express Contracted Flight
Note: Due to the absence of pet accommodations at Osan Air Base, the Osan Air Base Terminal is unable to accept pets traveling without their owners or a designated representative
Note: Designated representatives traveling with pets on the PATRIOT EXPRESS must possess a “Designation of Representative for Privately-Owned Small Animal” form signed by the pet owner
- Incheon International Airport – commercial and cargo arrivals
Note: Pets traveling without their owner or a designated representative must enter Korea through the Incheon International Airport.
There are no specific dog restrictions listed entering Korea; however, some airlines have specific guidelines for transporting certain breeds and larger dogs.
Pet Quarantine - The Quarantine Inspection Agency determines if your pet meets all requirements for entry into Korea. To help avoid quarantine, be sure you have a valid, original rabies certificate, original, current, passing FAVN results; and completed (no empty fields) health certificate (USDA Veterinary Health Certificate for Export of Dogs and Cats from the United States of America to Korea). Follow instructions and checklists listed below in related documents.
Regulations and requirements can change and Soldiers planning to relocate with pets should review related documents below and the 106th Medical Detachment (Veterinary Service Support) website at: www.korea.amedd.army.mil/veterinary/index.html