If you decide to bring a pet to or adopt one in Korea, it’s important to be aware of essential etiquette and legal regulations regarding pet ownership. Some violations can result in fines. As the population of those raising a pet is increasing, the rules are getting a little stricter. Here are some things to know so you and your furry friend can enjoy your time on the Peninsula.

Things to know

  • All pets must be registered to a local office. SOFA status personnel are required to follow base rules.

  • When outside, you must use a leash or a pet carrier. Violation of this rule may result in a fine between 200,000 won to 500,000 won. The leash should not exceed 2 meters in length, and the pet carrier must have a lock to prevent escape.

  • When outside, be prepared with waste bags and tissues to clean up after your dog. A failure to follow the regulation can result in a 500,000 won fine.

  • In multi-unit housing, apartment houses, studio flat and dorms, pets must be on a leash or in a pet carrier.

  • Since local housing is mostly apartment-style living, you’ll notice there aren’t many large dogs around. Koreans are not accustomed to large breeds, so in order to avoid terrifying neighbors, use extra caution when taking your big furry buddy out.

No–pet zones

  • National parks don’t allow pets to enter except service dogs.

  • Many beaches may have restrictions on pet entry. Certain coastal areas like Dadohae Sea, Hallyeo Sea, and Taean Coast are designated as national parks, where pet entry is legally prohibited. Even in non-national park beaches, there may be signs prohibiting pets during the summer vacation season (July to August). If you plan to swim with your dog during the summer, it’s recommended to check if the beach is pet-friendly. Some dog-friendly beaches include Ggotji Beach in Taean, Myeongsa Beach in Geoje Island, and Gwangjin Beach in Yangyang.

  • Most local parks are good places to take a pet for a walk, but some parks and playground have signs prohibiting pets.

  • Also, most restaurants, cafes, and many convenience facilities don’t allow pet entry unless it’s a service dog. So it’s important to check before going to specific places with your pet.

Restrictions regarding dangerous dog breeds

  • American Pit Bull Terriers, Tosa, American Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and mixed-breed dogs with these breeds are categorized as the five dangerous dog breeds in Korea.

  • For these breeds, you must use a muzzle as well as a leash when taking them outside. Violation can result in a 3,000,000 won fine.

  • The following areas restrict the entry of the dangerous dogs: kindergartens, nurseries, elementary schools, special schools for disabled children, facilities for the elderly, facilities for the disabled, children’s parks and children’s play facilities.

Off–leash pet playgrounds near the base Check out these pet playgrounds near US bases where your pets can freely run and make some friends! Proof that your dog is registered is required. Please note that some of parks may restrict the entry of the five dangerous dog breeds.

- Modumaru in Agro-Ecological Park near Camp Humphreys • Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Nov.-Feb.), 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Mar.-Oct.) • Address: 1033, Sukseok-ri, Oseong-myeon, Naver Map

- Ichung Leports Park near Osan Airbase • Hours: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Closed on Mon. and holidays) • Address: 149 Janganut-gil, Pyeongtaek-si, Naver Map

- Dongnak Park near Daegu • Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Closed on Mon.) • Address: 491 Jung-ri, Seokjeok-eup, Chilgok-gun, Naver Map

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