Leaving Korea with a Dog

Well, Thursday was my fly out date. I paid a little more for my ticket so that I could get a direct flight from S. Korea to USA. It was TOTALLY worth it. I hate layovers and I didn’t want too much stress on my dog.  So there were a couple of things that I had to do to prepare for leaving Korea with my dog. Again, these are just procedures for Korea to USA; each country has their own specific needs.

1.  At least 30 days before she left Korea (but less than one year), she needed to receive her Rabies vaccination.   I needed the vet to provide me a certificate saying that he had administered her vaccine with the date of injection.

2. Buying a kennel. I actually bought her kennel well in advance, but then she destroyed it and I had to buy another. Finally found one. So for the kennels, they need to have metal screws to attach the top and bottom halves. (It cannot be secured solely with plastic clips). The wing nuts can be plastic or metal, though. The door should be spring locked. I had to buy a water bottle to attach to the door as well as a food dish (luckily the food dish came with the kennel.) The sides had to be ventilated. Korean Air has a max size/weight; luckily my dog fit the max–just barely. 32kg  and the dimensions cannot exceed 246cm (L+W+H). something absorbent should also be in there (i.e. a blanket) but NO toys. A dog should be able to stand in there and the ears shouldn’t touch the top of the cage. As you can see, her cage is a little extra spacious because she’s rather tall.



Sue Jung in a kennel


3. Adding her to my flight ticket. After I booked my ticket online, I called the airline to add her to my plane ticket. They asked for the dimensions of the kennel and for the combined weight. I didn’t have to pay anything.

4. A 15-digit ISO Microchip. I’m not sure if this was necessary, but it’s highly recommended for any pets travelling. I bought one and had it inserted.

5. Within 10 days of flying out, I had to take her to my vet to get a health certificate. It’s just a form saying that everything is normal and she can fly.

6. The Airport Quarantine Office. I had an early flight, so I decided to go to the quarantine office the day before my flight to avoid any complications/delays. It was really simple. I went there with her and her paperwork. I had to fill out a form. The guy at the desk took the papers and my completed form, made copies and then gave me two forms (an original and a duplicate) saying that she was cleared of quarantine. He also scanned her neck for the microchip. I think I had to pay about $10 (10,000 won) and then I was on my way.

7. Plane tickets. The next day was my day to fly out. When I checked in at the counter, I turned in my checked baggage. I had to put my dog (in her kennel) on the baggage scale so they could make sure she wasn’t overweight and then back onto the trolley (provided at the airport).  Her kennel was tagged (like my baggage) and someone came over and wheeled her away.    I was given some paperwork to take over to the excess baggage counter. Once there, I paid $200 USD (or 200,000KRW–I was given a choice) for her and then I received my plane ticket.

8. On the plane. I told the flight attendant that my dog was under the plane, and they said they knew. (Easy.)  By the way–your pet should not be sedated for the flight!! (Most, if not all, airlines will not accept a sedated pet.)

9. Arrival. After I got through immigration, I went down to pick up my luggage. I picked up my bags and then found Sue Jung waiting patiently for me at the help counter!  I don’t think they even asked to see my baggage claim ticket to make sure she was mine. haha.

10. Customs. I did have to claim her on my customs form…I just had to check the box that I was importing an animal and they wrote ‘dog’ for me on the back of the form. I turned in the customs form and didn’t get stopped.

After that, I was home free! Everything was such a breeze. I may have been more stressed about than she was. 🙂  She flew really well. She did pee in her kennel (which was to be expected), but it’s been 2 days now and she isn’t traumatized. It doesn’t get any better than that!





  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    Glad all went well.. sound like to much to do to take a pet along.

  2. could you tell us what airline you used – and where you landed in the USA – hopefully then we can also book on the same airline and same non-stop route

  3. also if you cold tell us what shop your purchased the dog crate from – Thank you

    1. Sure. I used Korean airlines. They have a few locations for direct flights to USA. I ordered my kennel off gmarket. It is a varikennel and cost about 200,000 krw.

  4. Barney the Corgi · · Reply

    Seems like a positive experience, I am glad to read some good flying experiences, I might be flying with my dog from the USA to Europe and it is a long flight but reading this made me feel a lot better!

    1. Europe has a LOT of import rules and regulations for pets. I highly recommend you have all those documents needed and ready to go, or you will have a headache with quarantine. Best of luck!

  5. […] I left Korea, she flew with me, and I learned quite about  flying with a dog on international flights. She also flew with me, again, when I […]

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