Whether you’re traveling through Seoul with a pet, have a pet back home, or just want to spend some time with some friendly critters, Seoul is more than pet-friendly and has many options of places!
Many hotels in Seoul recognize an increasing number of individuals are traveling with their pet companions. Hotels like the Four Seasons Seoul, Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam, Hotel Cappuccino, Oakwood Premier Hotel Coex, and Aloft Seoul Gangnam are just a few properties that not only allow pets but even certain amenities and perks for your pet. Check with the respective hotels for more information and do note that some hotels may charge a separate fee to ensure there’s not only room for your pet but also that they are well-fed, happy, and comfortable. Please note that there are also many pet hotels around the city allowing your pet to stay safely and under supervised care for short and long periods.
If you’re looking for a grooming session for your pet or if he or she is a bit under the weather, there’s numerous vets all around the city but there’s a large concentration of vegs and grooming centers in Chungmuro. The “pets market” here has been in business since the 70s and in addition to numerous medical and grooming professionals, there are many pet supply stores as well.
Seoul has three dog parks that are open this year. They can be found at the Children’s Grand Park in Gwangjingu next to the Guui Gate parking lot, in the Sangamdong World Cup Park (next to the Peace Park parking lot), and within Boramae Park in Dongjaggu (in the park’s south side). These parks are open from Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 8 PM and are free, though bags to clean up after your dog and leashes are required. Kids under 13 years old must be accompanied by an adult for safety. There may also be rules about sizes of dogs permitted and microchip requirements so call the park you want to visit ahead for more information.
Enjoying Seoul’s varied dining and café scene is a must for any visitors. Luckily for pet owners, there’s an increasing number of restaurants and cafes that welcome pets. A larger concentration of pet-friendly establishments are particularly found around places like Itaewon, Mangwondong, Hongdae, Gangnam, and other neighborhoods that are popular with younger demographics. A number of pet cafes have also sprung around the city allowing you to bring your pets with space for them to play and interact with others while you enjoy some drinks and snacks. Some pet cafes charge an entry fee while others do not and simply requires each person to purchase a beverage.
Of course, if you’re simply an animal lover who are interested in some interaction with pets, Seoul is quite well-known for their pet cafes which are usually divided into cat or dog cafes. These cafes are found in most popular neighborhoods such as Gangnam, Myeongdong, Hongdae, and Itaewon. You can even find unique animal-themed cafes including a sheep café, a raccoon café, and even a meerkat café in Seoul!
Animal shelters and volunteer centers are found throughout Korea, including a few in Seoul. CARE operates two adoption centers in Seoul – one in Dongdaemun and another in Damshimni- while Rescue Korea operates a number of shelters around the country. Another great resource is Animal Rescue Korea. Some of these organizations also regularly hosts volunteer opportunities as well so check with their homepages for more information.
Lastly, Korea has its own set of strict rules and norms for visitors and their pets including regulations on bringing them in and out of the country, documents required, etc so do plenty of research beforehand. Also make sure you read up on other city rules such as leash requirements as failure to do so may result in fines!