It is safe to say that the success of bringing a dog here to Ulsan much depends on your living situation. Although we are in an apartment complex with relatively many areas of grass and a short distance from hiking trails and plentiful sidewalks, not everyone has this experience.
Transport to Korea
See the page on moving a pet abroad, which has more detailed information preparing and transporting your dog by air to another country.
Based on our limited experience here, the best vet we have found is in Busan, and is over an hour’s drive away. This will do for an annual visit, but not for a small need (a quick vaccination for example) or an emergency. So far we have only visited one veterinarian in Ulsan (Dong-gu), which wasn’t the best experience and I no longer have the information. We have some friends who went to East Ulsan Dog and Cat Clinic, which is in Dong-gu as well, and they had a mediocre experience as well. There is a veterinary hospital next to Home plus that has multiple stories, and we may check it out on the next necessary occasion, but the best I can recommend at this point is Dr. Mina Seo at PetCare Animal Hospital in Busan. Her English is wonderful and she is a truly caring vet.
We were picky back in the US about what we would feed our dear canines, and we are no less concerned living here. Being that Koreans don’t commonly own dogs, we were very concerned about the dog food selection and quality. So far, Home plus and e-Mart both sell dry and wet dog food, though the trusted brands will cost you a pretty penny. For example, a bag of Orijins, considered to be a very healthy and great quality brand, will run you over 100,000 won for a 30 pound bag. Compare that to the 50 USD we would shell out for Blue Buffalo in the States, and it’s just plain sticker shock. We did find Kirkland’s brand dog food at Costco, recommended to us by a friend, and it is actually comparable in ingredients, quality and price to Blue Buffalo. We plan to use that once our temporary stash runs out. Costco also sells canned food and our friends have had success using that as well.
Other dog supplies
Poo bags are easy to find in all the pet shops within grocery stores like Home plus and e-Mart. They also have leashes and collars, but be aware that many of them will be small. Our vet in Busan had a good selection of dog products available as well. We are still sorting out how to stock up on our pups’ favorite treats (I believe I will start making some from home) and their favorite elk antler chews, which help maintain their teeth and provide something to pass the time. We brought over two Kong toys, and peanut butter is available here, so that is an option as well.
All dogs need exercise, but depending on the size of your dog, you’ll need to get out and about more or less often. We try to do something big on the weekends when J is home from work, and also try to work in play time with a friend’s dog when we can. We primarily do a long walk, moderate run, or long hike, all of which have closely available venues, from hiking around the lake in Dong-gu to just running around our apartment’s long block on the sidewalk. We also take the pups to Munsu dog park every so often, which is located near Munsu archery center. It isn’t much room for big dogs, at least not compared to dog parks in the States, but it does have a small pool, which we are interested in for the summer. The small dog area is quite big, though, and a little bit better kept, which makes sense considering the vast majority of Korean dogs are small.