- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Taking a dog from Korea - Canada - EU

May 28th, 2007, 04:17 AM

This is my first post and I hope that you can help me. I have looked on the internet for answers to these questions but keep getting conflicting information.

I rescued a dog here in Seoul, South Korea where I currently live. We are coming to Canada at the end of August and then I plan to move on to Europe. Of course I am going to take him with me - as I said he is a rescue from an animal shelter and I took him 48 hours before he was about to be put to sleep.

His background - he is a cocker spaniel/pekingnese cross, 7.2 kilos. He has had all of his shots, including two rabies vaccinations, I had him neutered, microchipped (15 digit number) and he is up to date on his heartworm meds as well. He has no problem entering Canada and I am having an International Health Certificate prepared now by my vet.

After we are in Canada, we will be leaving for the EU. With the exception of the UK (which has too many rules to figure out myself!), all of the EU member states will accept him with proof of rabies vaccine and his microchip according to different websites.

However, my vet here says that I need to get him a rabies antibody blood test to prove that his levels are up to par. This blood sample will be sent from Korea to Belgium with the results sent back before we leave for Canada at a cost of $400USD. He then says that he will have to be re-tested six months later to make sure that the antibody level is satisfactory before entering Europe. Another vet here in Korea tells me that the bloodtest gets sent to Australia and takes three months. Yet another vet has told me that it is best to have this test performed in Canada as that will be his new country of origin, not Korea - if I have the test done here, he will have to have it done in Canada again anyway. I also wrote into a German discussion forum (one for expats, not specific to pets) and they told me that it is no problem, that an antibody test is not needed at all.

I am wondering if my vet here in Seoul is confused and if the language barrier between us is causing problems. I think that he is giving me information and advice for importing a dog from Korea directly into the EU. But I will be importing him from Canada.

Also, will his microchip ID show him as originating in Korea? Or is it just his official number to register him wherever we go? Will I be able to get his vaccination record book changed to a Canadian one as well? I need one in English, not Korean, so that I can get his pet passport once we arrive in Europe.

If anyone has any experience with this or if there is a vet on the board that can give me sound advice, I would really, really appreciate it! There is some very confusing information out there and I can't seem to sort it out from Korea.

Thank you so much for any replies! All help is appreciated. :)

May 28th, 2007, 09:08 AM
how long are you staying in canada. i would worry about getting him to canada first and then going from canada and their laws to europe and theirs will probably be the easiest, just keep copies of everything from korea in case you need the dogs history

May 28th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Here is a link for government of Canada's regulations on pet imports:

Not sure about Europe but they should have a similar site which details everything and when in doubt they should have a phone number.

May 28th, 2007, 12:03 PM
Europe is pretty large. Not every country has the same regulations. I'd worry about following the correct ones to get the dog into Canada though before worrying about your next move.

May 28th, 2007, 09:03 PM
My main questions would be about quaranteens, I know that Australia requires the dog to be kept away from all local animals for at least 2 weeks, that is what a breeder here told me when they were sending a pup out there. The dog also has to be a certain age, but from the sounds of it yours probably is. I spoke to a friend who recently imported a dog from England to Canada, and she said that besides taking about 3-4 hours to go through customs and have the pup inspected by the food agency (?) there were no quaranteens.

Make sure you fly with an airline that treats pets well, last loaded & first off, personal care, climate controlled room, etc. You would hate to arrive at your destination with an ill dog.

Good luck, and bless you for saving this poor dog. I am sure it will be forever thankful.

May 28th, 2007, 09:32 PM
IHTM: Australia requires a 30 day quarantine minimum for ANY dog or cat - it can get longer depending on where they come from - and this include show dogs and breeding stock.

As for bringing a dog from England to Canada, like your friend did, I would not be looking at that as a reference point - any animal coming form the UK is easily accepted anywhere, as tere are strict quarantine laws there as well - so not a good example, sorry.

Diana: as for your travels, I would contact animal control in the countries you plan to be in directly. A lot of vets do not have good information, and a lot of forums can have well intentioned but misguiding information (see above)...

Are you planning to relocate to the EU or just travelling through? I ask because if you are travelling through, you should know that transportation with animals is not easy within the EU unless you are travelling by car, and the local airlines are not well versed in animal trasport...

I suspect that bringing a pet from Korea will raise a red flag in many countries - call the authorities and proceed from there - as for the microchip, it probably will have the information of your original vet in Korea, it will certainly have all your details in Korea, so regardless of where you end up, make sure you change it so your dog can be identified in case of loss -

As for the actual travel form Korea, I would contact an animal shipping agent and let them do the legwork for you - they will know which airlines are best, what flights are best in terms of connections, and might know what paperwork and vaccines, tests you will be required to have proof of -

Regardless, I would still call each individual country's officials. Embassies or consulates in your city can help you with this step.

Having said all of this, if you stay in Canada for at least 6 months, your dog can safely enter the UK without quarantine, as Canada is a listed country with DEFRA in the UK (see here)

Once you have been in the UK, travel through the rest of Europe is easy with a Pet Passport which you can get in the UK in about 3 months.

I hope this helps, if you have any more questions, come back to us...

May 30th, 2007, 08:03 AM
Hi again,

Thanks to everyone that has responded to my message.

We are all set for Canada - my dog has everything he needs and we are flying with Air Canada which has been recommended by another expat here with a dog.

I will not be travelling through the EU - I am an English teacher so as soon as I pick up a job, I will be relocating there. I am not sure which country exactly yet, but I am looking into Spain, Portugal, Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. My concern is the rabies antibody test and I wanted to get it started as soon as possible so that I had blood results and would be ready to go when I pick up a contract.

I have done TONS of research and still can't find the answers, even from the different embassy sites.

I do have a question about his microchip though. He has an AVID 15 digit microchip and I was wondering if this is the one for the EU. Again, websites are telling me different things and the language barrier I face here is astronomical. (It will be nice to be in an English speaking country again where I can get straight answers.)

Can I have another microchip implanted if needed? Or will that cause a problem with the one he already has?

Again, thanks so much for everyone's help. I do appreciate it!

May 30th, 2007, 10:26 PM
Hi Dianna,

As I suggested, you will have to physically CALL the embassies, then they will give you numbers and contacts for the appropriate offices and then CALL them - the web is not always the best place to get all this info - another route you can take is to call vet offices or animal hospitals in the countries where you think you might go, and they can tell you what chips are used in that country...

You say you are flying with Air Canada - is your dog travelling in the cargo hold? Have you checked that they have a special pet cargo area that is pressurised and temp controlled? What type of crate are they suggesting? Most importantly - I don't know what the vets there will tell you, but DO NOT sedate your dog before flying -

As for implanting another chip - you would have to ask a vet....

May 30th, 2007, 10:34 PM
Absolutely, sedation brings down their blood pressure and with the changes in pressure and temperature it can be lethal.

They can also dehydrate very rapidly, if they're sedated they usually won't drink from their water bowl....

Also, if for whatever reason there is a lot of movement in the plane you want them to be able to brace themselvesin their crate and not just be thrown about....

May 31st, 2007, 06:47 AM

I'm glad you mentioned the bit about sedation. I was planning on having him sedated to reduce the stress of travelling for him. The vet here did suggest that I do it. Are you sure he won't be traumatized by the flight if he is awake? He is a pretty calm dog, playful at times but not skitterish.

I am flying Air Canada and he will be in the baggage compartment, not cargo. It is pressurized and temp controlled as well. I bought him a crate that is big enough for him to stand up, stretch out and turn around in. Unfortunately, there is no handle on his crate so I may have to get him a new one. I don't know if the airline will accept it without a handle with which to pick it up.

He is being crate trained right now but I use the word 'trained' very loosely. The first night I got the crate, he went into it himself and now periodically goes in on his own and takes a nap. So I don't think there will be a problem there.

I guess I am going to have to wait until I return to Canada and then figure out where we are going and give a call to the embassy as suggested. It is unlikely that I will be able to contact anyone that speaks English at the EU embassies here - they will speak only that country's language and Korean of course. They may not also be aware of importing an animal from Canada into the EU as they are obviously based in Korea, not Canada.

I do have one more question though - we are on a flight that leaves at 6pm - should I fast him the night before and the same day as the flight. The vet here suggested this to avoid messes in his crate and vomiting from motion sickness.

Thanks so much again for your help! :)

May 31st, 2007, 07:59 AM
Hi Dianna,

Yes, definitely do not sedate, as a matter of fact, the airline may refuse travel for the pet if they see he's groggy or out of it.

Gomez just flew form the UK to Australia 3 months ago, he was a perfect passenger! Most dogs do very well in flight, and usually will sleep most of the way. The quarantine people told me they opened the crate and found a wiggly little guy waiting to play and eat!

On the day of travel try and take him out for some of exercise, a good run in the park or whatever it is you do that tires him out and gets him to sleep for a while... On the day he travelled, I arranged a playdate for Gomez and 6 of his friends in the park and we were there for 3 hours! He was well and truly pooped!

We used Airpets, a shipping agent, and they suggested a very small amount of food 12 hours before the flight, like a handful of kibble, and all the water they want - you can have a look at their website, it has a lot of good info in general:

I don't know what type of crate you got, but the preferred ones are wooden with holes in them - a bowl is attached inside with a funnel on the outside so that if there are spillages or he drinks alot, ground crew can refill the bowl without opening the crate. If you're not sure it's the proper crate, you may want to make a trip to the airport and speak to Air Canada agents, they will be able to tell you excatly what type of crate they like - they can refuse travel is a crate is not to their specifications.

In the crate you can put a towel or t-shirt of yours which you have been sleeping with for a few days, so it has your smell on it - as long as he won't chew or shred it...

It's good he's liking the crate - you can also feed him in there and let him play so he's really comfortable with it. Gomez usually sleeps all night in his crate, even now, so he ha snot gotten any negative associations with it.

Does your dog travel well in the car?

Any more questions, ask away, I have a lot of experience in travelling with pets - 2 cats from USA to UK, then 1 cat back to the US, and now 1 dog from UK to Australia...

By the way, what's your little guy's name? do you have a picture of him?