Pet Burial-Cremation-Disposal Guide in Korea

pet cremation burial disposal guide korea
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Every meeting promises a goodbye, that is an unavoidable truth. All pet owners understand their limited time very well but it is still not an easy thing to overcome. At the same time, we’d want to seek the best services for our cherished animal friends, right?

For the readers who have searched for this article, we would assume that your pet’s time is near or it is already time to say goodbye. Our heart goes to every pet owner out there. 10 Magazine will guide you through some knowledge you should know about dead pet disposal in Korea, including what to do and no to do. Surely it will not be easy emotionally and technically, but let’s discuss the choices we have here.

Some terminologies that could come in handy for when you have to deal with a dead pet:

  1. 애완동물 aewan-dongmul – Pets
  2. 반려동물 banlyeo-dongmul – Companion Animal
  3. 화장 hwa-jang – Cremation
  4. 장례 jang-rye  – Funeral
  5. 사체 sa-che – (dead) Body, Corpse
  6. 폐기물 pyegimul – Waste
  7. 유골 yugol – Ashes

Legal ways to dispose of a dead pet body under South Korean’s Korea Ministry of Government Legislation.  

If your pet dies at the vet

The vet would usually offer a cremation service to take care of your pet after it dies. The service is unlikely to be free and the cost differs from your pet’s size to each vet’s policies.

Animal care would recommend you to use the funeral services for animals which will be discussed shortly in the article.

If your pet dies outside of the vet

Trash bag

Many pet owner will hate to hear this, but under the South Korean law it is legal and advised to leave and throw your dead pet’s body inside a trash bag. As we already know that Korea has a strict garbage disposal system, your beloved’s pet body would fall under the 생활(일반)쓰레기봉투 and the government will take care of the incineration process for you.

Incineration by the vet

As much as the option above is available, most owners would probably avoid it as much as possible. From personal experience, the local vet around your neighborhood might offer a cremation service even if the pet did not die at their place as well. Like what we’ve mentioned above, the price may differ from the pet’s size and also if you choose to do separate incineration or communal (group) cremation. Please note that some vets may not accept the body.

Pet Funeral Service

The option to have a proper funeral for your pet is out there for you, too. Here is where it could get tricky because of language barriers and it would be nicer if you can tag a Korean friend along to help you with the arrangements. Here, we are going to explain briefly what the funeral services offer, and some licensed ones that are listed by the South Korean’s Animal Protection Management System.

Pet funeral services company offer you a funeral, cremation, different ways to keep the ash, and a  Columbarium for you to visit your pet whenever. Their call center service is available 24/7. The price of the services differ from each place to the size of your pet, but it commonly starts from 200,000 Korean won. The process usually goes similarly to most companies. Once you call for a pickup after your pet is confirmed dead, they will come at the designated time and location to pick up the body. After that, they will hold you a small funeral, similar to a human’s funeral, then, later on, proceed to do the cremation.

Here is an example from Daegu Love Pet’s funeral service:

pet funeral korea

Here is where the difference between each service companies lies, the ashes. You could choose to do different sort of things with them, such as cremation stones (made from the ashes), keep it in an urn, or even cremation jewelry like diamonds. Lastly, you have the option to keep your pet in a columbarium.

Here is an example of a cremation stone from Simin Pet:

cremation jewelry
Image by 시민반려동물장례식장

A list of licensed pet funeral service companies:


For more options, please refer to this link here.

Dealing with death is not easy, buried by stress and grief, we can easily make mistakes like accidentally deal with your dead pet in a non-legal way. So, we figured you ought to know the ways that are considered to be illegal. Please avoid these options or else you could be fined, or worst risked imprisonment.

Illegal ways to dispose dead pet body

Do not leave, abandon, or throw your dead pet body away in a public location or river. It is a highly irresponsible act as a pet owner or as a resident, and if you got caught by the authorities you could be fined at least 30 million Korean Won or face 3 years in jail.

Do not bury your pet in a public space, or, according to the Korean’s law website, in your own backyard. In some other countries, it might not be considered illegal but that is not the case for South Korea and if you got caught you could be fined at 100,000 Korean Won or higher.

Do not burn them on your own at all cost. Self-cremation/ Self-incineration is undoubtedly against the law. Not only that it could go really bad if you are not experienced, so it is highly dangerous to you, your surroundings, and the environment.

Also, if you already have your pet registered and licensed, it is required that you must report the death to the nearest district office to you within 30 days or else you could be fined for more than 500,000 Korean Won.