Resources For Rat Owners In Korea

Keep an eye on this post as I will keep updating it.

If you want to adopt some rats but Korean sites and language are difficult for you, I can arrange much of it for you, though I do charge for translation and communication. Contact me and we can work out a plan.

Buying/Adopting Rats

Naver cafes:

Warning: Beware a breeder by the name “Hamlin”. They change their username but if you look at their posts there is usually a link to them or mention of their name somewhere. I bought a rat from this guy and his rats not only bite (badly socialized) but my poor baby died days after of what we assume to have been a deadly rat disease called SDA (http://ratguide.com/health/viruses/sda.php).

래트커뮤니티 (Rat Community

https://cafe.naver.com/ratcommunity

I highly recommend this cafe as the best. A friend of mine runs it and she is one of the most reliable and educated rat owners I know.

샵더마우스 (Shop The Mouse):
http://cafe.naver.com/shopthemouse

래트홀릭 (Ratholic):
http://cafe.naver.com/ratholic

I’ve gotten some of my rats from people on this site who had accidental litters.

우리 래트 (Our Rat):

http://cafe.naver.com/urirat#

There are more cafes but I do not have experience with them.

Stores:

작은숲:
Store info
Store blog
작은숲 is an exotic pet store in Incheon. You can interact with the rats before choosing who you want to buy. Price differs depending on breed. They usually run between 60,000 and 80,000won. This shop is known for breeding the same pairs again and again and most males have some aggression that is not usually well remedied even after castration surgery. 

Supplies

 Food: Search any major online shopping site such as Coupang or Gmarket for ‘익스트루젼’ to find options for buying lab blocks. Purina makes a block specifically for rats, as does Harlan, but the only formula I have seen available from Harlan is 2018 or the 18% protein formula, which is on the high side for rats. You can check various other lab blocks for 조단백질 (crude protein). I often buy a few types of blocks and mix them.

You can also search various site for Oxbow products. Their rat food is very good but for whatever reason my rats don’t like it. If you feed Oxbow be sure to provide your rats with something to chew on to grind their teeth on.

I buy seed mixes in a pinch to supplement my rats’ diet but ideally you should make your own. Check some of the sites below for ideas and dietary guidelines. You can buy most of what you need at any mart or online. You don’t buy expensive, small packages of dried foods, nuts and seeds marketed to exotic pet owners, just buy them from regular grocery sources.

 Cages: I got my main big cage by searching Naver for what I wanted and ordering it though a seller who got it from America. I got a Prevue cage similar to the Midwest Critter Nation. A friend of mine did manage to get an actual Critter Nation. Sometimes Amazon will ship as well. Do Naver searches and have a look around Coupang, Gmarket and the following sites to find something suitable for you.

Everything else:
Petholic http://petholic.co.kr/
Petholic occasionally breeds rats that are, in my experience,  healthy. They don’t mass breed and plan their litters so, while they are a breeder, they seem a somewhat responsible one to me. I got my first two rats in Korea from Petholic and they lived long, healthy lives. Petholic ships but I recommend taking the weather into account and bringing a Korean-speaking person with you to the bus depot. Mine arrived via bus in containers packed in a cardboard box and were sitting in a bus line’s cold office when I got there.

You can find similar products through the aforementioned sites. Also, don’t underestimate Daiso in finding some good accessories. A child’s shower stool I bought there is still my rats’ favorite ‘igloo’.

Veterinary:

Our clinic:

Chansaem Animal Hospital 찬샘동물병원 in Incheon.

남찬식 (수의사)  Chan Sik Nam (Veterinarian)

If you are seeking veterinary help for your rat, please contact us. We have seen many rat patients and done a number of different treatments and surgeries. Also, I would not recommend getting your rat euthanized by any other veterinarian unless you are confident they can satisfactorily perform this delicate procedure


Korean Rat Owners of Interest:
Rats are quickly gaining popularity in Korea. Most Korean rat enthusiasts can be found on instagram and the number or people posting about their pet rats grows every day. This is also an excellent way to see who is breeding for hobby and has healthy rats available for sale. Try searching hashtags like #래트 #랫스타그램 #덤보래트

General Resources in English:
  Rat Guide:
http://ratguide.com/
For anything you would ever need to know. Particularly helpful for medical things.

  Rat Fan Club:

http://www.ratfanclub.org/
Everything Debbie does is gold. I highly recommend getting her books if you can.Take advantage of her free articles on the homepage.

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Pet Cremation in Korea

 

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A few days ago, Chansik and I very suddenly lost our youngest cat, 찬성 (Chansung) to FIP. He was only 10 months old. We miss him so much and life without him has been tough.

I wanted to write a blog about what the process and options are like when you have a pet die in Korea. 20160217_093522.jpg

Since Chansik is a vet we were able to make all the decisions related to Chansung’s health care and, ultimately, the decision to end his suffering by euthanasia. If your animal passes away at the vet clinic (동물병원) the staff can help you in freezing the body there or at home until the time of burial or cremation. After Chansung’s death, we took his body home to clean him up and then keep in the freezer.

We made an appointment with an animal funeral home called AngelStone. The day prior to our appointment we were instructed to remove Chansung’s body from the freezer to thaw. The next day we cleaned him again and Chansik sewed his eyes shut. I had written about Chansung on social media but Chansik wrote a letter for him that we had cremated along with Chansung’s body. We also included one of his toys.

We wrapped up Chansung’s body, placed him in a large gift bag and took him to the clinic (which is a 5-minute walk from our house) where one of the employees from AngelStone met us. They had brought a box to place him in but we preferred to keep with us in the bag. The employee drove us almost 2 hours out to the AngelStone facility. When we arrived, an

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A tree where people have written wishes for their pet

employee with a cart decorated with flowers met us with a deep bow. We put Chansung on the cart and we were taken to a waiting area.

AngelStone has a lot of options for cremation. You can dress your animal in the traditional white clothes before their cremation. After cremation, you can have the ashes turned into beautiful stones which can be displayed different ways or put into jewelry.

After filling out some simple paperwork we had to wait for about 30 minutes during which we took Chansung outside since the weather was nice and the sun was shining. We sang a little song I had made up and had sung to Chansung almost everyday that goes, ‘kitten in the sunlight, kitten in the sun..’. We picked a flower and put it in his paws.

 

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Some cremation options.
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Jewelry displaying stones that are made from the ashes.

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Chansung
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Viewing room

When it was our turn we took Chansung (on the flowery cart) into one of these viewing rooms. We were told to take our time saying goodbye and when we were ready they would take him in for cremation. We lit some incense and gave Chansung’s sleek and black fur some last pets. When we told them we were finished the employee came in to get him and gave a deep bow before they left. 20160511_122619We then could watch as they very respectfully performed the cremation. They lay Chansung’s body on a sort of table which was then rolled into the large, metal chamber. We waited for about 20 minutes while the cremation took place. During that time we looked at photos and videos of Chansung and talked about our favorite memories with him.

20160511_122612When the cremation was finished the remains, which is pretty much just bones, were gathered and placed on a silver and gold tray. The tray was brought up to the window and shown to us and the employee gave deep bows of respect. The bones were carefully put in a machine hat turned them into powder and then even more carefully placed in an urn.

We then returned to the waiting room where an employee tied up the urn in a white cloth and put it in a pretty bag. We didn’t do any of the fancy options so our total bill was 200,000won or about 200 USD. Then we were driven to a bus stop where we could board a bus to return home.

I would definitely recommend AngelStone. The employees were so careful, kind and respectful. The treated every bit of the process as if it was their own pet. If you have any questions about the process please email us. We are happy to help foreigners living in Korea who are navigating any veterinary issues, including those for end-of-life.

About Chansik 찬식

I slightly changed my husband’s bio from our wedding program. Here it is! Scroll down to find links to Chansik’s blog posts. Please contact us if you are seeking a veterinary consultation or have any questions/comments for Chansik.

vetshig“Chansik was born in 1984 in Daegu, South Korea. He was followed by younger brother Youngsik in 1988.
In the fall of 1999, at the age of 15, Chansik went abroad to the Philipines to finish high school and later to go to veterinary school. He graduated 2005 with his degree in veterinary medicine.
In 2007 Chansik started his two years of mandatory Korean military service. In 2008 he volunteered to go to Iraq where he served alongside American troops. His main jobs were to help with health inspections and to care for military dogs. His military service ended in 2009.
In 2010 Chansik donated 80% of his liver to his mother who was suffering from liver cirrhosis. The transplant was successful, though all of the money Chansik had earned in the military had to go towards paying for the surgeries.
Chansik went on to teach English at private schools and to work as a vet in Incheon, South Korea.
In 2014 he met Becca and they now reside in Incheon where Chansik continues his work as a vet. He is now interested in expanding his studies to include human medicine.”