Travelling With Pets: A Guide to Flying, Driving, and Public Transport With Furry Friends

For many pet owners, leaving their fur babies behind while travelling is tough. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! Turn your next vacation into an exciting one with your furry companions. Of course, as with any adventure, your travel experience can be enhanced when you’re well-prepared with the right essentials. From road trips to jet-setting across the globe, let our guide to travelling with pets help you prepare for your next trip! 

Also read: 11 Pet Hotels in Metro Manila for Fur Babies When You’re on Vacation

Travelling with pets from the Philippines

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Despite the added essentials and extra preparations, travelling with pets transforms your trip into an unforgettable experience. Not to mention, your shared travels with them deepen your bond. Perhaps you’ll feel even more comfortable and confident knowing you have a loyal companion by your side! 

Much like humans, your beloved pets must also come equipped with the right travel documents and essentials. Some of the typical requirements you’ll need to have are the following:

  1. Updated vaccination records
  • Dogs must have complete vaccines for rabies, parvovirus, distemper, infectious, hepatitis, leptospirosis, etc. 
  • Cats must be vaccinated for herpes, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and feline leukemia.
  1. Veterinary health certificate issued no more than ten days before the travel date
  2. Exit and entry permit from the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI)
  3. Pet microchips for countries that require pets to be chipped for location tracking and identification 
  4. Airline-approved pet carrier 
  5. Other documents mandated by your destination of choice

Note: Service pets require a different set of documents and will most likely need to provide additional authorised medical papers aside from the requirements above.

Also read: 15 Pet-Friendly Airbnbs in the Philippines That Are Absolutely Purr-Fect

Flying with pets

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First and foremost, all airlines have different restrictions and requirements when it comes to travelling with pets. That said, be sure to check and review the specific pet travel policy of your chosen airline before booking your flight. Here are some of the things you need to remember before flying with pets: 

  1. Opt for an airline with a pet travel policy. 
  2. Double check your pet’s eligibility to travel. 
  • Must be at least three months old 
  • Check which breeds are allowed for air travel
  1. Gather all important documents and paperwork before your travel date: health certificate, vaccination records, and identification tags. 
  2. Pay the necessary animal transportation fees. Similarly, these will vary depending on your choice of airline, destination (domestic or international), weight, and type of pet you have. 
  3. Arrive early at least three hours before your scheduled flight to secure the necessary permits and to ensure your pet is checked in properly. 
  4. Coordinate with airline personnel to ensure a smooth pet pick-up process.

Note: For added security in case of unexpected issues and emergencies during your travel, consider getting pet insurance

Land travel with pets

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Car rides can be thrilling for some pets, while others associate these with dreaded visits to the vet. So, be sure your fur buddies are ready for road trips just as you are! Here are some things to keep in mind for a safe car travel with pets: 

  1. Much like air travel, research the pet travel policies and local regulations of the destinations you plan on visiting. Leash laws and other pet-related restrictions vary from region to region. 
  2. Invest in secure and comfortable pet carriers or safety harnesses for pets throughout the ride. 
  3. Prepare pet essentials like food, water, bowls, diapers, dog tags with identification, etc.
    3. Plan frequent pit stops so they can stretch, take bathroom breaks, and hydrate, especially for long rides. 
  4. Never leave your pet in the car unattended. 

Also read: 15 Pet-Friendly Resorts & Vacation Rentals Near Manila

Public transport travel with pets

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Travelling with your furry companions without a personal vehicle? No problem! Whether it’s a trip to the vet or a quick weekend getaway, there are ways to ensure your pets’ safety and security when travelling via public transport. 

In 2019, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced that pets are allowed in public modes of transportation. These include buses, jeepneys, UV Express services, and Premium Point-to-Point (P2P) buses. The guidelines for public transport travel with pets are as follows:

  1. Should there be other passengers inside the public utility vehicle, pets must be secured in carriers or cages and placed in designated animal compartments.
  2. If there are no other passengers on board, pets are allowed to be carried as long as they are free from foul odour. Additionally, the owner must maintain the cleanliness and satisfaction of their pet throughout the journey.
  3. Pet owners will be held liable for any damages their pets may cause. 
  4. Safety, convenience, and comfort of the passengers shall not in any way be sacrificed. 

Also read: Did You Know You Can Apply for Your Pet’s Passport in the Philippines?

Now, who’s ready for epic and worry-free adventures with their pets? By following the important rules and preparing all the essentials for your pet, you’ll surely have a smooth sailing trip. Have you travelled with your fur buddies? Tell us about your experience or tag us in your travel snapshots @tripzillaph with the hashtag #TripZillaShare! 

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Andrea Larice Yap

Andrea is a writer and creative individual based in Manila. This tiny human runs on iced coffee, music, and films. You’ll probably catch her daydreaming in a park or jotting down random words to put in a song. Otherwise, expect her taking a dive in the pool of uncertainty called “life.”