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Travelling with Your Pet

Guide for Travel Within the Islands of the Philippines

Planning a vacation in the province next summer? Or are you moving out your pet from Manila’s smog and heading to the peace and quiet in the fresh province environment?

If ever you are wondering what preparations to make, I can help you with this.

REQUIREMENTS BY LAW

In order to move a dog or a cat within the Philippines, you will be asked by a domestic airline or any company that transports by water to present:

  1. a valid anti-Rabies vaccination certificate provided by a licensed veterinary professional, and
  2. a veterinary medical certificate or clearance detailing how your pet is physically fit to travel and without any communicable (or zoonotic ) diseases. Some companies require this to be issued 3 to 7 days prior to the travel date.

Commonly, your pet should have been vaccinated at least 14 days prior to the date of transport. Since we live in a third world country that has lots of Rabies cases, this is a way of the law on how to reduce the spread of the virus within our islands. You may request for the vaccination and medical certificate during one visit but be sure you have checked the travel company’s policies first.

If your pet is about to travel with you by air or sea in less than 14 days WITHOUT any vaccination, consider postponing your pet’s travel as the Rabies vaccination would not be considered valid by the transport company.

There are some owners who insist on getting their pet vaccinated while using “magic” to manipulate the date.  Unfortunately, we as veterinary professionals can not do what they wish. We can not perform tampering a veterinary medical record just because they did not do their research and planning ahead of time. Please be responsible.

If you are travelling by land in your own private vehicle, there will be no checkpoints requiring you to present your pet’s immunization record. However, given the many diseases your pet could get just by being outdoors, and having private establishments able to practice their own set of rules about pets entering their vicinity, it is best that your pet is up-to-date with all its immunizations, dewormings, and external parasite preventives.

WHAT ITEMS SHOULD YOU PREPARE?

Whether you are flying by air, moving over the sea, or just driving for hundreds of kilometres, I recommend running over this list and checking each one ahead of your planned date of departure.

DOG TRAVEL KIT

  • Vaccination card with up-to-date shots
  • Vaccination card with up-to-date dewormings
  • Vaccination card with up-to-date heartworm prevention
  • Vaccination card with up-to-date anti-tick and flea prevention
  • Vaccination card with your pet’s microchip barcode
  • Veterinary medical records (basically an envelope organized containing your pet’s previous prescriptions and laboratory tests if you plan to transfer your pet’s residence only)
  • Travel crate of the right size with your name and contact number (you should have practiced for a week with your pet staying inside prior to travel)
  • Underpad (used to replace the crate’s flooring when it gets dirty)
  • Diaper (you should have practiced for a week with your pet wearing this prior to travel)
  • Leash and GPS collar/body harness synced to your mobile device
  • A Spotify playlist of dog calming or sleeping music
  • A list of vet clinics along the way just in case there’s a life threatening emergency (Google maps)
  • Plastic bag for poop
  • Pet wipes
  • Paper towel
  • Alcohol
  • Towel
  • Lint roller for your car
  • Small doggy soap or shampoo
  • Brush
  • Dog toothpaste and baby finger toothbrush (more durable than dog toothbrushes)
  • Treats and food (based on your pet’s usual daily meals and how long you will travel)
  • Purified water and bowl (some dogs have sensitive tummies)
  • Pillows and blanket
  • Thrash bag
  • A few toys
  • First aid kit
  • Vitamins or maintenance medications with prescription
  • A bag to fill most of the items above
  • An itinerary with time allotted for your pet’s potty breaks if possible
  • A list of pet friendly restaurants or hotels along the way (Google Maps)

CAT TRAVEL KIT

  • Vaccination card with up-to-date shots
  • Vaccination card with up-to-date dewormings
  • Vaccination card with up-to-date anti-tick and flea prevention
  • Vaccination card with your pet’s microchip barcode
  • Veterinary medical records (basically an envelope organized containing your pet’s previous prescriptions and laboratory tests if you plan to transfer your pet’s residence only)
  • Travel crate of the right size with your name and contact number (you should have practiced for a week with your pet staying inside prior to travel)
  • Underpad (used to replace the crate’s flooring when it gets dirty)
  • Diaper (you should have practiced for a week with your pet wearing this prior to travel)
  • Leash and GPS collar/body harness synced to your mobile device (you should have practiced for a couple of weeks with these on)
  • A Spotify playlist of cat calming or sleeping music
  • A list of vet clinics along the way just in case there’s a life threatening emergency (Google maps)
  • Plastic bag for poop
  • Pet wipes (check first if your cat will allow you to wipe its behind, because this is mostly a no touch zone)
  • Paper towel
  • Alcohol
  • Towel
  • Lint roller for your car
  • Small cat soap or shampoo
  • Brush
  • Cat toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Treats and food (based on your pet’s usual daily meals and how long you will travel)
  • Purified water and bowl (some dogs have sensitive tummies)
  • Pillows and blanket
  • Thrash bag
  • A few toys
  • First aid kit
  • Vitamins or maintenance medications with prescription
  • A bag to fill most of the items above
  • Litter box
  • Litter material
  • Removing your car’s air freshener specially if you have a flat-faced cat
  • An itinerary with time allotted for your pet’s potty breaks if possible
  • A list of pet friendly restaurants or hotels along the way (Google Maps)

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