Over 79% of Filipinos have a pet, according to a 2022 survey by Rakuten Insights. If you’re one of them, you probably know that traveling with your fur baby is essential to pet parenthood.
You need to take them to the vet for regular checkups and emergencies. If you’re going on vacation, you’ll have to send them to a pet hotel to ensure they’re taken care of. And if you’re adopting a new pet, it may be up to you to transport them home.
These tasks are simple for those with private vehicles. However, most Filipinos don’t own a car to drive their fur babies around. Plus, public transportation can be stressful for pets. This is especially true for cats and dogs not used to the outside world.
Commuting With Pets Made Easy
Fur parents now have many options for commuting. Recently-passed laws and regulations allow pets to ride in public utility vehicles (PUVs), like jeeps, buses, taxis, and even Transportation Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) like Grab. The Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) just announced that they would also allow fur babies on their trains, as well.
You can also use products like carriers, pet insurance, and treats to keep your pet comfortable and protected during your journey.
Here’s how to make the most out of these products and transportation options to make commuting a breeze for you and your fur baby.
Before the Trip
Choose the Right Carrier
The law requires you to keep your pet in a carrier while traveling with them in a PUV. Consider these factors when shopping for one:
- Size – Your fur baby should be able to move around the carrier comfortably. If you don’t like commuting in a cramped train, imagine how they’ll feel inside a carrier that’s too small!
- Ventilation – The carrier should have multiple ventilation holes as well. These will help keep your pet cool and comfortable on commutes.
- Door and lock – Your pet may get anxious in crowded places, like PUVs and trains, and try to get away. A carrier with a sturdy door and lock ensures they stay safely inside.
Bring Copies of Updated Vet Records
Some PUV operators may ask for your pet’s medical records. This ensures that your fur baby has no condition that could harm other passengers and pets. They may stop you from boarding if you can’t present the necessary documents. Bring photocopies or even phone photos of your pet’s updated vaccination card and vet records, just in case.
Prepare for Your Fur Baby’s #1’s and #2’s
Line your pet carriers with pads to ensure nothing leaks out if they do their business during your commute. If you don’t have any liners, paper towels or newspapers should do the trick.
Protect Your Pet from the Unexpected
No matter how careful you may be, there’s always the risk of accidents when commuting with your pet. Prepare for these difficult moments by getting cat or dog insurance that covers sudden injuries and illnesses. This protects your finances from expensive emergency vet bills. So, you get peace of mind every time you go out with your fur baby.
During the Trip
Keep Your Fur Baby Close at All Times
Always keep your pet close when boarding PUVs. Either carry them on your lap or place their carrier on the seat next to you (you must pay for it first, of course).
Some bus and ferry operators may insist on storing your pet in a luggage compartment. Don’t let them do this. These areas often lack ventilation, which may cause your fur baby to overheat or suffocate. Plus, you won’t be able to comfort or feed them during the trip.
Check the bus or ferry company’s pet policies before buying your ticket. Book your ticket elsewhere if they don’t permit fur babies on board or want passengers to keep their pets in inhospitable storage areas.
Keep Your Pet Calm Throughout the Journey
Some pets get bored during long commutes, while others get anxious. These emotions can lead to excessive barking, meowing, and yowling. Keep your pet calm throughout the trip by:
- Bringing Treats – If your pet gets irritated during the ride, offer them their favorite treat. This will take their attention away from your chaotic commute. It can also make taking public transportation a positive experience for your fur baby.
- Staying Relaxed – Western studies have stated that your dog can sense and even mirror your emotions. If you appear stressed, they’ll feel it, too. Keep your composure, and your pet will follow suit! Pet your fur baby through the carrier from time to time. This will ease your stress and your pet’s, too.
If you want your pet’s public transportation experience to be stress-free, preparation is key. Keep them comfortable with an appropriately-sized and lined carrier, and give them plenty of treats and pets during the ride. Know your rights as a fur parent by knowing the laws and regulations regarding pets on PUVs. With the proper knowledge, equipment, and relaxation techniques, you’ll find that even the longest commutes can be easy and enjoyable for you and your fur baby.
Give Your Best Companion the Best Protection
Vet bills can be expensive, especially if your pet suffered a serious injury or contracted a sudden illness. Protect yourself and your fur baby during emergencies with MICI Cat PURRtection or Dog PAWtection. These insurance products offer medical cash assistance, accidental death and permanent disability coverage, lost pet coverage, and burial assistance for as low as ₱1,125 a year.
Visit the MICI Shop today to get your pet insurance policy online.