At Easter we decided to head back to Tuko Beach Resort in Occidental Mindoro, this time spending six glorious nights there. We were particularly excited because this time we were taking our dog Noodles along with us.
We have travelled before with Noodles, taking him to Cagbalete Island without any concerns. This time however, things were a bit different. Quite by coincidence the previous week, I had seen someone post up a warning in a Facebook Group I am in for animal lovers. The post said that if you travel on local transport with your dog or cat you must get a travel permit for them. This person had run into problems heading down to an area close to where we were going. The permit is free of charge, it can just be a bit of a pain in the bum to sort out. The person provided some information and the link to an old, out of date post with more details that were a little incorrect.
I emailed Michaela, the owner of Tuko Beach Resort, who said she had not heard of such a thing however I did not want to chance it, especially since during holiday time the authorities get a lot stricter. I did my research and sent my driver to get the permit. I am so glad I did because I was stopped on my way into the Batangas Port and then when we were transferring to the boarding lounge to wait I was stopped, asked for the permit, and had to wait while the guards provided a second document for me to take on board.
Following is the information you need, if you plan on taking your dog or cat on local transport – which includes the ferries, here in the Philippines.
The Bureau of Animal Industry, Department of Agriculture.
Visayas Avenue, Vasra, Diliman, Quezon City, 1128 Metro Manila. When you arrive you can ask the guards for directions to go into the property and find the office.
The office is open from 8am – 5pm. Best you get there early to avoid the waiting around.
You can only collect the permit 7 days prior to travel. It is good for one way.
You do not need to take your pet, but you do need to provide your pet’s current vaccination record.
When you arrive you will be asked to complete a form with the following information:
Name of Shipper/Traveler
Type of Animal
Date of travel
Purpose of travel
Type of transport
You may also be asked for the following:
Animal date of birth/age
You do not need to go in person, and while I have read that you do not need a letter of approval if you are sending your driver or a helper to go in your place, I do suggest sending a letter of approval anyway, to avoid any issues. This is what I did. I also provided all of the required information so my Driver could just copy it onto the form.
We were in Occidental Mindoro and they did not seem to care about the dog. We did not have to get any additional permits, nor show the original when we were heading home. However I have heard that places like Puerto Gallera do require a return permit. My suggestion is that on arrival to your destination that you ask the ticket sellers where to go. Leaving this to the last minute may result in a lot of unnecessary stress and a missed ferry!
Travel with Pets Reminders
Be sure to check the safety of the area you are visiting. Some places have too many street dogs which can make the trip stressful and dangerous for your dog
Make sure you have a good harness and leash for your dog
Provide access to water every step of the way. Food is not necessary for dogs, however water is needed to keep them safe. Car travel is very dehydrating and the weather in the tropics is so hot and humid. Often spaces are crowded which creates extra heat. Ferry rides can be long too. I take a portable bowl that I set up whenever we are sitting still
Reassure stressed animals, and before getting upset at them for a few barks and needing a walk around, understand they are anxious
I did not used to be interested in taking Noodles places with us. But as time has passed and he has become such an integral part of our family, I am always interested to see how he can participate in our adventures. It is so rewarding to watch Noodles make new discoveries and become braver and more adventurous. The first time on a banka he freaked out and now he sits up with his head in the wind. Noodles did not like to swim when he first met the ocean and this trip he wanted to be carried over the small waves (he really does not like those), so he could sit in my arms and enjoy the refreshing water. The children adored having him around and it brought a lot of extra joy to our adventure.