Pet Policies on Ferries

A dog with a wagging tail stands on the deck of a ferry boat, while a cat peeks out from a cozy carrier. Signs nearby indicate pet-friendly policies

When considering ferry travel with pets, you must be aware of the specific policies that apply, which can vary greatly depending on the ferry company and the route.

Eligibility and Restrictions


  • Most ferry services allow pets such as dogs, cats, and in some cases, ferrets, birds, and hamsters.
  • Animals must typically remain in designated areas, like the vehicle deck or pet areas. However, most services require the animal to be in a pet carrier


  • Size limitations may apply. Small pets (around 6-10 kg) often can be carried in a pet carrier.
  • Larger animals (over 10kg) might need to stay in kennels or pet-friendly cabins when available.
  • For safety and comfort, pets should be on a leash or in a carrier when moving around.

Required Documentation and Health Certificates


  • Proof of up-to-date vaccinations, particularly rabies, MIGHT be necessary. Of course .. this is the Philippines so there is some wiggle room (gray laws)

Health Certificates:

  • A certificate from a vet confirming the pet’s fitness for travel may be required.
  • It’s essential to check with the specific ferry company for detailed documentation requirements as thy can differ by destination and company.

Preparation for Ferry Travel with Pets

Pets and owners wait in line, pets on leashes or in carriers, while staff check paperwork and prepare for boarding

When planning to bring my pet on a ferry, I ensure everything is in place for a smooth journey. My pet’s comfort and safety, as well as compliance with ferry regulations, are my top priorities.

Pet Carriers and Leashes

For my pet’s safety and to comply with most ferry operators’ rules, I always use an appropriate pet carrier. The specifications can vary, but typically a pet carrier should not exceed 610mm x 610mm (2ft x 2ft). It must be well-ventilated, secure, and large enough for my pet to stand, lie down, and turn around comfortably. I also make sure to have a sturdy leash for safe boarding and disembarking.

  • Pet Carrier Checklist:
    • Size compliant with ferry guidelines
    • Secure locking mechanism
    • Adequate ventilation
    • Comfortable bedding
  • Leash and Collar:
    • Strong and well-fitted collar
    • Durable leash for boarding and walking

Feeding and Medication

I avoid feeding my pet right before the journey to prevent motion sickness. A light meal a few hours beforehand is preferable. In the case of medication, I consult my veterinarian in advance to ensure my pet has the necessary prescriptions for the trip, whether it’s for anxiety or any other condition. I keep a schedule and make a note of the times my pet needs their medication.

  • Feeding Guidelines:
    • Light meal 3-4 hours before travel
    • No food in the hours immediately leading up to the journey
    • Access to water at all times
  • Medication and Health:
    • Updated on all vaccines
    • Any required medication packed and scheduled
    • Veterinarian’s contact information readily available

Onboard Considerations

A ferry boat with a pet on deck, surrounded by water and other passengers

When taking a ferry with your pet, it’s important for me to consider the specific areas designated for pets and familiarize myself with the emergency procedures in place.

Designated Pet Areas

I will find that most ferries provide specific areas where pets are allowed. These areas might include:

  • Inside Cabins: Some ferries offer pet-friendly inside cabins, allowing pets to stay with their owners.
  • Outside Cabins: Alternatively, there might be outside cabins that can accommodate pets.
  • Animal Boxes: For added safety, certain ferries have animal boxes for pets.
  • Deck Passage: In other cases, pets may be restricted to certain areas on the deck.

It’s also common for pets to be barred from passenger walkways, lounges, and any food service areas, to respect the comfort and safety of all passengers.

Emergency Procedures

In the case of an emergency, ferry operators typically have procedures in place for the safety of all passengers, including pets. Here is a brief rundown:

  • Pet Evacuation: Guidelines will be in place for the evacuation of pets, which should be followed closely for their safety.
  • Crew Assistance: Ferry crew are trained to assist in emergencies, which includes helping passengers with their pets.
  • Safety Equipment: I must ensure my pet is likely to be near life vests or carriers, particularly if I’m staying in a pet-friendly cabin.

Frequently Asked Questions

In my travels with pets, I’ve learned that information is key. Ensuring you understand the guidelines and costs associated with ferry travel will result in a smoother trip for both you and your furry companion.

What are the requirements for bringing a pet on a ferry in the Philippines?

To bring a pet on a ferry in the Philippines, I must secure a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian and ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date. I also need to acquire a shipping permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry.

How much does it typically cost to travel with a pet on 2GO ferries?

Traveling with a pet on a 2GO ferry requires me to pay a fee which varies depending on the size and breed of the animal. It’s best to contact 2GO directly for the most accurate pricing.

Is there a procedure to get a travel permit online for a dog?

Yes, obtaining a travel permit online for my dog is possible through the Bureau of Animal Industry’s website or by contacting their office for the most current process and requirements.

What are the general pet travel requirements for domestic voyages in the Philippines?

Generally, for domestic voyages in the Philippines, I must present my pet’s updated vaccination records, a health certificate, and comply with the specific ferry company’s regulations, which may include the use of a leash or carrier.

Are there any breed or size restrictions for dogs traveling on ferries?

Yes, certain ferry companies may impose breed or size restrictions for dogs. I always check with the ferry service ahead of time to confirm their specific policies.

What is the process for traveling with a dog to Siargao by sea?

When traveling to Siargao by sea with my dog, I typically need to follow ferry-specific guidelines which include booking in advance and preparing the necessary documentation for both embarkation and disembarkation. It’s important to contact the ferry company well before the intended travel date for detailed instructions.

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