These are tips on how to handle your pets when you’re bringing them along on your trips and you don’t have a car. 

Here’s the good news: RA8485, otherwise known as the Animal Welfare Act, Section 4, states, “It shall be the duty of any owner or operator of any land, air or water public utility transporting pet, wildlife and all other animals to provide in all cases adequate, clean and sanitary facilities for the safe conveyance and delivery thereof to their consignee at the place of consignment. They shall provide sufficient food and water for such animals while in transit for more than twelve (12) hours or whenever necessary.”

But this is for shipping your pets to other destinations. Other considerations apply when you’re traveling with your pet over a fairly short distance to bring him or her to the vet. Here are some tips for making the trip less painful for both of you:

Do your research. Find out who the closest veterinarian is to you who has a good reputation and whom others can vouch for.

When commuting by jeepney, bus, or other local public transportation, it is best to use a carrier. You can borrow one from friends (carriers are not always in use, after all), because boxes and cardboard carriers will not withstand a frantic dog or cat trying to get loose. Your pet may feel overwhelmed by the noise and the feeling of being surrounded by unfamiliar people, so keeping him confined in a study plastic-lined box if you don’t have a carrier (with air holes, of course) is your best bet.

If traveling by taxi, it is best to use apps for booking cab services and informing them ahead of time that you’ll be taking a four-legged passenger along for the ride. This is crucial, because once they agree, it’s a contract they are obliged to fulfill. You will still need a carrier, though, and if your pet poops or pees in the cab, you are obliged to pay for cleaning it up. Never agree to place your pet in the trunk! If a driver insists on this, report him to his company, as your pet may asphyxiate in the trunk.

Many bus companies allow pets to be carried on board. If necessary, pay for a second seat so that you won’t have to be burdened by the carrier. The same goes for a jeepney; it’s best to pay for both front seats so that the driver will be happy and you and your pet will have space.

If your dog is not socialized, you may want to wait till you have a sturdy carrier and can use a taxi’s services. You do not want your dog snapping at other passengers. If this is a problem, consider investing in a home visit by the vet. It’s certainly more expensive but will save you much aggravation and the potential of having to pay for the medical expenses of whomever your dog bites.(With additional research by CFB)

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s March 2015 issue.