I’ve always been fascinated with the Philippines, the blend of cultures, busy cities, lush beaches, and secluded paradises. This Asian country seems to have something for everyone, from the hip, lively cityscapes where you can have a staycation in one of Manila’s top hotels, to the most relaxing holidays, where you feel lost in nature and immersed in local culture. But it wasn’t until I met my Filipina friend, Jo, that I realized the Philippines was an ideal destination for pet travel in general, and dog travel in particular. Why dog travel in particular? Well, because Jo is a fellow dog owner and she’s shared all her tips with me. Don’t believe us? The Philippines often makes it into top ten lists of the most pet-friendly destinations in Asia or the world.
Jo, who is a successful fiction writer, has a house full of dogs. She’s rarely without one or all of them, so I believe her when she tells me the Philippines is an extremely dog friendly place because “the pet owners are stuffy, yet magnanimous people like myself who cannot understand why their dogs cannot go to the spa with them.” She might be laughing at herself for insisting on bringing her beloved dogs everywhere, but she’s not wrong about how is it is to pet travel in the Philippines, or about the country being super friendly to our furry friends. It’s because having a dog as part of your family is extremely popular in this Asian country.
Pet Friendly Accommodation in the Philippines
As some of you know, Ares is big. It’s not only hard to find a dog-friendly hotel when I travel, it’s even harder to find one that won’t cringe when they understand he’s a nearly 40 kilogram monster of a puppy. When it comes to the Philippines, it’s pretty much impossible not to run into a hotel that’s advertised as pet-friendly. Whether it’s Manila or Quezon City for the urban traveler in you, or the resorts of the most popular beaches, pet-friendly hotels in the Philippines are never a problem to book. Cebu, Luzon, Batangas resorts, wherever you want to venture, you’ll find some sort of accommodation that welcomes your pet. Even if you want to go glamping!
Pet-Friendly Activities in the Philippines – From Malls to Beaches
Bringing your dog everywhere is so common, there are shopping malls that celebrate it. You can book your dog for grooming services while you buy your travel gifts for friends and family, or you can take your pet for a checkup at the vet clinic, shop for pet food and other accessories, or make sure they are properly exercised. After visiting so many malls where the big, bad “no dogs allowed” sign is proudly displayed at ever entrance, this was a huge shock for me. At the top of the pet-friendly malls is Lucky Chinatown Mall in Manila, where your dog can follow you around the mall and even enter a lot of shops (everything is color coded, so you know where it’s safe to bring your dog). Other malls around Manila where dogs are welcome are Mall of Asia, Bonifacio High Street, and Shangri-la Mall (only in their Bow and Wow area).
Speaking of malls, you could also try Eastwood Mall in Eastwood City, a Manila community that’s entirely pet friendly. After you enjoy the Eastwood City Walk, you might want to go for a break to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. While many restaurants and coffee shops in the Philippines allow dogs on their outside seating areas, these two welcome then inside. The staff also takes time to play with your dog, and if you go there a few times, they’ll treat both you and your dog as regulars and address you by name.
Wherever you will go, there will be a beach or a park or a mall where your dog is allowed. You can also enjoy picnics or hikes in the outdoors, such as the Lopez Picnic Grounds in Le Mesa Ecopark, or Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village. As far as beaches go, most lists revolve around resorts that allow pets, but most of these are close to beaches. The rule of thumb is that if you choose place with less populated beaches nearby, you are safe to go with your pet.
Our top beach recommendation also happens to be Jo’s favorite, Hinoba-an, one tiny and pristine municipality in the south of Negros Occiendtal. Secluded beaches, solitude, and the most stunning sunsets you can think of will all greet you here.
Safety Tips for Pet Travel in the Philippines
If you take your dog to the beach, then here’s a few pieces of advice to keep your dog safe. There are only five basic commands that you have to familiarize yourself with and you won’t stress out while your dog explores the sandy beaches of any of the 7000 Philippines islands.
Another important tip is to be aware of what is required of you. Some malls have color codes for stores that allow dogs, other issue Pet Passes, while others have dedicated areas for your pet. No matter where you go, make sure your pet’s passport is always with you. You’ll have to show proof your vaccinations are up to date and your dog is in good health.
Now that you know what to expect, everything that’s left to do is plan your next trip to the Philippines for you and your pet!
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