Your furry friend deserves to be around you all the time. That’s what makes them the happiest and your happiness lies in theirs. But what to do when you need to travel far away from home- may be for a holiday?  You may need to relocate to another city and you wonder if Travelling With a Dog in India is a feasible option. This Comprehensive Guide on Travelling With a Dog in India aims to answer all such queries.

 

Relocation to another city is one of the most common reasons cited for  abandoning pet dogs in India. Though there are many avenues available, people assume that it must be hectic and abandon their pets when such a situation comes up. In this article we will discuss all the relevant details about Travelling With a Dog in India. We will look at different modes of transportation available and the rules to follow to avail each one of those transportation facilities. You can pick and choose from any of these according to your requirements.

Deciding the Mode of Transportation:

It is the most important part after you decide to Travel with your Dog. There are three modes available- Train, Car and Flight. A lot will depend on your specific requirements while you choose the desired mode of transportation. If you plan much before the date of journey then Train may be the easiest pick. If you do not have the time to plan early then you may choose between travelling by car or flight. It is important that you know everything about all these modes of transportation so that it is easier for you to decide what suits you.

 

The Procedure for Travelling With a Dog in Indian Railways:

Travelling With a Dog in India via Train is one of the easiest and safest options to consider. Many consider this as a troublesome process but that is mostly due to the lack of awareness. The reason it is one of the safest options is that if you follow the process you can carry your dog in your cabin. You do not have to leave them in a cargo or confine them in a crate. Let’s understand the process in detail.

Indian Railways allow travelling with a dog only in AC First Class Coaches. Make sure to plan in advance so that the whole process becomes smoother. While Booking a ticket give a preference to a Coupe. Since in case of AC 1st tickets you get the seat number and other details only after the chart gets prepared, (which is only few hours before the journey starts ) there is always a probability that you may not be allotted a coupe but a cabin. In that case if your co-passengers are not comfortable with travelling with a dog then you have to keep your dog at the brake van. Which would not be a pleasant experience for them. The space is really congested and uncomfortable there. Your dog may feel very anxious and even may fall sick.

But the good news is that there is a way out. After you book AC 1st tickets you can write a letter to the Chief Reservation Officer. Mention in the letter that you have a confirmed AC 1st ticket. Provide all the details including the PNR, Train number, date of travel, dog breed, age of dog etc. Make a humble request to them to allot a coupe to you since you would be Travelling with a Dog. Submit the letter personally to the Chief Reservation Officer’s office.

Dog Travelling in Train

Usually they accept such requests and allot a coupe. The process is actually very simple and I personally have travelled with my dog like this several times. It has never been an issue. In case you do not want to take any risk and do not want to go through this procedure then you always have another choice. Book an entire cabin (4 tickets) so that there is no one else except you and your dog.

Also remember to reach the railway station well before the scheduled departure time in both the cases. You need to go through some formalities there. You need to get a ticket for your dog the price of which varies depending on the weight of the dog. They charge a nominal amount on a per kg basis.

Another important thing to note here is that you will need a written ‘fit to travel’ certificate from a registered veterinarian for your dog. This has to be taken not more than 24 hrs before the scheduled travelling time. Also make sure to carry an updated vaccination card, photo copies of the vaccination card, ‘Fit to Travel Certificate’ and id proof. The concerned authorities may or may not ask to produce all these during issuance of a ticket for your dog. But it is always better to carry these to avoid any hassle later on.

That’s all about the procedure part. Keep a few newspapers and a bundle of tissue with you to clean up if your dog pees or poops on the floor of the cabin. Make sure to feed your dog light food to avoid any digestion issues. Also, try to limit the water intake of your dog as they may have an urge to vomit due to the jerks in a moving train.

Travelling By Road:

If you plan for a trip on very short notice then travelling by road is the most convenient option. As you would not have that much time to make arrangements for train tickets on short notice. Dogs need enough space to move around and relax when travelling in a car for long hours. Travelling with a Dog by road is easier if you book a pet cab. Especially If you do not own a car and you have many luggage and other family members travelling with you.

Travelling by Road with a Dog

There are professional pet transportation service providers in almost every city in India today. You can search within your area and look for their reviews online. You only need to make sure that your dog’s vaccination is up to date and provide them few details like the date of travel, your dog’s food habits, health issues etc and you are good to go.

Please note that you may need to adhere to some additional guidelines according to the rules that individual pet transporting service providers follow. Make sure to ask them everything in detail to avoid a last minute rush. Inform them about how frequently they should take your dog out for toilet breaks. It is better to provide that particular food that your pet is used to eating. Since long journeys may involve some anxiety, the more familiar your dog feels with their daily routine the easier it would be for them to adopt.

 

Rules for Air Travel:

Travelling with a Dog by Air is often the preferred choice for pet parents. Especially if you need to travel across the seas then it is the only option for you. Please note that there are different sets of guidelines available for different airline operators. You need to check specific guidelines by visiting the official website of the airline you are set to travel with.

Air Travel with a Dog

Broadly the following rules are one of the most common rules for Travelling With a Dog by Air-

1) The dog must be at least 8 weeks old.

2) They should be physically fit to travel by air.

3) Pregnant Dogs are usually not allowed to travel by air.

4) There is a cut off weight depending on which you can either carry your dog in the cabin or carry them in an airline approved crate with live cargo.

5) You need to produce all the details about their health. It includes vaccination certificate, existing health issues if any, fitness certificates or such other documents as per the rules.

That’s all you need to know about Travelling With a Dog in India. Hope this helps you to plan better for travelling with your dog. Please do not abandon them when you relocate to another city. They are just like our family members. While you take all your belongings when you relocate, why leave the most precious gift of life? I am referring to a dog’s unconditional love. Take them along wherever you go and experience the purest bond for a lifetime.

Happy Pawrenting!