You can even travel with an elephant in a train. No Seriously. That said, you probably are wondering how to travel with your dog or cat, and we'll try to help you. Pet Travel shouldn't be a cause for concern anymore.
Travelling with a pet in India, while not usual, is an increasingly commonplace occurrence nowadays. Only a pet parent can truly understand the difficulty of planning a vacation keeping their pet in mind. Cancelling your vacation plans just for your pet can cause much distress and even affect social relationships.
And even if you find someone, you might not always enjoy your vacation, thanks to constant anxiety about your pet.
The solution of course to this, is if it is possible to travel with your pet on your vacation! Its sounds tough, but it is quite possible to travel with your pet, you just need to follow rules.
Poochles brings you some quick and easy tips for pet travel.
Pet Travel On Trains
- Indian Railways has separate rules charted out for carrying pets on trains.
- If you have a Larger pet like Labradors or German Shepherds its best to travel AC First Class or First Class, and reserve either a two berth or a four berth compartment exclusively for his/her use, paying the due charges depending upon the type of train.
- Other compartment classes dont permit to carry the dogs, but the dog can be booked and carried in the Luggage/Brake Van. Specially designed Dog Boxes are available in the Brake Van for this purpose. You can easily make a quick visit to the Parcel Office to book your dogs travel.
- But note, this Dog box isnt exactly a bedroom in the Leela Palace, so it can be difficult for a large dog. A smaller dog like a Dachshund or a Shihtzu or a Pomeranian would be a better fit.
Larger Pet Travel Recommendations
- Large pets which cannot be carried in the dog-box of a brake van can be carried in a special vehicle at the same rates and conditions as for horses. So we recommend that you get a comfortable crate for your dog, and then discuss with parcel office manager. The crate will be a good long term investment for the family, and your furbaby will feel more comfortable in a known crate.
- Also remember, dogs are den animals. They love to be crated. You just have to train them appropriately from childhood.
- Learn about how to crate train your dog here.
- Its best not to try to stowaway your dog secretly in the train, as it is a headache for both you and other travellers. In the spirit of spreading good vibes in the world, Poochles strongly recommends against this. Oh, also you will be fined a hefty amount as well.
- Dogs when carried in the break-van and/or A.C.C. and first class passenger compartments will be charged for at Scale 'L'(luggage Rates) on the basis of weight and subject to a minimum charge of Rs.10/- per dog, charges being Prepaid.
- "Seeing Eye" dog travelling with a blind person in the compartment (First class) will, however, be charged the same tariff as for dogs carried in brake_van. The dogs must be provided with Collars and Chains.
- You should make your own arrangements for water and food for the dog during the journey.
Acceptance from other passengers to Pet Travel
- Travelling in First class AC or first class may take a dog into the compartment only with the concurrence of fellow passengers. If fellow passengers subsequently object to the dog remaining in the compartment, it will be removed to the Guard's van, and no refund being given.
- Dogs are not allowed to be carried in AC Sleeper Coaches,AC chair car coaches sleeper class and second class coaches.
Pet Travel on Airlines in India
Disclaimer: Airlines rules may change, pet owners are advised to check with airlines.
- While in western countries travelling with dogs is a little more easier on planes, its just catching up in India.
Approx Cost from Kolkata to Delhi would be INR 6500
Approx Cost from Chennai to Mumbai is around INR 7000
So it costs about the same as a human ticket ( Yay!)
- First things first, make sure your pet is fit enough to fly. Your pet's health is a priority over everything else. Pets face health-related issues when they're anxious, so make sure your pet is not prone to anxiety. You also have to make sure that your pet is vaccinated and its rabies certificates are in proper order and up to date. Without proper medical clearance, your pet will not be allowed to board the flight.
- Chat with your vet, or with one of Poochles support agents to clarify any doubts you may about pet travel. Poochles+ subscribers can chat with our pet specialists 5 days a week, for free :)
- Only two domestic airlines, SpiceJet and Air India offer the service of flying with your pet. While both these airlines are pet-friendly, their terms and conditions differ. While Air India allows pets of a certain size in the cabin, SpiceJet only gives you the option of taking them in the luggage compartment.
- On Air India, only really small sized breeds like chihuahuas would fall under their permitted weight of 5 kgs. So in most cases you will be looking at a luggage compartment travel.
- The pets will be charged additionally and not counted as excess luggage even if the passenger is travelling luggage-free. The cost is subject to change and will depend on the size of your pet/crate.
- We recommend Spice Jet over Air India, as these cargo areas are pressurized and temperature controlled for your pet. Make sure to keep reminding the flight attendants that you have a pet travelling in the cargo so that the temperature is maintained accordingly throughout your journey.
Exceptions for Pet Travel
SpiceJet also has a list of dog breeds that they do not allow on their flights, given their aggressive nature. Short-snout dogs are also not allowed since they are under potential threat of a heat stroke or breathing difficulties. Pregnant dogs are also prohibited from being carried on flights.
Puppies below the age of 12 weeks are not allowed as the pressure can cause harm to them.
Additional Important Tips for Pet Travel
Call the airlines a few days before you decide to travel to make sure that the plane they're going to be using has sufficient oxygen in the cargo area for your pet.
Make sure that you have the full information from the airlines before showing up at the airport. The airport staff might not be fully aware of the procedure so make sure you are.