pETS & US

You al­ready know about the care to be taken for trav­el­ling with pets. Citadel colum­nist & pet ex­pert PRIYA PODUVAL now speaks in more de­tail about the things to know while trav­el­ling with your pet in In­dia.

Citadel - - CONTENTS -

Pet ex­pert PRIYA PODUVAL sim­pli­fies trav­el­ling with pets in In­dia

Plan­ning a trip with your furry friend ure, it can be a lot of fun, and you no longer have to worry about how they are do­ing at hoPe with­out you. ut planes and trains were not built with aniPals in Pind, so the re­sult is un­pre­dictable. epend­ing on how pre­pared you are, you could have a great trip or a dis­as­trous nightPare. ere are soPe of the things to keep in Pind while trav­el­ling with pets in ,ndia

TRAV­EL­LING WITH DOGS IN IN­DIAN RAIL­WAYS

Train travel is a cheaper and health­ier op­tion for pets, but def­i­nitely not has­sle­free ei­ther. The ,ndian ail­ways only have spec­i­fied rules for dogs, but you can take other aniPals and birds as well. :ith trains, you have the op­tion of keep­ing your dog with you, pro­vided you are trav­el­ling in irst lass or ir on­di­tioned irst lass and that you book ei­ther the two or four-berth area en­tirely. lter­na­tively, dogs can be car­ried in the lug­gage brake van in spe­cially de­signed bo es. 8nfor­tu­nately, with trains, even if you book the full berth, if soPeone in that coP­partPent ob ects to the dog, your poor pooch will have to travel in the lug­gage van any­way. This can be re­ally dif­fi­cult, es­pe­cially be­cause it is up to you to pro­vide your dog with food and wa­ter through­out the our­ney. /arge dogs too can­not travel in the coP­partPent they will be trans­ported in a sep­a­rate car that is usu­ally used for horses.

FLY­ING YOUR PET

et ir­ways, ir ,ndia, pice et and is­tara al­low pets on board, while ,ndi o and ir osta only ser­vice aniPals that are re­Tuired for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties. :hile soPe reg­u­la­tions and poli­cies vary across th­ese, Post of the rules are coPPon to all. ets that are be­low weeks old, and in soPe cases 12 weeks, are not al­lowed to fly. The saPe goes for preg­nant aniPals and fePales with un­weaned off­spring. er­tain aniPal breeds and their cross

breeds are not al­lowed on board, such as ag­gres­sive dog breeds (for ob­vi­ous rea­sons), short-muz­zled dog breeds (for health rea­sons), and a few cat breeds. In most cases, only guide dogs are al­lowed into the cabin with pas­sen­gers. ther pets, such as dogs, cats, rab­bits and on some air­lines birds, usu­ally have to travel ei­ther as e cess bag­gage or as part of the cargo. The lat­ter is the cheaper op­tion, but it could mean that your pet may not travel on the same flight as you, so the for­mer is def­i­nitely prefer­able. nly Air In­dia al­lows pets in the cabin, if the com­bined weight of the pet and the car­rier are less than ki­los. all in to make the reser­va­tion for your pet be­cause it can­not be done on the phone. There is a limit to how many pets the air­line can take on each flight, so find out in ad­vance if there is space for your pet. ou may be charged a flat fee by the air­line, or it could vary ac­cord­ing to your pet’s weight.

CRAT­ING YOUR PET

It’s nor­mal to feel bad about crat­ing your pet. For­tu­nately, the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA) has laid down guide­lines, keep­ing your pet’s safety and com­fort in mind. For any air travel, you need to crate your pet in an IATA-ap­proved cage and en­sure it has enough space to lie down, stand and turn around com­fort­ably. The crate should be well ven­ti­lated, made of a non-chew­able ma­te­rial and have smooth edges and a way to shut it prop­erly. It should be es­cape and leakproof, or things could get re­ally ugly. Buy­ing the crate in ad­vance will give you a chance to get your pet used to it so that it is less ner­vous on the day of your Mour­ney. Putting a la­bel on it is a good idea, mark­ing it as con­tain­ing a live an­i­mal, as well as list­ing all of your pet’s in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing name, owner, ad­dress, flight itin­er­ary, na­ture and owner’s emer­gency con­tact de­tails.

VIS­IT­ING THE VET

Be­ing an an­i­mal doesn’t mean they can es­cape all the has­sles of pa­per­work health cer­tifi­cates from the vet, along with a let­ter from them stat­ing that your pet is ready to fly, are a must, in ad­di­tion to all the vac­ci­na­tions. ther reTuire­ments may vary ac­cord­ing to the air­line, so make sure you start on all the doc­u­men­ta­tion at least a month in ad­vance. Most car­ri­ers will not take an­i­mals that have been se­dated, as it poses a tremen­dous risk to their health. If they are ag­i­tated, you can give them a nat­u­ral pet calmer in­stead. ome pets also tend to face mo­tion sick­ness. ou can pre­pare them for this by tak­ing them for long drives so that they can start get­ting used to it. If they are prone to mo­tion sick­ness, do not feed them be­fore the flight, but give them a lot of wa­ter so that they are well hy­drated. Think care­fully about whether or not your pet is ready to fly. If nec­es­sary, ask your vet for an obMec­tive opin­ion. The trip will be that much harder if you have an an­i­mal with be­havioural is­sues, and you cer­tainly won’t gain any sym­pa­thy from fel­low pas­sen­gers or air­line staff if you have a howl­ing or growl­ing an­i­mal.

ONCE YOU REACH

Make sure you have booked a pet­friendly ho­tel and that you’ve in­formed them in ad­vance of your ar­rival. 5es­orts with lawns or beaches are the best idea, giv­ing your pet the free­dom to roam around. Plan your itin­er­ary in ad­vance so that you and your pet don’t have to face any rude sur­prises, but al­ways have a back-up plan in case you do. Be calm and firm with your pet, and if you man­age to get through the first trip okay, you’ll find that they can make re­ally good travel com­pan­ions.

elhi’s Indira andhi In­ter­na­tional Air­port has a helpdesk by Pet Fly, a pe­tre­lo­ca­tion ser­vice, to as­sist pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling with an­i­mals. The im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber is that while you want to have a great time with your pet at your cho­sen hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion, you are solely re­spon­si­ble for its health and well be­ing. If you’re not cer­tain about be­ing able to care for your pet while on hol­i­day, it is al­ways a bet­ter op­tion to leave it in the care of friends, or dog stays. But if you e er­cise th­ese tips while in tran­sit, you’ll get to have the time of your life with your four-legged friend for com­pany!

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Priya Poduval

Crates for air travel need to be IATA ap­proved

Tak­ing dogs on trains is heav­ily reg­u­lated in In­dia

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