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.
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!
Crates for air travel need to be IATA approved
Taking dogs on trains is heavily regulated in India