How to take pets on holiday

How to take pets on holiday

You can travel with your furry friends by bus, train or air if you prepare in advance and follow simple procedures

Deepthi’s golden retrievers on their first river rafting in Kulu. She recently took them on a 23-day trip across India

Bengaluru is regarded as one of India’s most pet-friendly cities, and that is reflected in how Bengalureans take their pets along when they go holidaying.

Here is a checklist for pet-lovers considering a trip out of the city.

Air: Do your paperwork

  • Only some airlines allow pets to fly. If you are planning to take the dog overseas, do the paperwork.
  • First check whether the pet is fit to fly at all. If it is too weak or young, consider leaving it home.
  • Consult a vet before risking it as some breeds with short muzzles (such as pugs) can experience breathing difficulties if left in the cargo hold of an airline.
  • Check if the airline you have chosen is safe for your pet.
  • Check pet policies and quarantine regulations with the airline.
  • Carry papers with you and be aware of the vaccinations.
  • Make sure to crate-train your pet
  • Mention contact details on the crate to minimise confusion in case your pet feels uneasy in the cargo hold.

KSRTC: Buy child ticket for pet

Pet animals and birds are allowed on city, suburban, ordinary and mofussil buses. They are not allowed on premium services like Karnataka Vaibhava, Rajahamsa, and non-AC sleeper and air-conditioned buses.

  • Allowed only if in cage: rabbits, dogs, cats, birds.
  • They are charged children fares.
  • For more details, log on to www.ksrtc.in.

Train: Book AC or first class

Here is what you need to do

  • Dogs are allowed only in AC and non-AC first class coaches.
  • Book your tickets (excluding the dog).
  • Choose a two-berth or four-berth compartment.
  • Once your tickets are confirmed, contact parcel office at your boarding station.
  • On payment of a small fee (depending on the size of the dog), you get a booking slip. This is your dog’s ticket.
  • Passengers travelling in other classes can put their pets in luggage vans, and in special boxes provided by the railways.
  • Log on to indianrailways.gov.in for more details.

When you book a hotel

  • Make sure in advance it is pet-friendly to prevent unpleasant surprises.
  • Have your animal vaccinated and shown to a vet before a trip.
  • Carry enough medications.
  • Avoid leaving your animal alone in the room for extended periods of time.
  • Take your dog out before bedtime and in the morning so it can relieve itself.

Things to look out for...

Pet parents share with Metrolife their travel stories.

Never let them off the leash
Pradeep and Kamini Krishnaswamy have taken six road trips with their two dogs. For Kamini, travelling with a pet is just like travelling with a baby.
“Checking if a place is pet-friendly or not should be the priority. Carry medications also as you never know what might crop up,” she says.
She also suggests carrying dry food (such as grain free food, longevity chicken meal and more) as pet dogs don’t take well to sudden changes in diet.

Toys and games familiar to the pets help them adjust to the environment, she observes.

“Make sure that their harnesses are secure, and the dogs are on the leash. Most people take out dogs with collars that tend to slip off,” she adds.

Railway staff are helpful
Deepthi A R, city-based photographer, recently took a 23-day trip across India with her two golden retrievers. It was her second trip by train with them.
“It was scary the first time I took my pets on the train. I did not know how they would react,” she recalls. Pets are allowed only in air-conditioned train coaches, she says.
“The section is enclosed and hence there is no chance of anyone being hurt by your pet or your pet going out of control,” she explains.

Food and hygiene are the biggest concerns. “I was surprised to see dogs can go a day without pooping and control it without falling sick. I made sure to take them on toilet breaks whenever the train stopped. I also carried potty pads, bundles of newspapers and a room spray, just in case,” she adds.Deepthi says the helpful staff on Rajdhani Express made their journey smooth.

“The staff kept asking me if the dogs were comfortable and needed anything. They also got them an extra plate of rice and boiled vegetables,” she says.
She believes dogs stay healthy if they are taken out on trips. “I saw a lot of changes in my dog once he was back. He became more responsive,” she says.

A study says trips expose dogs to new environments and in turn keep them healthy.

Dogs are curious about new surroundings
Madhurima Bhattacharjee, fashion designer, is a mother of two dogs. She says Sakleshpur is one of the best pet-friendly places in Karnataka. Madhurima has taken five trips with her pets. Prepare well in advance for the trip is her advice.
“You don’t want to go there and find out the place isn’t pet-friendly. Carry dry food and plenty of water for your pet,” she says. On trips, her older pet is active, while the younger one prefers to stay by her side. “One hikes away all by himself while the other prefers to stay under my protection. In any case, make sure to put a name tag with your contact details on your dog,” she adds.

Professional help

Companies in Bengaluru that specialise in pet services.

  • Anvis Pet Relocation, a pet management company in Bengaluru, helps pet parents if they have to relocate.Established in 2010, they also provide other services like dog walking, pet boarding, pet sitting, foster homes, canine behaviour and pet transportation. “If the pet parent wants to fly early, one of our team will fly with the pet and give it to the owner,” the customer care executive says.The company also works with a veterinary doctor to get the necessary certificates. Eight pets are flying to cities abroad, including San Francisco, Sydney, and Jakarta, this month.
    Reach them at 7348955953
  • Ruff pet services provides the pet parents with pet taxi services. They also provide pick and drop services to Veterinary Clinics and Hospitals.Established in 2014, it also provides services like animal shelters, boarding kennel, grooming salons, cattery pick up and deliveries.“Pet parents will want to travel along with their pets on vacations. We help them with experienced drivers who can converse in both Kannada and Hindi. The taxis have two staff on-board, a driver and a handler. It is also equipped with a GPS tracker, “says Syed Shibly, proprietor. Ruff services also help pet parents in booking travel tickets and pet-friendly hotels.
    Contact them on 9845075999.
  • Pet Cabs, started in 2013 also provides taxi services to pet parents. The taxis are provided with pet-friendly trained drivers.Pet Cabs is similar to our daily taxi services like ola and uber. One can book a ride using their app or call 7676146666 and place the booking.