Here's how you can enjoy your vacation without having to leave your pet behind.
How often have you cancelled your vacation plans because you can't leave your pet at home? There may also have been times when you haven't been able to enjoy your vacation, thanks to constant anxiety about the well-being of your pet, back at home.
All of this could be avoided if you carry your pet along with you while travelling. As complex an ordeal as that may sound, it is quite possible to take your pet on vacations, only if you follow certain rules.
To help you overcome the dilemma about travelling with your pet, we bring you a list of provisions available for doing the same.
Carrying your pet on trains
Indian Railways has separate rules charted out for carrying pets on trains.
For carrying animals such as dogs and birds, one is required to pay an additional fee of Rs 30, under section 77-A of the Indian Railway Act, as mentioned on the official website, indianrail.gov.in.
The website further mentions that carrying dogs in first class compartments will entail a minimum charge of ''Rs 10 per dog, charges being Prepaid...The dogs must be provided with collars and chains. Owners should make their own arrangements for food and water for the dog during the journey. Dogs detected unbooked will be charged at six times the Luggage Scale Rate subject to a minimum of Rs 50.''
However, Indian Railways doesn't allow dogs to be carried in ''ACC Sleeper Coaches, Acc chair car coaches sleeper class and second class coaches. If a dog is found being carried in contravention of this rule, it will be removed immediately to the brake-van and charges will be levied six times the Luggage Scale Rate subject to a minimum of Rs 50.''
While keeping all the rules in mind, one should ideally ensure that his or her pet does not end up being a nuisance to the fellow passengers. In such a case, a pet owner can indulge his or her pet by giving some toys or chewies.
Carrying your pet on a flight
Before making your pet travel on flight, make sure he is fit enough to do so. If yes, then look for the right, pet-friendly airline for flying.
While Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Vistara allow pets on board, they are not allowed on IndiGo and Air Asia.
Carrying pets on an aircraft will require valid health and Rabies vaccination certificates, followed by an approval of the commander of the flight.
In Air India, for instance, ''the pet must be properly carried in soft ventilated bags/kennel in the prescribed size (kennel size not to exceed 18" x 18" x 12"). The weight of the pet including the container should not exceed five kgs. for carriage in the cabin. Pets of larger size / weight will be carried in the cargo hold,'' as mentioned on its official website.
A maximum of two pets will be permitted per flight, in Air India, for which, an additional charge will be levied. ''Maximum of two pets are permitted per flight and passenger accompanying such pet will be seated in the last row of booked cabin class. A label will be affixed on the container showing the name of the pet. A moisture absorbent mat must be placed in the container. The pet dog must be properly muzzled and leashed,'' says the website.
Jet Airways, on the other hand, accepts only birds and rabbits within India. ''Book your pet at least 24 hours in advance as accompanied baggage for domestic flights. Live animals will be carried in the cargo hold only and cannot be carried in the cabin. Jet Airways will accept a maximum of three pet containers on B737 aircraft and a maximum of 5 pet containers on A330 / B777 aircraft, subject to space availability.One guest can carry maximum of three pet containers on Domestic flights in the aircraft hold subject to space availability,'' reads its website.
Containers carrying pets are not accepted on flights if it is unclean or the pet is found to be too savage.
Before booking your hotel, find out which of them accommodate pets. There are a number of pet-friendly homestays, resorts and hotels in India. Some of them are Tree of Life Resort in Jaipur, Vivanta by Taj in Kerala, and Camp Della Resort in Lonavala, to name a few.
Whether your pet is travelling by train or air and even staying in the best of hotels, it doesn't relieve you of the responsibilities that one has an owner. One is required to maintain caution about his or her pet's health and comfort all throughout the sojourn.
Article courtesy - IndiaToday.