A short guide to traveling with a dog

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Going on holiday when you have a dog can be a bit of a dilemma. You’re all set to have fun and explore new places but it’s not quite as happy for your pet, who you will have to send to a kennel or a friend. Dogs can miss their owners terribly. Some pine and mope around for days, sometimes not even eating. Chances are you will be missing your furry family member as well. The solution is to plan a pet-friendly holiday.

First, consider your method of transportation. If you are traveling with a dog within India, your best bet is to go by car, so pick somewhere you can drive to. Going by car will be the most comfortable for your dog. You could take the train as well but there are certain rules and regulations that you need to check before you make the journey. Most Indian airlines do not allow pets in the passenger cabin, and also will not take many breeds into the pressurized cargo hold, which rules out flights. Here are the flight policies for a few airlines: Spicejet, Jet Airways, Indigo: No animals!, Air India, Go Air: No information.

Going somewhere close by will ensure that you and your animal aren’t stressed out by the trip. In the car, you will need restraints to keep your dog safe. Get a safety harness or a barricade across the backseat to contain them to one area. Keep a stock of treats, water and your pet’s favorite food for the trip. Make toilet stops regularly and often to avoid him messing in the car or getting restless. Don’t forget to let your dog stretch its legs during these stops as well. Taking a short walk or running around should help him or her expend some of that pent-up energy.

If you’re travelling in the summer heat, remember to never leave your pet unattended in the car. Dogs can suffer from heatstroke too.

Check beforehand whether your hotel has a pets-allowed policy. You don’t want to be turned away at their door. Call them up and asks specifics as to what their rules regarding animals are. For example, are pets allowed inside the hotel as well as outside? Is there a dog-sitting facility in case you want to head out without him?

And most importantly, go to the vet for a checkup before you head out to make sure your dog has a clean bill of health. This is a precautionary but important measure – you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere if your dog is coming down with an illness.

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