How to travel with your dog? A complete Guide

how to travel with your dog

There aren’t many experiences that leave an indelible impression like quite vacations. However given the hassles of long distance travel – travelling with pets may not always seem that feasible. But for pet people, traveling without dogs seems a guilt laden idea, doesn’t it?

See Also: How to choose the right pet-boarding? 

What if we were to tell you that traveling with dog can be a memorable experience for both of you? The trick here lies in preparing for the same.

In this blog post, let’s explore how to travel with your dog so that a fun filled vacation awaits you!

What should you consider before you plan a trip with your pet?

Discuss your travel plans with your vet first. In case your dog hasn’t traveled before, it is always good to check if he may have issues related to respiration, motion sickness or anxiety.

dog travel tips infographic

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If you are planning a trip via car or airplane, you should consider familiarizing your dog to carriers and crates via positive reinforcement and treats. Make your dog feel comfortable in this safe space as he’d have to spend a significant journey time in it.

Get food bowls, water and healthy treats. In case you’re going on a long trip, you may also consider getting no-rinse spray like Himalaya Freshcoat to tackle with fur odor and hygiene.

Tips for Traveling with dogs in cars

  1. Don’t overfeed your dog before the trip as they are prone to motion sickness. It is also not a good idea to feed them while in motion. Instead you may take pit stops and give him a small snack, preferably high in protein.
  2. To keep your dog calm during a car ride it is always a good idea to have him well exercised before he boards the car.
  3. Put your dog in the back seat as it would mitigate his chances of interfering the drive. Putting him in a crate (if he’s small) or put to safety via a harness would ensure that he doesn’t become a projectile in case you’ve to apply emergency brakes.

    dog car travel tips
    Make frequent stops, especially during the early stages of your road trip. This will help make him feel safe instead of anxious. Picture courtesy: Geetalima
  4. Keep your dog’s favorite toy or any familiar item — that will comfort and relax him.
  5. Pack sufficient food, water and don’t forget the bowls.
  6. Bring waste disposal bags
  7. Don’t leave your dog in a parked car as it can get very hot in there for your pooch to handle!

How to travel with your dog in Indian Railways?

Did you know you can take you dog along with you in first AC compartment? For this you’d have to book a first AC coupe/cabin.

Pro Tip: Book the tickets in even number such as 2 or 4. Since you are only allowed to take the dog if you have an entire coupe or cabin to yourself.

The ticket for the dog will be issued at the parcel counter of the railway station from where your train is leaving. It is booked only after the reservation chart is prepared which is around 4 hours before the departure of the train. One has to reach the railway station along with the dog at least 2-3 hours before train departure so that you can get the ticket from the parcel counter.

travel with dog Indian railway
KC enjoying a train ride. Picture courtesy: @welltravelleddog

If you do not get a coupe/cabin to yourself, then your dog might not be allowed in the first AC compartment (in case fellow passengers complain) and he’d have to travel in the luggage car. In the latter case, you’d have to provide food and water for the dog and keep a check on him at stations where the train stops.

You can take the dog out on stations for relieving himself. It is better to know beforehand at what times the stations arrive so that you can plan accordingly. Also keep a tab on the time since you do not want to be left on the station in case the train leaves.

Flying with your dog on an airplane?

If you plan to take your dog on a flight, always research before booking an air ticket as every airline has different policies about transporting dogs. Some airlines may also require your dog’s health certificate. Similarly some carriers may allow dogs in the cabin as part of the carry-on luggage while others would only allow dogs in the cargo.

dog crate India
Ready to be shipped on Emirates from Mumbai to Dubai
  1. If you have the choice, always go with in-cabin travel.
  2. Book direct flights if possible for less chance of mishaps and a smoother experience for your dog.
  3. Get an airline approved crate for your pooch. (Make him feel comfortable in the same by training in the weeks preceding the flight.

    dog flight boarding
    Miss Malti at Frankfurt Airport, Germany.
  4. Make sure your dog has access to water.
  5. In case your dog isn’t flying with you in the cabin, please be calm as it would in turn pacify your dog.

Travelling with pets in India?

Air India – Pet animals can be carried as an accompanied baggage or shipped as Cargo. You will have to make this request at the time of making your booking. The staff will advise you about certain formalities that you will have to complete.

Spice Jet – Carries live animals on the Boeing B737-800 and 900 series aircraft.

Vistara – Accepts seeing-eye dogs in every cabin class on their aircraft.

Jet Airways – Your pet can be transported either as ‘Accompanied (part of checked baggage)’ or ‘Unaccompanied’ (shipped via Cargo).

Other handy tips:

  • Put your contact information on the dog collar as it would help in the unfortunate case of your dog getting lost.
  • Book dog friendly hotels in advance and call them to confirm that you will be bringing your dog along with you. Use search filters to shortlist the hotels based on them being pet friendly.
Dog boat ride
Picture courtesy: @welltravelleddog

“From our experience, we have found that people in India are not hostile towards dogs as the general perception might be. People have been welcoming in giving our dog boat rides and even letting him in their restaurants. However be sure that your dog does not dirty their premises and is well behaved. If the dog is pretty hyper and has a tendency to run, it’s better to keep him on leash at all times. You do not want to scare away people which in turn can create problems for you and your dog.” ~Neha Bhardwaj, avid traveler

Be careful, be safe – and have fun!

While you’re here, we have a summer vacation special contest for all the pet parents! 

Simply email us pictures from your trip with your pets and you may win awesome goodies 🙂

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Published by

Abhishek Joshi

The man who was Peter Pan — aka 'Dog With Blog'. Raconteur, Reader, Backpacker... If I were an element, I'd be radioactive.

4 thoughts on “How to travel with your dog? A complete Guide”

    1. I haven’t personally flown a pet in India but a friend of mine has used Jet Airways twice and was appreciative of the same. I’d however suggest to go through a detailed discussion with customer service staff of respective flight carrier for their policies and wherever possible, try to fly your pet in cabin.

  1. Hello Abhishek,

    I have Indian Pariah dog, a female.
    I wish to transport her by flight.
    I checked on airline website that it requires a crate which should be IATA approved.
    Can you guide me as to where I can get the crate? I have checked online, and the prices vary from 1500 to 10000. I stay in Delhi.

    It will be very helpful if you provide your contact number as it help me in planning her journey.

    Thanks and regards,
    Ashutosh

    1. Hi Ashutosh, unfortunately, I can’t help you with the price front. All I can recommend is to go after a quality product. IATA approval is not only mandatory for the flier but also good for your dog.

      I am currently traveling and not in India.

      You can reach out at harry3797@gmail.com

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