Dogs can get stressed during their first train journey. Learn how to plan ahead and ensure your dogs necessities are taken care of!
Hoomans and their dogs share an inseparable bond. Having a dog as a friend makes our life worth living. They make your good times better and hard times easier. And when a trip is coming up, the first thing that will come to your mind is - should you leave the dog home, or take him along? If you do decide to leave him behind, there are many options: you can drop them off at a pet crèche or get a pet sitter.
But what if this time, you want to take your dog on a vacation with you? And what about if you are making a move to a different city. Whatever your reason for travelling with your dog, for longer distances, the Indian Railways seems like a viable option.
But can you take dogs on the train?
Absolutely! You can take your dog along if you are travelling within India and taking the rail route. However, the Indian Railways has some rules and regulations set in place. Subject to certain conditions and an additional fee, you can get your pet around from one part of the country to another with ease.
Rules for taking pet dogs on a train:
- The pet owner is required to pay an additional fee of Rs. 200 per dog, as mentioned under section 77-A of the Indian Railways Act. You can read the terms and conditions on the official website of the Indian Railways.
- There are two bogie options available for your dog. If the train you are travelling in has a First Class AC, you can take the dog either in the two-berth coupe or the four-berth cabin. It is advisable that you book the entire compartment, so it causes no nuisance to co-passengers. If the train has no First Class bogie, your dog will have to travel in the guard or luggage van. Now this one is a tad tricky because the dog can get tensed and stressed because of the shaky cabins, loud noises and being away from their favourite human.
- AC sleeper coaches like AC 2-tier (2A) or AC 3-tier (3A), AC chair car coaches, and second class coaches strictly do not allow dogs
- Irrespective of the option that you choose, if your fellow passengers raise concern over the presence of a dog, the dog will be taken away to the luggage van.
- One way to ensure a coupe or a cabin (based on the number of travellers) confirmation is to write to the Chief Commercial Officer of Zonal Railways informing them that you are travelling with a pet.
- If the dog is found unbooked, the owners will be charged a hefty fine - almost 6 times the luggage rates for the said journey.
Some additional tips when travelling with a dog on trains:
- The dog's food and water arrangements have to be done by the owners.
- Carry your dog’s fitness certificate along. And this certificate has been issued 24 hours prior to the start of the journey.
- On the day of the travel, reach the station at least 2 hours before the departure time to help your dog become accustomed to the surroundings.
- Once at the station, go to the parcel office along with your dog, his fitness certificate, and your confirmed ticket. After they have booked the dog as ‘luggage’, they will weigh him, and you will be asked to pay the parcel charges.
- Whenever the train stops, take your dog for a walk. But do not wander too far.
Things to carry when travelling with a dog on the train:
These pre-trip preparations will help you ensure that the train journey is comfortable and safe for your dog.
- ID Collar - If your dog is going to be away from you, it is of absolute importance that he has a sturdy collar with your details on it. Make sure you mention your name and phone number on the ID card.
- Leash - The train journey is going to be an unfamiliar experience for your dog. Make sure that you carry a good-quality leash so that the dog doesn’t wander off to places.
- Bottled Water and Bowl - It is important that the dog is hydrated throughout the journey. Carry with you clean drinking water and your dog's water bowl.
- Food - As obvious as it seems, you should bring with you your dog’s favourite food. This will ensure that the dog eats his favourite meal. This would also prevent an upset tummy.
- Medications - If your dog is on medication, keep them handy. Also, bring the prescription along.
- Blanket - Depending on the weather, carry a comfortable and familiar blanket for your dog. This will provide them with some comfort and warmth on cool(er) nights.
- Toys - Bringing your dog’s favourite toys will ensure they are kept busy and entertained throughout the train journey.
At first, it may seem like an overwhelming thing to do, but with better preparedness, you can ensure that your dog has his day!