Travelling with pets can be both challenging and fun. The question of being able to travel with a furry friend via train in India is often asked. It can be one of the best ways to move pets within a shorter distance as travel is becoming safer and more affordable.
The Indian Railways have taken multiple steps to ensure that travelling with your furry friends can be hassle-free. According to Indian Railways, one can travel with one allowable pet in a first-class coupe and a maximum of 2 pets in the cabin.
Aamir Islam, Co-founder of Carry My Pet shares how it can be a viable option for pet parents:
A perfect alternative for possessive pet parents and needy pets: Unlike airlines, where transportation of pets is carried out in isolation (through cargo option), Indian Railways allow passengers to keep their pets with them during the journey. For pet parents who do not want to be away from their pets, travelling by train is a viable alternative.
Trains usually have multiple stops: It gives the perfect opportunity to reduce the anxiety of a travelling pet as they can be taken out on platforms for a walk. Furthermore, in case one is travelling with a senior pet, it is always critical that they are accompanied by the owners at all parts of the journey. Additionally, for pets with a certain medical condition, trains are the only option for them to travel with their pet parents as flights don't allow pets with medical conditions to travel.
Economical option: Travelling with pets through trains is economical as the charges could be as low as Rs. 30 per kg - Rs 1500 per kg, depending on the size and nature of the pet. Hence, it is perfect for those who want to save money while travelling with their fur balls.
Fewer procedural requirements: The procedural requirements, such as fitness certificates, etc., implemented by the Indian Railways are relatively fewer. It implies that this could be the best mode of transport for last-minute travel when arranging such documents could be challenging for the pet parents.
The challenges and factors to remember
Pets toilet needs: Even though Indian Railways facilitate travelling with pets, there are a few points to ponder. Firstly, one must be prepared to take care of the toilet-related needs of the pets. It is advisable to carry cleaning and disposing equipment if the pet poops or pees in the compartment or on the platform.
Boarding process of the pets: Being on the train at night could be challenging, especially when the pet travels on the train for the first time. During the journey, pets can get fussy, which can bother the co-passengers. The check-in and boarding process for passengers with pets differs from that of general travellers, and you should be ready to tackle these challenges.
Special classes of trains: There are several special compartments and categories of trains in which one could travel with pets. For instance, while travelling with a pet, they cannot travel in AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier, AC Chair Car, Sleeper Class, and Second-Class. The Indian Railways has a comprehensive list of coupes and compartments (along with a list of trains) where you can travel with pets. Such lists should be carefully studied before planning the actual journey. (AA/IANS)