Dogs can be great travel companions. But unfortunately, for a lot of people, they have to leave their four-legged friends behind when they plan holidays or go on work trips. Separation anxiety is real for pets, and it can be heartbreaking for their humans, too.
If you are not too keen to leave your dog behind in a pet hostel or with a family member, consider taking them along with you! Yes, it is possible, since train journeys can give you the comfort and privacy of home.
On Instagram, Barsha Dikshit, a blogger, shared a video in which she showed how she journeyed with her two dogs. The adorable puppers were patient as she figured out all the paperwork before the commencement of the trip. Check out the video here:
Dikshit wrote in the caption: “Indian Railways is one of the best [means of] transport to carry your pets for longer distances. It takes a lot of stops; [is] well ventilated and has a lot of space for the pets to laze around.”
She shared the steps that she had to go through:
1. Book tickets as per requirement.
2. Get a copy of your confirmed tickets and write an application to the chief reservation officer of the station from where you will board the train.
3. Complete all vaccinations for your pet and keep the certificate ready. Get a fitness certificate from a vet 24-48 hours before departure.
4. The cabin confirmation will come 4 hours before departure time.
5. Reach the station and go to the parcel office and show them your tickets, vaccination cards, and fitness certificate of the pet/s.
6. Remember to carry photocopies of all documents, your ticket, and one photo ID. Ask them to book your pet, who will first be weighed, and parcel charge will be levied.
7. Keep your pet comfortable by carrying food, water, their favourite toy, something for them to chew on.
According to indianrailways.gov.in, a pet dog can be carried in a dog box in second class luggage and brake van (SLR). A dog is also permitted to travel with the passenger in AC first class and first class compartments only, provided that the whole coupe is booked by the passenger or the group of passengers for exclusive use.
A dog carried in a dog box is charged at luggage rates applicable to the train at 30 kg per pet dog. Dogs can also be carried in AC first class and first class at luggage rate for 60 kg per dog. Keep in mind that they are not allowed in AC2 tier, AC3 tier, AC chair car, sleeper class and second class compartments.
It is to be noted that both first class and AC first class have separate cabins/coupes so that pets do not cause inconvenience to other passengers. “Booking of dogs in dog boxes is not permitted in Rajdhani/Shatabdi trains as they do not have dog boxes. In other trains, one dog box is provided and only one dog is booked per train on a first come, first served basis,” the information on the site reads.
There is no advance booking. Pets can be booked at the counter, one hour before train departure. Dogs locked in dog boxes will have the company of their owner who will feed them enroute. Special horse boxes can also be provided in case there are many dogs, upto 36 in case dogs are of a large size.