Travelling with pets in Indian Railways
Some points to be kept in mind while travelling with pet in the Indian Railways, as given by experienced travellers. These people have already faced the difficulties and challenges of travelling with pets and narrate their experiences as follows:
- As per the rules of Indian Railways system, you are eligible to carry your pet along with you only when you book AC first class and book the two-berth or four-berth compartment exclusively for your own use.
- Passengers travelling in other classes cannot travel with their pets. The pet needs to be booked in the luggage or brake van. Special pet boxes are available for carrying pets. Or passengers may also contact the parcel office to book their pets.
- Indian Railways charge fines for pets that have not been booked.
- You need to find out which and what trains do actually have pet boxes to the destination where you need to travel. Not all trains have the provision of carrying pets. You need to do your home work before booking your own ticket if you want to travel on the same train that is carrying your pet.
- The pets are usually booked well in advance before the train journey commences. There is usually a limited provision of the number of pets that can be booked per train. So it is recommended that you book your pet well in advance not to miss your chances.
- You also need to book your own tickets along with your pet’s to ensure that you and your pet are travelling in the same train.
- You might also be required to provide a fitness certificate of your pet while booking your pet. So it is advisable that you keep one handy from a vet before deciding to travel.
- Just in case, you realize that you pet is of restless type and would not be comfortable travelling all by itself in the congested small pet box of the Indian Railways, you might even think of administering sedative. That will keep your pet comparatively relaxed and also will reduce the frequency of urination and passing faeces of your pet. Thus his pet box will not be as messy and less uncomfortable.
- Usually the pet owners have complained that the pet boxes of the Indian Railways are not clean. So if you find your pet box dirty or unclean you might think of paying the railway keepers in advance and request them for cleaning up session for your pet box.
- There is also a word of caution that sometimes when the train engine head changes, you might be required to move your pet to the other end of the train where the guard remains stationed. This might prove to be taxing. You might also think of paying some cash in advance to the guard to facilitate the process or at least to inform you well in advance. You might provide the guard your mobile number and also keep on checking with him for any such kind of requirement.
- It is advisable that the pet is not overfed or allowed to drink too much of water before the journey and also during the journey so that the frequency of urination and passing faeces reduces making it less uncomfortable and messy in the pet box. Feeding once in 24 hours with solid pet food is enough.
- You also need to visit your pet repeatedly especially in a long journey and make sure your pet box is being cleaned each time they clean the train. You might need to intervene with the cleaning staff and make them do it.