(MENAFN- IANS) By Devanshi Shah
New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANSlife) Although the pet travel market in India is booming, we have not seen a noticeable rise in high-quality service providers in this field. If it weren’t so simple, who wouldn’t want to take their beloved pets on vacation? Larger pets require much more preparation than smaller creatures, which are less difficult to travel with. More importantly, have you thought about how your pet will handle the travel experience and what you can do to prepare them emotionally? Let’s explore some of the different modes of transportation and related tips that pet parents can use to make their pets more comfortable throughout the trip.
Thinking of taking your pet on a flight? In India, Air India is one of the few airlines that offers pet-friendly flight services. While larger pets must be placed in the cargo hold, smaller pets can be transported as carry-on baggage. Since your smaller pets will be traveling with you, they are likely to experience less discomfort. It is essential to pack your pet’s needs adequately so that you can provide them with food and water as needed. Additionally, check with the airline staff to see where your pet can go potty before you board the trip, and make plans to have a poop mat on hand in case your pet needs to go potty while in flight. the flight is in progress.
You may be required to sedate the animals for the flight if they are large pets that must travel in cargo. You should try to avoid sedating pets as much as possible, as any vet would advise. If necessary, talk to your vet about the right sedatives for your pet’s particular needs. Pet owners should also make sure they mentally prepare their pets to be picked up and handled by airport staff, as will happen in the case of cargo transit.
One can start doing this by training the pet to spend time on its own for at least one to two months before the trip. Start by gradually placing your pet in a separate room from you for 15-20 minutes. Over several weeks, increase this time to 4-6 hours. Someone may leave their pet to spend time with someone they are less familiar with, such as a close friend or family member. This will help the pet get used to being alone and with a handler, contributing greatly to reducing separation anxiety. It should also be ensured that the cage provided for the pet is well ventilated and spacious so that the pet has some space to move and stretch its legs for long journeys. Another trick that really helps is to leave your pet a cloth or blanket that smells like you to keep the pet calm when it is alone. The same should be done for international travel, where the flight time is much longer. Based on how often your pet eats, be sure to schedule their meal before or after sitting. In most cases, pets should not be fed for 4-6 hours before travel.
When traveling internationally by air, it is essential to consider several other factors. Pet vaccination requirements vary globally. You should speak to your travel agent or local embassies as well as your vet to ensure that you have given or started vaccination requirements well in advance of traveling in accordance with the requirements of the specific country you are traveling to . Other factors that help reduce anxiety are to travel in less busy seasons. This will provide more space in the cargo hold, as well as less chaos at the airports. Traveling during the holiday seasons is generally a bad idea. You should also only take direct flights as this will reduce travel time as well as avoid transferring from one plane to another. Also check with airlines about temperature control in cargo holds. Most airlines do not have temperature control and may even restrict travel with pets during extreme weather months, both summer and winter.
Last but not least tip for flying and honestly one of the most important is to attach identification details to your pet’s collar. The fear of losing your pet while traveling is very real, and so you should make sure to provide an extra amount of details which may include your name, your final destination, any relevant addresses (from and to) and your phone number. You can even attach a digital tracker to your pet’s collar so you can see their location through your phone. It is also essential to communicate with the airline and have a single point of contact to handle questions about your pets. Given an unexpected or untoward incident, you don’t want to be in a position where you’re struggling to find the right person to communicate with within the airline.
Pets generally should not travel internationally unless they are moving. Even dangerous, flight can be for some animals. The small nasal passages of pets with short heads and flat noses, such as Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs or Persian cats, make them susceptible to lack of oxygen and stroke.
One can follow the rules for air travel when traveling by sea. While pets are generally not allowed to travel by sea to India, some cruise lines allow pets in designated kennel areas. Since there aren’t many options, you should ask early about the rules and regulations of the particular business. Different operators may have very different interpretations of these laws and regulations. The flying option is preferable when you want to move pets because it is significantly faster and thus will significantly reduce the associated inconvenience.
Of course there are options to go private on planes and yachts, which allow you to be with your pet and have immense support from the operator’s staff, but this is of course a very expensive affair.
Time to hit the road. One of the most popular ways to travel with pets is in the comfort of your own car. But is your pet used to sitting in the car for a long time? Many pets face anxiety when sitting in vehicles, so you need to make sure that you train your pets to be in the car from an early age. Take regular rides with them so they can overcome any vehicle-related anxieties. In most cases, pets visit their vets in a car and thus do not face this problem, but if your pet has such a problem, start by making short trips and gradually increase the length of these trips to relieve the stress of connected.
Be sure to pack all your pet’s essentials like food, water, medicine, etc. The main thing is to simply plan your trip. You should provide enough stops on the road where your pet can get out of the vehicle to reanimate itself. When planning trips that will last more than a day, be sure to identify pet-friendly hotels where you can stop overnight to break up your trip. Be sure to bring enough food with you, as some hotels may not provide pet food. Pets just need enough space inside the vehicle to sit comfortably, otherwise they will be moving for a large part of the journey and what is also essential is having a pet seat belt. These seat belts attach to their collars keeping them safe in the event of a sudden or forced stop. While it may add to travel time, it is imperative to drive safely and not in a hurry.
Train travel is also a great option within India. If possible, pet parents should try to book a first class sleeper cabin. Having the entire cabin to yourself is ideal, as you don’t have to deal with the anxieties of other passengers that may transfer to your pet. Other passengers in your cabin, if they happen to have a problem with your pet, would have the right to ask the train staff to remove the animal from the cabin. This will result in the staff placing your pet in a cage within the cargo section of the train. If you have to share the cabin, make sure the other passengers make friends with your pet from the start! This will make the trip more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Keep track of long and short stops during the trip so you can plan short walks for your pet at longer stops where they can calm down. Try to remember that you are traveling on public transport and so ensuring a clean environment is a must to avoid any fights with other passengers which can be a major stress point. Keep a poop mat and a cleaning device like spray handy, as well as wipes to quickly disinfect any unwanted mess. Keep your pets in bed so they can enjoy long naps in the sleeping beds. It is also a must to keep a walking stick handy to deal with stray animals at train stations. Tip ‘Coolies’ or staff inside the train and stations will find you a very helpful and informative friend. They will keep you updated on all the stops and even help you navigate through busy stations avoiding the general ‘jantaa’ and dealing with vagrants.
For road and rail travel, many pet parents find it easier to give their pets medication, but this should mostly be avoided. Consult a vet about mild sedatives you can give your pet to keep them calm throughout the trip if you have to make an emergency trip with one that just isn’t ready to travel. It’s preferable to crashing them completely!
(Devanshi Shah, Founder and CEO of PetKonnect)
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