CHENNAI: Life had indeed come a full circle for tiny shitzu Oreo. His first family had chosen to leave him behind in a boarding when they relocated to USA. However, as fate will have it his new adoptive family, a young couple, Balaji and Vidya Ethiraj, moved heaven and earth to take the tiny tyke along with them when they moved to the States few years after adopting him.
Pet relocation, either domestic or international, given little time and effort can be handled by the pet parents themselves like Balaji and Vidya who chose to relocate with their pet or take help from professional relocaters such as Pawsome Hotels. Devyani Yadav, co-founder of Pawsome Hotels, has helped relocate over a hundred pets internationally so far and helps in domestic relocations too. She strongly suggests to plan the schedule properly as every country has a different set of rules.
Canada & USA most pet friendly
The basic requirements for a foreign travel of a pet will be to start with micro chipping, up-to-date vaccinations, crate training, blood test, export documentation and final departure. EU process takes approximately four months while Australia and New Zealand takes around seven months. Canada and USA are the most pet friendly countries and takes less than a month for the due process.
Vaccination and health reports should not only be updated but properly recorded as India is considered to be a high risk country for rabies. However, it is important to get the test done in an EU approved lab ONLY as otherwise, it won’t be accepted by other countries.
What is Accompanied Excess Baggage?
Though most big dogs go as cargo, some dogs can also accompany as Accompanied Excess Baggage. If a country and airline allows it, it is the best mode of travel. But the maximum size of the pet allowed is restricted here, although a regular sized Indie or a Labrador can go as accompanied excess. The pricing is flat at around $300 to $400 for trans-atlantic flights. However, in case of tiny dogs such as Oreo or cats who are less than 8 kg, they can accompany their family in cabin itself.
Indian trains preferred transport
For domestic travel within India, pet parents have the choice of both flights and trains. Dogs can travel in first class coupe or cabin along with their families. Train will be a preferable mode especially for anxious dogs or those with separation anxiety or health issues or big dogs. For travelling in a train, one passenger can accompany two animals at most. As coupe will not be allotted until four hours before travel, go to the reservation officer a day before travel and submit an application at the source station stating to allot a coupe of two people as you are travelling with pets. In case of four tickets, you don’t need to give this application as anyway you will get a cabin to yourself.
Alalyer Urti Aarti took the domestic flight option when she had to relocate to Kolkata from Bengaluru. She concurs with Devyani as she says proper planning and to have enough time in hand are two main requisites when travelling long distance with your pets. She took her two dogs, a Labrador and an Indie via Jet airways with help of Pawsome Hotels. However, since then Jet has discontinued allowing pets and at present, only Spice jet and Air India allows pet travel. Air India allows Accompanied Excess Baggage (someone needs to travel on the same flight) and unaccompanied cargo as well.
All it takes is a little bit of planning and effort, made easy with capable assistance from professional relocators to take with you your bundle of joy instead of abandoning them alone in a strange place, because pets, as we all know, are family.
Crate training necessary for international travel
Start crate training your pet, at least few months in advance. The exact measurements of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved crates or carrier bags are available in all the airlines’ websites. Lufthansa, Air France and Emirates are considered to be some of the most pet-friendly carriers. Debunking a popular myth about flying unsuitability of snub nosed dogs such as pugs, it can be surely said that it is as safe as other pets, for them to fly as long as the duration of flight, temperature and stress involved are kept in check. As a rule, it is always better to avoid peak summer travel for the pet.
What you need for domestic travel
For domestic travel, the necessary documents required are ‘Fit to travel’ certificate within 24 hours of travel, vaccination record details and ID proof of the passenger/sender. Always call the airline contact number at the port of origin before booking your own ticket. Pet ticket is booked three hours prior to the flight. If you are travelling by a train, go to station two hours before departure. Go to parcel office. Weigh your dog and pay for the dog ticket priced mostly at `60/kg.