Pet Transport – How to Transport Dogs Within and From India

We don’t choose our dogs, they choose us. Speaking of, have you had your heart stolen by a dog or puppy recently, from a different city? Has your heart already welcomed this furry friend into your family, but you need to physically bring the dog from another city? Or are you moving to another city and want to find a way to move your dog with you? 

If you need help to understand how to transport pets or need help identifying a puppy transport service in India, then this guide will help you get started with the process. If instead, you’d like to know more about embarking on a roadtrip with your dog, then you will find this post more useful.

Before working out how to transport your pet, do understand travel can be stressful for dogs, depending on the history and experience of each dog. Unlike for humans, modes of travel like flights or trains, were not originally designed keeping in mind that pets will also be traveling. Therefore, as a responsible pet parent do ensure you understand the pros and cons of animal transport services and ensure a stress-free journey for your dog. 

How to transport dogs in India

When getting started to work out how to transport a dog from one state to another in India, you should know that you have 3 key options on how to do this. Pet transport options are essentially threefold:

1. Airlines provide domestic or international pet shipping solutions.
2. Railways provide domestic pet ground transport.
3. Cars – whether personal or taxi, is another dog transport solution. 

Additionally, you can choose to hire a pet transport service to manage this entire process, or familiarize yourself with the process and do it on your own. 

Air Travel

While traveling by airlines, there are a lot of due processes and protocols to follow. If your pet is traveling internationally, a pet visa, microchipping, medical documentation and certificates are also required. Depending on the arrival destination, there may be a quarantine period applicable for your pet as well and dog boarding facilities may also be needed if you are not traveling with your pet. 

Domestic travel is relatively simpler, however due processes are still mandatory to comply with. As you embark on this process, ensure thorough research on the best airlines to ship pets from your area and familiarise yourself with all of the airline’s required documentation. 

There are also strict rules about air travel restrictions for certain dog breeds such as dogs prone to breathing issues like pugs – who are not always allowed by airlines. All dogs need a ‘fit to fly’ certification declaring they are completely healthy to travel. If you are rescuing an injured dog therefore, flying the dog may not be possible depending on the extent of the dog’s injuries. Additionally, dogs younger than 8-12 weeks, are not permitted to fly. Pregnant dogs or dogs with unweaned puppies cannot board a flight.

If the process of flying your dog seems overwhelming – especially if you are doing this for the first time, do consider trusting an experienced and reliable pet transportation company to ensure this process is carried out smoothly for your dog.

Ground Travel

Comparatively easier than Air travel, transporting your pet by train or car is also an alternative option. 

The Indian railways offers provisions for dogs to travel by train. Passengers can travel along with their pet dogs in AC First Class or First Class compartments provided a two berth or four berth compartment is reserved by paying due charges depending upon the type of train. To ensure such a journey is smooth sailing, it’s best to ensure that fellow passengers are not inconvenienced, therefore do keep your dog closeby, comfortable and stress free.

Additionally, you could also choose to drive with your dog. If your dog has never been in a car before, a few shorter ‘car rides’ will help your dog ease into the process before a longer journey and help you identify any points of concern such as motion-sickness or a fear of cars beforehand. Generally, dogs tend to love car journeys. 

Dog transportation services on ground also provide car transportation across India. You could book a pet taxi to transport your dog with or without you as well. This could also be a practical puppy transport solution, especially if the journey by road is not very long & arduous, and your puppy does not get motion sick. 

Before Traveling

No matter how you choose to relocate your pet, here are a few tips to keep in mind for every kind of journey: 

  1. While airlines require medical documentation before a pet travels, it is a good process to ensure your pet is medically fit to travel irrespective. Vaccinations and thorough medical checkups should be done to avoid any health complications en-route. 
  2. Carry your dog’s favourite toys; essential medication; water & food bowls and supplies; collars and leashes etc. to ensure your dog remains comfortable and all your dog’s basic needs are always addressed. 
  3. Plan your dog’s meal timings & toilet breaks as close to possible as your dog’s existing routine, while factoring in the travel schedule. Some dogs get motion-sick while traveling in cars, therefore consult your Vet on how to schedule meals and any medication requirements accordingly. 
  4. If your dog will be required to be in a crate – ensure your dog is comfortable with one and not afraid of being inside. Crate training should begin as early as possible to ensure the journey is stress-free for your dog. 
  5. Make sure your pet identification accessories are up to date. This a precautionary measure to help find your pet if anything goes wrong.
  6. Research regulations and laws for the journey involved and the new place your pet is going to be. Does the new building allow dogs? Are there any restrictions for dogs in your new locality?

If the dog scheduled to travel has a prior injury or has health concerns, it may be best to delay travel until the dog is fit to undertake a journey. Pet transportation companies can advise you in detail based on your specific case. If the dog in question has faced trauma and requires a permanent home and relocation with you is difficult, you can contact VOSD at info@vosd.in with the case details. VOSD Sanctuary and Hospital is a permanent home for hundreds of rescued dogs who have come to us from 30+ cities across India.

Stay prepared for the Challenges

  • While you understand what traveling across cities involves, most dogs have only traveled as much as their daily walks permit! Therefore, this process can be stressful and confusing for your dog. Remember to have patience with your dog through this journey and help him/her learn to trust and enjoy this as opposed to learning to fear it. To help you deal with your dog’s anxiety, here are a few tips. 
  • If you have a dog that is healthy and hearty and enjoys new experiences, this process will be relatively simpler for you. If, on the other hand, your dog has health concerns, has separation anxiety and has not been exposed to a lot of new places before, this journey is not impossible but will require more empathy from you for your dog.
  • While at first go, the process of transporting your dog may seem daunting and overwhelming given the lists of processes involved, do take comfort in the fact that a countless number of dogs have undertaken such journeys before, safely. Once your dog is on the other side of this journey, safe and sound in a new location – the rewards will be worth all the effort involved! 
  • We can link other blog posts here to ensure a lower bounce rate and higher session duration. Like: “Now that you know how to transport your newly-adopted dog, time to figure out what to feed them when they reach here. Give this post a read: Which is the best dog food?”

Now that you know how to relocate your dog, it’s time to prepare your new destination for your dog! Read our guide to understand how to best prepare your home to welcome your dog – here.

Want to adopt but can’t due to circumstances? Sponsor a dog instead

Hundreds of rescued dogs travel to VOSD Sanctuary and Hospital at the rate of 1 rescued dog-a-day. If you find yourself in a situation where you would love to adopt a dog, but cannot due to your circumstances, you could also consider sponsoring a dog instead. By sponsoring a dog, you get to ‘virtually adopt’ a dog and help care for the dog. 

VOSD rescues dogs who have nowhere else to go. Hundreds of abandoned or rescued dogs get a new lease of life when they come to live with us. Each of these dogs has lived through severe trauma, but now live happily and safely within our sanctuary. Read more about some of our dogs here.