“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” – Roger Caras
Pet dogs are an inseparable part of our lives. They are the most loyal friends a person can have. We do not leave any effort to care and pamper for our pet dog in the normal life. But a dilemma ushers in when you have to travel with family. Most people would love to carry their pets along with them, but is that a feasible option when you are travelling in Indian Railways? There is no clear information in this regard. The more you read the Indian Railways rules and regulations, more you get confused. So, we thought of clearing the air for you.
Can you take dogs with you in a train?
Yes, you can, of course, carry the dogs with you when travelling. But this travel will be subject to some rules and regulations set by the Indian railways. Dogs can be kept close, in the compartment, only when you are travelling by First Class AC. In other instances, they will be held as a luggage and travel in the Brake or Luggage Van. Even when you carry the dog in a train compartment, you have to make sure that the dog does not cause any nuisance. While carrying the dog in a train compartment you need the consent of fellow passengers.
Tips for Taking Your Dog in a Train
- If you want to take the dog with you in the train compartment then book tickets in First AC class only. You may have to reserve two or four berths in the compartment for your use, by paying the due charges based on the type of train you are travelling by.
- If you are travelling in any other class then you cannot take the dog along with you in the train’s compartment. But the dog can be carried in the Luggage or Brake Van paying the due charges. There are specially designed Dog Boxes available in the Brake Vans for such purposes.
- If you want to carry your dog in the Luggage Van, then contact the Parcel Office and book for your dog two days before the commencement of journey.
- If you are detected carrying a dog without due booking in an AC First Class or Brake Van you will be charged at Luggage Rates based on the weight of the dog and have to pay a minimum fine of Rs. 10 per dog. These charges are prepaid in nature.
- In case the dog is the “Seeing Eye” of a blind person, the tariff charged will be same as dogs carried in the brake van, though they remain within the compartment. However, the dogs must have Collars and Chains fitted for such travel.
- It is the responsibility of the owner to arrange for food and water along the course of the journey.
- Even when you carry the dog along with you in a First Class AC compartment you will need the consent of fellow passengers. If at any point of the journey, the fellow passengers object to the dog remaining in the compartment, the animal will be immediately removed to the Guard’s van and no refund will be provided.
- Dogs cannot be carried in the compartment when you are travelling in AC Sleeper coaches, AC chair car or second class coaches.
- If the dog is found breaching any set of rules it will be removed immediately to the brake van and charges complying six times of the Luggage Scale Rate will be subjected to the passengers.
Is travelling in trains really safe for Dogs?
So, you can definitely carry a dog with you if all these Indian Railways regulations are adhered to. But as a pet lover, you want to know about the safety of your beloved pet. Let us be frank, the conditions of Dog Boxes are not great. They are kept in a separate compartment. These small boxes with iron shutters have cramped spaces. Apart from this, the coach where these boxes are kept obviously do not have any air conditioner to regulate the temperature. “I have known many dogs that have not made it to the end of the journey because of excess heat, dehydration and fright. I myself brought my dog in these horrible conditions in Bombay Mail because I wasn’t aware of how bad the condition is.” says Ina D’Souza, RailYatri app user. So, travelling with dogs is not the best option, especially if you cannot accommodate the dog within your compartment.