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How to travel with your pet dog on train

Travel blogger Umang Trivedi with his pet dog
Are you a dog parent? Planning to go on a vacation with your pet somewhere within India? Trains are the best option in that case! Indian Railways has a provision for transportation of animals such as elephants, horses, mules, sheep, goats, dogs and other animals and birds. When it comes to transportation of pet dogs, trains are the preferred mode of transport any day! However, you must carry your pet only in AC first class of a train. They cannot be carried in AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier, AC Chair car, Sleeper Class.
Indian Railways provides safe and affordable transport for pet dogs offering passengers the choice of carrying the pet dog along with them in first AC accommodation or booking the pet as luggage in luggage-cum-Brake Van under the supervision of the Train Manager (Guard) of the train. However, this is to be noted that Railways will not be responsible for the loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery of animals after the termination of transit.
The passenger/pet owner planning to travel with their pet dog by train is expected to follow the rules laid down by Railways as given below:

In carriage with passengers:

The passenger must book accommodation in AC-First Class or First Class in 2-berth Coupe or 4-berth Cabin exclusively so that the passenger(s) can travel along with the pet dog.  It may be noted that passengers not in possession of AC-First Class/First Class Cabin/Coupe tickets are not permitted to carry their pet dogs along with them during the journey. Pet dogs are not allowed to be carried in any other class of accommodation other than AC-first class and first class.
Only one dog will be allowed per Passenger Name Record (PNR).
The dog must be brought to the luggage office for booking at least 3 hours in advance of the departure of the train, whether the passenger holds PRS ticket or o­nline ticket booked through IRCTC.
Prescribed charges in luggage rates as applicable will be collected for the pet dogs to be carried along with the passenger in AC First Class/First Class coupe
Dogs are not allowed to be carried in AC2 tier, AC 3 tier, AC Chair Car, Sleeper Class and Second-Class Compartments.
If fellow passengers subsequently object to the dog remaining in the compartment, it will be removed to the Guard’s van, no refund is given.
If a passenger is caught carrying dogs without proper booking, penalty will be levied. Owner of the dog will be charged at six times Scale-L luggage rates subject to a minimum of Rs.30 by Indian Railways.
Doctor’s certificate clearly mentioning the breed, colour and gender of the pet dog is mandatory for booking.
Passengers will be solely responsible for the safe carriage of dogs.  Owners should make their own arrangements for water and food for the dog during the journey.

Indian Railways rules for carrying puppies in basket

Puppies can be carried in baskets in all the classes of accommodation. Passengers carrying the puppies in baskets should hold a confirmed ticket and valid proof of identity. Prescribed luggage charges as applicable will be levied for booking. Doctor’s certificate clearly mentioning the breed, colour and gender of the puppies is mandatory. The passenger will be solely responsible for safe carriage of puppies in the basket.

Indian Railways rules for carrying pet dog in Brake Van

The passengers can book their pet dogs for carriage in the Dog-box available in luggage-cum-Brake Van, under the supervision of the Train Manager (Guard) of the train.  Only one dog will be allowed in a dog-box at a time
The passenger must hold a confirmed reserved ticket (for journey in the train in which his pet dog is booked) and proof of identity
The dog must be taken to the luggage office, at least 3 hrs in advance of the departure of the train
Prescribed charges in luggage rate will be collected for dog booking.  The receipt (Guard’s foil) obtained should be submitted to the Guard of the train at the originating station.
At the destination station the passenger foil of the receipt must be produced to the Guard
It is the responsibility of the passenger to provide drinking water and food (biscuits etc) for the dog travelling in brake van
Doctor’s certificate clearly mentioning the breed, colour and gender of the pet dog is mandatory for booking.
Avirupa traveling with her husky ‘Togo’

A dog mom’s experience

Banker and dog mom Avirupa Bhattacharya travels with her husky in train between Mumbai and Kolkata at least once in every six months. Talking to The CSR Journal, the dog mom revealed, “You will have to book a minimum of two tickets in the AC first class compartment of a train to get a coupe or buy four tickets if you prefer booking a cabin for travelling with your dog. You do not need to declare that you are travelling with your dog while booking through IRCTC online. Once you get the tickets, you will have to visit the station from which the train will depart a week before the date of journey.”
“You will have to submit a handwritten letter addressed to the superintendent requesting him/her to allot you a coup or a cabin depending upon the number of passengers accompanying the dog. The letter must be dropped in the station’s letter box. The letter must be accompanied by a copy of your tickets, your dog’s vaccination certificates. On the date of journey, you must reach the station 4 hours prior to the departure time. You must carry a copy of the vaccination certificate and a fitness certificate of your dog from a vet which is obtained 48 hours before travelling which says that your dog is fit to travel,” she further said.
“You will have to get a challan for your dog from the station by submitting copies of the abovementioned documents along with your train ticket copies. The challan roughly costs Rs 1000 for dogs. However, you will have to wait till the chart is prepared to learn whether you have been allotted a coupe or cabin. If you are allotted a coupe or cabin, only then you will be eligible to travel with your dog. If you get a cabin in sharing with your co-passengers or two different coupes, then you will have to seek their permission regarding whether they will be comfortable to travel with a dog. If your co-passengers are not comfortable travelling with a dog, then you cannot carry your pet because many trains do not have a dog box. However, if you get a personal coupe or cabin then nobody has the right to object and you can travel with your pet,” she explained.
Togo all set for her trip

Step by step procedure shared by a travel blogger

Travel blogger Umang Trivedi explained a step by step procedure of travelling with one’s dog on train in a series of tweets posted by him in June last year. He posted:
1) Book 1st AC ticket in the preferred train. Try and book in advance to get confirmed tickets. While booking the tickets, select the coupe option. You will not get seats assigned yet even if it’s confirmed.
2) The seat allotment happens manually and to get a coupe (or same cabin) you will have to submit a written application at the Regional railway office. In Delhi, you will have to submit the application at Baroda House, Annexure 1, Dy CCM (13G office).
3) In the application, you can mention traveller names, train details & number, pnr, dog age and most importantly mobile number on which allotment information will be shared. Just ask for coupe allotment in the application. DM and I’ll share my application for your reference.
4) Along with the application, you need to submit a printout of
i) Confirmed train tickets
ii) Aadhar card copies (all travelers)
iii) Pet travel fitness certificate copy (not older than 48 hrs before train departure time)
iv) Dog vaccination record copy

5) This process should be done 1 day before your travel date. You do not need to take your dog while submitting the application. On travel day, visit 4 hours before the train departure time & go to the parcel office. If you are at NDLS, parcel office is at Ajmeri Gate entry.
6) You need a luggage / parcel ticket for your dog. In theory, you need to take your dog to the parcel office. But there are a lot of stray dogs, so I didn’t take Goofy. You can either get the luggage ticket yourself or via an agent who’s roaming around the office.
7) Actual charge is Rs 1180, Agent quoted Rs 2500 (negotiable). You can just avoid visiting the parcel office if you do it via an agent.
8) You’ll need the same documents while getting the luggage / parcel ticket as well. That’s it! Once you have the coupe confirmation & luggage ticket, you are good to go!