Kritika Manchanda

Kritika Manchanda

In a country like India where travelling with dogs is still not a popular thing, Divya Dugar and her husband are breaking stereotypes and keeping their wanderlust feels alive by travelling all across the country with their two dogs – Marco Polo (6 years) and Tigress (8 years).

Their adventures
She has travelled to some amazing destinations and has positive stories to share. “After Pondi, my first pet passed away, travel was the best way to heal. We took our first trip back in September 2016 and since then there has been no looking back”. Over the past year and a half, she has taken the following trips with her canine companions

  • Five-week trip to Goa and Western Ghats
  • Road Trip to Jaipur (Tree of Life Resort)
  • Landour (near Mussoorie)
  • The Goat’s Village (Eco friendly property near Garhwal, Uttarakhand)
  • Orcha (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Shekhawati (near Churu, Rajasthan) Divya reminisces Goa was the most memorable trip. It was the first one and has a special place in her heart. Playing on the beach, enjoying pristine sunsets at the shacks, interacting with locals, both Marco Polo and Tigress were completely hrilled. Landour is another one with amazing memories. They took a train till Dehradun and from there hired a cab to reach Landour. “Visiting the mountains was such a serene experience. We stayed for an extended period and had limited resources. So to save money, we used to hitchhike from our resort to the main town. Oh! It was so much fun and adventurous,” says Divya.
    In Orcha and Shekhawati, both her pets were the perfect tourists. From visiting temples (yes, surprisingly nobody objected to dogs at temples) to Havelis and forts, they all had a wonderful time. In most of the places, the hotel staff was courteous enough to cook delicious meals for Tigress and Marco Polo. They enjoy simple home-cooked chicken and rice, so it makes things easy. “If the stay is long, we usually book an Air BnB. It gives us the freedom to cook ourselves and turns out budget friendly as well”, says Divya.

Seeking permissions
Divya does most of her travelling with the pets in first class through Indian Railways. Both her pets get motion sickness in cars, but they thoroughly enjoy the train ride. Sleeping on the cozy berth, relishing delicious icecream, soup, and breakfast thanks to Indian R a i l w a y s , looking through the windows and pondering over life…well that’s just a part of the happy journey. Seeking permissions and bookings can be a tedious process if you’re a first time traveler.

  • Once you make your train bookings, visit Baroda House (New Delhi) to meet Chief Commercial Officer to get the permissions for traveling with pets.
  • At the railway station, you need to visit the Parcel Office to register your pets. They charge a nominal fee.

The difficulties
The two main difficulties that you face in India while traveling with pets – seeking permissions and stray dogs. Thankfully I’ve become better with permissions, but stray dogs will always remain a major concern.

Travel must haves
Like you pack your suitcase, it is imperative to pack some essentials for your pet as well. It will surely make your travel experience easy.

  • Always carry their food and water bowl (you can also pick foldable ones)
  • Antiseptic spray and ointments
  •  Basic medications for vomiting, upset tummy, fever (consult your vet)
  •  Organic soap bars and sleeping mats come in handy
  •  Packaged food (in case of emergency, or when your pet shows tantrums to eat)
  •  Lots of treats – always a bonus

Precautions
Take cues from her travel experiences and follow these precautions –

  • Buy reflective collars for your pets. It is helpful when you’re going hiking in the mountains
  • Dog tags are greatly beneficial.
  • Don’t let your pet off leash, especially in mountains.
  • Make sure you talk to your vet prior to the journey.
    After making memories all over the countryside with her beloved pets, Divya’s next aim is to fly to Southeast Asia with them. Hoping this inspires you to take a beautiful trip with your pets!