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Traveling to India with your pet

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If you are about to travel to India, you are probably wondering how to take your pet with you. Here are some guidelines.

Nowadays, pets around the globe are considered as being family members. Hence, you will probably include them in your projects if you are planning to travel to India. This should not be very complicated, provided you seek relevant information beforehand. Whether it is a cat or a dog, your pet should comply with some specific regulations to be authorized onto the Indian territory. Moreover, make sure to inquire whether pets are allowed into your new accommodation in the country.

 Good to know:

According to pet import regulations which have been amended in July 2013, you are authorized to import a maximum of two pets to India, regardless of your nationality.

Conditions

You must be making a minimum of two years stay in India to be authorized to import your pet. This implies that foreigners moving to India for a short stay, whether with a tourism or business visa, are not allowed to travel with their pet. Moreover, your pet must be more than three months old, otherwise, it will not be allowed to leave your home country. Moreover, you have to obtain a non-impediment certificate from your home country's veterinary service before traveling. Note that you can even hire a specialist to take care of related formalities on your behalf.

Procedures

To apply for a no-impediment certificate, you are required to produce the following documents:

  • a statement issued by your employer (based in India) that you are making a stay of at least two years in the country
  • a pet import application letter (so that it can be transported as luggage)
  • a duly filled and signed pet health certificate issued 7 days before your scheduled travel date by a licensed veterinary, indicating your name, as well as that of your employer
  • your pet's rabies vaccination certificate
  • a copy of your passport and visa
  • your pet's passport
  • your travel tickets, along with your flight plan
  • photos of your pet (on which you have written its name, race, color and sex)
  • information on your pet's identification microchip
  • fees applied.

 Important :

The rabies vaccination certificate must have been issued less than a month before your pet's scheduled arrival date in India. Its health certificate must also be updated like other recommended vaccines, depending on your home country. Moreover, your pet must undergo a blood test in an accredited laboratory before traveling to India so as to determine the rabies vaccination's effectiveness.

As regards your pet's travel conditions, make sure to inquire about these beforehand with your carrier. Note that your pet is required to travel in an appropriate cage according to its size and weight if it is traveling as freight. Those weighing less than 5 kg can travel in the cabin in an agreed bag.

On arrival

On arriving in India, your pet will be controlled by the Indian customs department. Make sure to be in possession of all above-mentioned documents. Otherwise, its access into the country can be denied. Note, furthermore, that India's climate and environment can be quite unusual and painful to your pet, especially due to high temperatures.

Therefore, make sure to feed it some water from time to time so that it does not get dehydrated. You are also advised to give it regular treatment against fleas, ticks, tapeworms, and other types of parasites. As regards pet food and accessories, you should find these rather easily in pet shops in most major cities. However, you are more likely to find vegetarian pet food.

When taking your dog out for a walk, make sure to leash it, especially in the streets and in gardens. In fact, you will often come across stray dogs, which can be quite risky.

 Useful links:

In Defense of Animals – IDA www.idaindia.org
Animal Welfare Board of India www.awbi.org
Pet Animal Welfare Society – PAWS www.pawsindia.org
Indian Railways www.indianrail.gov.in
Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries dahd.nic.in
Central Board of Excise and Customs www.cbec.gov.in

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