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Old 8th June 2011, 22:29   #1
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Default Travelling with Pets in India

Hi,
I am posting this on behalf of my friend. She extremely passionate about himalayas and was planning to drive solo from Hyderabad to Uttaranchal/Himachal Pradesh in her Maruti Zen along with two dogs.

She wanted to do this trip in April but was (ill?) advised by some friends to not to undertake this trip with her dogs. The result is that the trip has not yet materialized. This post is part of the effort to seek enough insights from dog owners on how they take there dogs on long trips, tips and tricks, dog friendly hotels and any special advice for her. The trip would be a month long trip.

Here is a brief description of the dogs if that help you advice her better:

1. Lhasa Apso, long n thick haired. Age 8 yrs ... female. Very understanding but extremely sensitive to changes in environment.

2. Dashchund, short coat. Age 2 yrs.... male.... Still an infant so very playful but sensitive to heat n changes in residence.

Looking forward to hear from you all. I had confidently told her that a post on tbhp would get her tons of advice to undertake the trip confidently. I just hope that we don't let her down.

Thanks,
JP
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Old 8th June 2011, 23:47   #2
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Our dogs, ranging from a Lhasa Apso to GSDs do not take kindly to long drives, they become listless after a couple of hours at most. Most hotels are not pet-friendly and will turn down a guest with pets - this is another thing that needs to be checked on, both enroute and at the various destination hotels.

I suggest your friend takes her dogs for a drive over a shorter distance that includes an overnight halt to experience what it could be like before she goes any further.
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Old 8th June 2011, 23:51   #3
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Most hotels will not allow dogs as airfoil mentioned.
So its going to be tough, unless you can find homestays.

While himachal is very safe, large part of Uttranchal circuit is non touristy, and mostly religious, so its not very safe for single women.

Even in HP, some regions may have safety issues.
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Old 9th June 2011, 00:34   #4
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by recker_us View Post
Hi,
I am posting this on behalf of my friend. She extremely passionate about himalayas and was planning to drive solo from Hyderabad to Uttaranchal/Himachal Pradesh in her Maruti Zen along with two dogs.
Its possible if she takes care of below things which come to my mind.

1) If she plans her stay, ie find hotels which will arrange for her dogs in advance.

2) Drive only for Max 8 hours a day in Full daylight and makes sure she checks in the hotel well before sunset.

3)Carries enough dog food and medical stuff for the dogs.
4)Makes sure she uses the busiest highways and roads
5)Has darker tints on car to ensure people dont see her alone in the car easily.

6) Makes sure she has emergency contact numbers for her complete route.

7)She has a complete list of hotels and eateries en route.
8)She carries some device for her personal safety.

Planning has to be very very perfect.
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Old 9th June 2011, 02:46   #5
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Not a good Idea,

1. Two dependents vs One caretaker.
2. This will be a very long drive, which will test the endurance of all travelers.
3. From your opening post, the lady seems to not done some longish travel time with the dogs ( I could be completely incorrect here)
4.The car, Zen, unless its an Estilo, would be old. I am sure it would be spruced up for the journey.
5. I don't do solo trips > 100 kms with my 5 year old. Anything can happen,maybe to me, hence I would like to have some sort of back up.


None of this is directed to the gender of the driver, so please don't flame me. I would emphatically advise taking someone along.

JP, the idea needs to be executed correctly.


1. Take someone along, whom the dogs are familiar with.
2. PM HVK and request his guidance, in planning and during the trip.
3. Book places to stay in advance,
4. Carry a bluetooth / handsfree kit.
5. Enjoy the trip, it will lessen the fatigue factor.

Help her plan the route, with pit stop for fuel for the car and travelers. Tyre repairs if possible.

In a nutshell, all she has to do is drive and not think. All loose ends should be tied.

Best always
N
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Old 9th June 2011, 06:00   #6
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Our erstwhile neighbor never used to travel long distances with his dog in car as it didn't like to be in AC+closed car for long time and become restless and driving with open windows on highway isn't comfortable.
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Old 9th June 2011, 08:04   #7
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

why not ask her to check on Indiamike. There are dozens of single women travelers who visit these parts with public transport - take THEIR experience - we will have only opinion to give.

EDIT: The best season is now. July onwards there will be rains till sept end when passes will close or generally become dicey.

Last edited by phamilyman : 9th June 2011 at 08:06.
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Old 9th June 2011, 08:36   #8
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

We often took our Spitz for a no. of drives; 99% of them being when we went to visit relatives in Aurangabad (from Pune, 220kms).

While he enjoyed the drive in the beginning, he soon tired out. Problem with dogs is, they can't just sit in the car when they are tired. They'll keep jumping around, barking at anything that interests them. Their toilet and food cycle goes for a toss.

As few road trips we took him on, we didn't find very friendly hotels; so one of us had to wait with him in the car while the rest ate and then changed places. As soon as it was afternoon, it was apparent that he just wanted the drive to end.

And for a trip as demanding as the one planned, it could get very challenging for the 2 fellas.

As everyone has mentioned, it is very imperative that there be elaborate planning when it comes to the itinerary and pet-friendly hotels and even more detailed contingency measures.

I can't comment on the safety issue as I haven't been to that side of the country; another thing, she being the only driver is going to be very taxing. This might just eat away her enthusiasm once she's actually there.

I really admire her courage to plan such a trip; but there are quite a few practical issues that need to be addressed. I hope the trip is made!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 9th June 2011 at 08:39.
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Old 9th June 2011, 10:36   #9
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post

As few road trips we took him on, we didn't find very friendly hotels; so one of us had to wait with him in the car while the rest ate and then changed places. As soon as it was afternoon, it was apparent that he just wanted the drive to end.
+1 to this -

It is almost impossible for us to enter highway restaurants for meals/breaks - most of the times security guards would ask us not to let the dog alight from the car - for fear of dirtying the place And like you mentioned, half of the members have to take turns to eat.

I have done a few car trips with my family and my golden retriever but all to closeby places (from bangalore) - ooty, sakleshpur, chikmagalur, etc. I have always chosen coffee/tea estate homestays as stay options when I take my dog, because they are the only places who don't seem to mind pets being brought along (most of them have multiple dogs themselves). The regular hotels and resorts will simply not permit a non-human on their premises

with my dog in the car, I have never been adventurous enough to try distances more than 250-300km - they start to get sick - most of them suffer from motion sickness and if it involves hilly regions with twists and curving roads, they are more prone to puking (as are many humans themselves). I don't mean to discourage but starting off with a drive to the Himalayas would be a bit too ambitious in my opinion - for the dogs' sake

Last edited by KarthikK : 9th June 2011 at 10:37. Reason: typo
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Old 9th June 2011, 11:01   #10
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Am not a pet person but this plan does seem ill-advised to me. Would I travel solo with 2 kids to watch over? Hell no! I don't even do it with (my) own child, unless it's a short (<150 km) distance in a familiar urban area.

Must admit though- if she pulls it off, the travelogue will be great to read!
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Old 9th June 2011, 11:57   #11
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Most hotels will not allow dogs as airfoil mentioned.
So its going to be tough, unless you can find homestays.

While himachal is very safe, large part of Uttranchal circuit is non touristy, and mostly religious, so its not very safe for single women.

Even in HP, some regions may have safety issues.
>>>

1. Dogs in most hotels won't be allowed
2. Driving solo is going to be a challenge, in areas of UP, Haryana and MP; the challenge for a solo woman driver more so [no driving after sunset; lack of safe, women friendly hotels; what happens if the Zen breaks down et.al]
3. Please consult hvk on the risks-routes-workarounds, if any
--------------------------------

tsk1979,
I am unable to get the association between non touristy,religious and hence unsafe for single women?

Regards

Last edited by issigonis : 9th June 2011 at 11:58. Reason: Corrected
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Old 9th June 2011, 11:58   #12
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

The trip is quite ok to do from a hotel point of view.There are places on the route that would take pets in.

But as to whether the dogs would take kindly to the long hours inside the car,is something that only your friend would know.She could train in them in that by doing short 2-3hour drives.Dogs do tend to get claustrophobic and more importantly,she would have to be prepared to drive long stints with the windows down,which would mean making the A/c useless(this is because dogs love the fresh air,so if you want them to last the drive,windows down is the best bet).

As for hotels,you could check on this site www.petvacations.in
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Old 9th June 2011, 12:03   #13
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
tsk,
I am unable to get the link between non touristy-religious and hence unsafe for single women?

Regards
In HP, most common tourist places a thronged by families. With kids, wifes in tow and all. So help etc., is always available, you are safe, hotels have lot of families staying etc.,

However, in pilgrim routes, there are lots of places frequented by all male groups. So you can gather how safe a woman will be.
Somebody may not do anything per say, but for a woman harrassment does not have to be physical. It can be comments, slight eve teasing etc.,, which will spoil the trip. Even a group of 10 men staring can be very discomforting.

So whats the point of a trip where you are uncomfortable?

Moreover, touristy only places have the local populace which is very very tourist friendly. Its their bread and butter. An untoward incident can lead to loss of business for entire season.
So they go out of the way to ensure safety of travelers.

However, in pilgrimage places, the motivation is god. So it does not matter if there is a landslide, or a stampede or whatever. People will always come to see god. That particular temple cannot be recreated just anywhere if it has historical significance.

But then again these are my views, gleamed for observation of various places all over the Himalayas. No point debating this.
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Old 9th June 2011, 12:17   #14
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Our Lhasa Apso is a terrible traveller. Heck!! He cant even do 100 kms on the roads without getting restless and sometimes throwing up. But He is better than the previous Lhasa Apso we had, he could only manage 50kms at a stretch

Anyway the point is I dont think Lhasa Apso's breed is very happy travelling by car. So basically we dont feed our Lhasa Apso before we have to take him from one city to other. We have to stop after every 45 mnts to take him out for walks or else he gets restless.

Apso's as a breed also feel's secure with some part of their body touching the owner. Once I was traveling alone with him, and after sometime he wanted to share the drivers seat with me. So I had to leash him at the back seat. Never did I travel alone with him again.

But the brighter point is that if she does make it to HP the Lhasa Apso would feel at home and be thrilled with the cooler climate.

As far as her travelling alone, I guess she is the best judge of that!!

Last edited by deky : 9th June 2011 at 12:18.
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Old 9th June 2011, 19:08   #15
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Default re: Travelling with Pets in India

Thank you all Friends for your valuable inputs.
Looks like its going to be pretty challenging for her for sure.

For now, to get a hang of the troubles of a long trip, she plans to undertake some shorter trips to Araku Valley and other tourist places in AP.

One things looks certain that this trip would be extremely difficult without support. Can we tbhpians take it as a challenge and support her as she passes through the different geographies?

- We would get a detailed route info which includes suitable number of break with hvkumarji's help.

- The tbhpians at different location might have to get into action and get info on Dog friendly hotels. I know it's difficult but then we might have some local contacts in the town/city where we live and can convince any hotel/lodge wallah to allow the pets as an exception just for this case.

- Some meetups enroute with other tbhpians would make her feel motivated and even provide the necessary courage to undertake this trip.

- Finally this trip has to be taken up as a mission by tbhp where we all would have to contribute for the success of the trip.

- It would be a one off trip where a virtual forum works a team to make a seemingly impossible trip possible.

We have this brave lady to undertake the trip. Can we help her? It would be a big big victory for tbhp community if we can see her through comfortably and successfully through the trip.

Thanks again for all your thoughtful insights and opinions. Please let them continue to flow in.

-JP
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