Flying with Your Dog to India – What You Need to Know
There are many requirements to bring your dog into India. You’ll need to talk to your vet, let India know in advance that you’re coming, and make sure your pup is mentally and physically healthy to travel. Here’s what you need to know about flying with your dog to India.
Check with Your Veterinarian Before You Make Plans
Before you do anything, you’ll want to check with your veterinarian first. Whether you’re moving to India, going to be there for a while for work, or you’re looking to visit, you want to make sure that you’re able to bring your dog along.
In some cases, if you won’t be in India for too long, it might be best to leave your dog at home with a trusted, professional dog sitter.
Your vet will help you out with whatever you and your dog need to prepare for the flight to India. For example, they’ll help you determine if your dog is physically and mentally prepared to fly.
If your dog is ready and healthy enough, your vet can ensure they’re up to date on their vaccinations to meet the requirements for the airline and India.
Every airline has different requirements. So, be sure to do your research beforehand so that you can discuss with your vet what your dog will need to board the plane and make their way to a new country.
For example, your dog may need the following:
- Blood tests
- Health certificates
- Microchips (for identification)
Remember, some of these requirements may change from time to time. Also, the conditions will depend on where you’re headed and how old your dog is.
The Requirements You Need to Meet to Get to India
First, if you want to go to India and are not originally from India, you need to be in the country for a minimum of one year to bring your dog. So, if you’re going there for work for six months, then you’ll need to leave your dog at home with a sitter or family member.
Also, the dog needs to enter India within 30 days of its owner so that they are not separated for too long. In addition, the dog can only be imported through domestic or personal use. Breeding and commercial use is not allowed.
The following things you’ll need to prepare your dog for flight is as follows:
- A microchip with an ISO number (or you can bring your microchip scanner)
- Import permit (which is a license to allow the dog into the country)
- Health certificate (endorsed by the USDA or the CFIA)
- Various vaccinations
For example, some of the vaccinations your dog may need will include the rabies shot. They need to have the rabies shot within 31 days of entering India.
Other vaccines include:
No matter how healthy your dog is, they’ll need to quarantine upon entering the country. They may quarantine under government supervision for 14 days or, if they’re healthy enough, they can quarantine you at home with you for 30 days.
How Your Dog Will Fly
When flying on an airplane with your dog to India, you need to do so at your own risk. India and the airlines do not claim responsibility if anything should happen to your dog mid-flight.
Also, you’ll only be able to fly with up to two animals per person at a time. If for any reason, you have more than two dogs, then you’ll need special permission from the Director General of Foreign Trade.
In addition, animals can only arrive within 5:00 am and noon Monday through Friday.
Luckily, India allows all dog breeds, so you don’t need to worry about looking for a banned breed list. As long as its owner and healthy accompany the dog, it should be fine.
According to Air India, your dog can fly in the cabin with you or in the cargo hold. If the pup is small, they can certainly go in the cabin. However, if it’s a medium or large breed, they might have to go into the cargo hold.
The International Air Transport Association says your pet might be more comfortable in the cargo hold. It’s dim and quiet, so if your pup has anxiety, it might be more soothing for them to be in there.
Your Dog’s Comfort Comes First
Flying on an airplane is scary for most humans, let alone dogs who don’t understand what a plane is, how it works, or where they’re going.
For instance, they may feel safer and more comfortable in the cargo hold, but if your dog has separation anxiety or is afraid to try new things, the dark cargo hold (and being away from you) may stress them out further.
You’ll want to work with your vet to ensure that your dog is fully prepared.
So, here are some tips to ensure that your dog is prepared to fly:
- Purchase plane tickets that have as few layovers and connections as possible
- Choose arrival times to avoid extreme heat or cold
- Train your dog to get used to their carrier
- Discuss any anxiety needs with your vet beforehand
- If your dog goes into the cabin, check-in as late as possible
- If your dog goes into the cargo hold, check-in as early as possible
- Walk your dog before your flight and immediately after arrival
- Avoid food and drink a few hours before the flight
These tips will help reduce stress for your dog, and they’ll also keep them as healthy as possible.
Overall, you want to aim to keep the flight as safe and positive as possible for your pup. First, however, you need to keep up with the country and state you’re entering and the airline’s requirements.
Should You Fly With Your Dog to India?
As with flying into any country, bringing your dog into a foreign area is a process. You can undoubtedly bring your furry friend to India with you as long as you’re going to be in India for at least one year and your dog is healthy to be there.