Safe Travelling of Pets during the COVID-19 Crisis

Pashu Sandesh, 15 Dec 2020

Dr Manisha Singodia, Dr Neeraj Kumar Sharma, Dr Devi Singh Rajput and Dr Lokesh Tak

Thousands of years ago, people began travelling with their canine mates – and the yearning for side-by-side adventures has been with us ever since. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer direction for pet owners and travellers alike. They start with the consolation that, at least for now, there is no proof that animals play a significant impact in spreading the COVID-19 virus through the human population. Following social separating recommendations and keeping at least six feet of space between pet, other humans, and other dogs.  Restricting contact is as yet the most ideal approach to pet and yourself from potential exposure to COVID-19.

Basic Requirements During Transportation-

  • Transport of canines and felines of all varieties is by rail, road, water, sea or air. Transport regularly includes a health certificate, updating vaccinations, complete disease testing.
  • A substantial health certificate by a qualified veterinary surgeon to the effect that the dogs and cats are in a fit condition to travel by rail, road, waterway, sea or air and is not giving any indications of irresistible infectious sickness including rabies.
  • Temperatures should not fall below 450F for more than 4 consecutive hours limit of 60°F (15.5°C) might be more reasonable for certain animals, particularly animals with short hair coats, pediatric and elderly animals, those not acclimated to cooler temperatures.
  • Temperatures should be kept below 80°F (26.6°C) with a relative humidity between 30 and 70%. Extraordinary safeguards might be required for transporting brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds of dogs and cats.
  • Cats should be provided with a place to hide during transport as this is a significant method for dealing with stress during unpleasant circumstances. If more than one animal is in the primary enclosure, there must be enough space for each occupant to lie down comfortably at the same time. Unfamiliar animals must not be moved together in a similar essential walled in area.
  • Crates and cages must not be stacked upon each other in a manner that increases animal stress and discomfort, compromises ventilation, permits waste material to fall from the cage above into the cage below, interferes with care and observation, or hinders emergency removal.
  • The enclosure must be durable and permit adequate ventilation. There should be no sharp edges. Ground surface must forestall injury, inconvenience, and spillage of liquids. Retentive sheet material ought to be given.
  • Maximum transport time to the middle of the road or last goal sanctuary ought to be close to 12 hours. 
  • Food must be provided at least every 24 hours for adults and more frequently for animals younger than 6 months of age. If water is not available at all times it must be provided during observation/exercise stops (every 4-6 hours). No dog or cat in an advanced stage of pregnancy shall be transported.
  • Dogs or felines to be shipped in a similar compartment will be of similar species and breed. Unweaned young doggies of cats will not be moved with grown-up canines or felines other than their dams.
  • No female dog or cat in season (estrus) shall be transported with any male. Any dog or cat reported to be vicious or exhibiting a vicious disposition shall be transported indi-vidually in a cage, muzzled and labelled to give warning to the handlers. In extreme cases, the dogs and cats shall be administered with sedative drugs by a qualified veterinary surgeon.

Transported for Short Distance by Road in a Public Vehicle-

  • The vehicle transporting the dogs or cats shall as far as possible keeps up steady speed, maintaining a strategic distance from unexpected stops and lessening impacts of stuns and shocks to the base.
  • At least one attendant will be available consistently during travel who shall ensure that proper transit conditions are observed and shall also replenish food and water whenever necessary.

Strategy for Carriage of Pets on Domestic Flights-

       Little harmless domestic pets such as dogs, cats and birds, accompanied by valid Health and Rabies vaccination certificates, will be acknowledged on Air India domestic flights in the cabin or in proprietor's hazard and dependent upon necessities of the transporter.

  • Such carriage is dependent upon endorsement of the officer of the flight.
  • The pet must be appropriately conveyed in delicate ventilated sacks/pet hotel in the recommended size (pet hotel size not to surpass 18" x 18" x 12"). The load of the pet including the compartment ought not to surpass 5 kgs. for carriage in the lodge. Pets of bigger size/weight will be conveyed in the freight hold. 
  • Maximum of 2 pets are allowed per flight and traveller going with such pet will be situated in the last column of booked lodge class. 
  • A mark will be joined on the compartment demonstrating the name of the pet.
  • A dampness retentive tangle must be set in the compartment.
  • The pet canine must be appropriately gagged and restricted. 
  • The Pets/Guide Dogs won't be permitted to involve a front seat
  • Pet creatures can be conveyed as a went with stuff or dispatched as Cargo. Appointments can be made for pets as Accompanied Baggage/Excess Baggage through Air India Reservations. 
  • Pets will be conveyed at an extra charge and won't be remembered for the Free Baggage Allowance, regardless of whether the traveller has no other things
  • Normal Excess Baggage Charges would be relevant for the carriage of went with pets on household ventures inside India. Weight of the pet in addition to the holder as likewise food conveyed per compartment will be charged. 
  • However, a Trained Guide Dog when appropriately gagged and restricted and with wellbeing/immunization endorsement, might be conveyed for nothing out of pocket if the canine is prepared to lead the traveller with weakened vision/hearing and the traveller is reliant on such canine.

Common Regulations and quarantine period-

All pets entering into India with their owners must be issued a NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE (NOC) from the Animal Quarantine Station in India whether accompanied or unaccompanied, prior to entering India. Up to 2 dogs or cats can enter India per person. More than 2 pets per person can only be imported under a License from the Director-General of Foreign Trade. All pets entering India under transfer of residency may be subject to 14 days of government-supervised quarantine or 30 days of home quarantine depending on the health of pet when inspected or whether it conforms to all import regulations. Generally, if all regulations are met, then home quarantine is imposed.

Additional Consideration-

  • Prevention of exposure to extreme temperature.
  • Maintenance of adequate hydration and nutrition.
  • Protection from infectious disease exposure.
  • Unless orphaned, kittens or puppies younger than 8 weeks old should be transported with the mother in a space large enough for her to lie down on her side with legs extended for comfort and to facilitate nursing.
  • Cats should, whenever possible, be transported in a separate compartment from dogs. 
  • Acclimating cats to their transport cage or carrier prior to travel may reduce the stress of the journey.

Make sure to counsel vet and watch out for any progressions that may influence the schedule. With cautious arranging and knowledge, it tends to be fun – and safe – to go with your canine during the coronavirus emergency.


Dr Manisha Singodia1, Dr Neeraj Kumar Sharma2, Dr Devi Singh Rajput3 and Dr Lokesh Tak4

1Teaching Associate, Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education, CVAS, RAJUVAS, Bikaner

2, 3 Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education, CVAS, RAJUVAS, Bikaner

4Teaching Associate, Department of Livestock Products Technology, CVAS, RAJUVAS, Bikaner

Corresponding Author: Dr Manisha Singodia,