Not a care in the world, driving at fifth gear, with only one person in the whole wide world that you love the most! Your furry poodle. Check.
Driving your car, your pet taking up space at the back unless he barks shotgun and preens at all the toll attendants on the expressway while sitting on the front seat. Quite possible right?
Climbing snowy peaks with your pet, getting a kick out of an oxygen overdose as compared to the city air. Only your mutt for company. Check.
Trekking with your pet is a piece of cake and good fun to bond in the chilly air too. Which pooch does not love to take in new smells and being one with nature. Pawsome experience right?
Passing new places, looking out the train window, mesmerized by new smiles and happy to make new friends with your adorable indie as your wingman, sounds instagrammable, definitely. Check.
Travelling by train with your pet in tow, better to book both seats in a first class AC or all four seats in a 2AC compartment. Keep your pet close at all times. Absolutely doable right?
A Fit to Travel Certificate for your domestic travels from your vet is mandatory, along with flea-tick-deworming schedules and an Anti-Rabies Shot. Also in case your pet is on her menstruation cycle, disposable pet diapers are a good option to avoid things getting messy.
Up in the sky, ready to unleash the adrenaline. Only have one person on board whom you trust with your life. Your furry baby. Check.
While travelling with your pet on a plane, valid health and vaccination certificates are a must. Almost see yourself doing this right? Well...approval of the airplane authorities is needed and charges for travel would be extra. Some airlines might ask you to carry a soft ventilated kennel in the size suitable for your pet as well.
Riding the waves on the wild sea. Only know of one person who loves the sea as much as you. Your adorable pooch. Check.
In order to travel with your pet on an ocean-liner, you would need a verified Fit to Travel Health Certificate from your Vet, most recent Rabies vaccination certificates, flea and deworming schedules mainly. Once you get the approval of the cruise authorities, all you need is to ensure that your pet is not prone to motion sickness. A kennel will mostly be provided for your pet or you may even be allowed to keep him in your coup. But this mode of travel is an option only once you are done with the mountains.
These are common scenes if you are an enthusiastic pet parent, agree right? Wouldn’t you just love to actually live these scenes and not just dream about them. So, here’s a list of top hill stations in India where you can travel with your pet and have a blast at the same time. We are sure that this vacation will be a pampered space for both you and your pet equally if not more. But, here’s the catch, not most hotels and places of stay are pet-friendly, that's the reason, we have come up with a few chosen hill stations where your pet would be treated like the main hero and not just a sidekick.
The hilly region of Nainital located in Uttarakhand in India is a treasure trove of scenic beauty for you and your pet. The unexplored mud trails, the innumerable streams will make you want to click a thousand selfies and actually not want to post them on Instagram because you want to treasure these beautiful moments shared with your paw buddy and keep it private. You will love to take your pet on walk along the many lakes, mainly the Nainital Lake. Most pet-friendly hotels here will treat your pet to a welcome gift and give your pet a pawtastic service. A boat ride on one of the many lakes will also be enjoyable for your pet. Snow-view Point, Naina Peak and Eco Cave Gardens are a must see in Nainital.
At the foothills of the Himalayas, nestled in the laps of the Ganges, this is a beautiful place to spend some measurable paw time with your furry hero. A 5 hour drive from Delhi, this place is purrfectly scenic to laze around in the tents or the luxurious cottages or even to relax with your pet soaking up the wintry sun. The green outdoors gives ample space to play tug, fly high trying to catch the frisbee and mostly enjoy a super energetic morning run that releases the stress and welcomes the happy hormones. If you happen to leave your pet back at the cottage, you might see him up on the bed, trying to catch a glimpse out of the window to check for stray goats, cows or anything that holds his fancy. This is where you will come again for peace and paws, nothing else.
Referred to as the ‘Princess of Hill Stations’ - Kodaikanal situated in Tamil Nadu is a breathtaking place to visit with your pet companion. At a height of 2100 metres above the sea, it is surrounded by rocky hills, slopes and beautiful waterfalls. Known as a leisure travel destination, ensure that your pet is equally comfortable when you travel by train to get here. Travel by train in first class so you get 4 coupes to yourself and your pet can roam around freely. Keep your pet’s health file intact incase the TC comes checking for it. Carry his leash, favorite teddy toy or a stuffed lion which has his scent on it, take along his usual food and you are set.
Located in the Sahyadri Range in Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar is nature’s find. If your pet is a vegan and enjoys nature as opposed to running after moving cars, this town will keep you coming back to it, because of its old world charm. The forts, the temples, the castles and the British Architecture infused cottages and places are a page straight out of an Adventure Novel. If you and your pet have a nose for adventure then Mahabaleshwar offers plenty of opportunities. Farm-fresh carrots and strawberries are easily available on the small roadside stalls and a good snack to treat your pet to.
In the midst of Pune and Mumbai, Lonavla, located in Maharashtra is a pet-travellers paradise. Easy on tourists, you might come across a lot of entertaining options for you and your pet. The villas which dot the town are a paradise for pets and may offer you a relaxing experience. The green valleys, the Karla Caves, the forts, and the Bhushi Dam are tourist and pet-friendly places to explore and the long walks will do you both good to just be.
How to go about looking for a Pet-Friendly Place
The most practical way to look for a pet-friendly place is zero in on three options first - land, air or sea, how do you want to travel to any of these beautiful places. You could also opt for an online solution where you can just log on to any of the online travel advice websites, type location, properties ok with pets, budget, whether the hotels or resorts at these places are pet-friendly or not. It is also definitely advisable to actually call these hotels before hand and find out their definition of pet-friendly.
Points to keep in mind
What they say, but what they mean
Some places are ok with your pet running loose without the leash, some are insistent on a leash/harness, some might have already set ground rules that if your pet messes up anything at any point or there are damages, you will be charged extra. They advertise pet-friendly but they might not necessarily be very pet-friendly. So if this has to be decoded, it simply means that we allow dogs to come over, but you have to tie them up or keep them on a leash. And no, they won’t ask you for your pet’s pics or videos before hand. But this should not be a dampener, the point being, it's important to relax with your pet, so it's better if you get it right in the first attempt.
Breed Specific Welcome
Some places are averse to a few breeds like a German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Pit Bull as they assume that since they are huge dogs and look ferocious, they might pose a problem to the other vacationers and spoil their moment of fun. On the other hand, a Labrador, Beagle or a smaller breed instantly gets people to be more warm and welcoming as they assume that the size will not pose a problem.
A Plus if they have an In-House Dog/Pet
Almost all pet-friendly places have their own guard dogs, whom they generally keep on a leash, in a kennel, or tied up. So places which have an in-house dog/pet would be your best bet. This will automatically give your pooch an edge to lap up added benefits, like new bark friends, special food freshly created in the kitchen, special privileges to roam about and basically act as if they own the place.
May or may not have an Overnight Kennel/Boarding or Pet Services
Most places do not have an overnight boarding kennel. Do not assume that they might have an In-house vet or groomer on board. If they do, then you are lucky. The hotel authorities might also charge extra if your pet jumps on the bed, messes up the towels, runs around in the mud or gets her paws dirty or if the decor has been messed up. If you are travelling to places which offer a Vet on Call or a Grooming Service, then this trip will do your pet more good than you ever thought.
Carry your Pet’s Favorite Toy, Favorite Food, Water & Eating Bowl & Blanket
There is comfort in knowing that your daily things are still the same or else the new smells and places might pose a problem for anxious pets.
Ultimately it's about the play time that you enjoy with your furry friend, the good that you bring out in each other and that’s what a small pawcation is all about.
Esha Sinha is a seasoned writer who has over the years contributed quality content on various high-profile websites. She has particularly excelled in niches like Fashion, Business, Entrepreneurship, Education, Pet Healthcare etc. Her professionalism, four year's experience, and expertise make her one of the most sought-after content writers in the field.