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I am a multimedia journalist currently working as a Senior Web Journalist/ Videographer with Khaleej Times in Dubai, UAE. Prior to this, I worked as a news editor with CNN’s Indian affiliate in Noida. I graduated from Syracuse University in New York state in 2012 with a Masters degree in Broadcast and Digital journalism. I have worked in video production, online journalism, features writing and market research over a period of four years.

Pets on Vacation

Planning a vacation, most pet owners face a dilemma: Where to leave him? Do you take him with you, leave him with a relative or a friend, or do you send him to a creche? Then there’s the matter of safety, hygiene, care… And most importantly, whether he will take to the place himself! Here’s help.

When leaving him behind

If leaving him with a friend, choose one carefully. Your friend’s attitude and her home situation should be such that she is able to provide a home away from home (or something close) for your pet. Take your pet on visits to familiarise him or her with the surroundings. And make sure your friend has your vet’s numbers and is aware of your pet’s routine.

A creche is only right for pets who have a relatively docile and amiable nature. Check for hygiene, security, food and other basics beforehand, and leave him there for a day to check how he takes to his handlers and to the place itself. If you notice any sign of depression or unpleasant behavior, it’s not a good idea. A creche is not the right place for him.

At the destination

  • Choose your destination carefully. It should have special facilities for pets, not just be a hotel or resort that ‘doesn’t mind’ if you bring along your pet. Do make sure your hotel provides for the following:
  • Proper hygiene in his food and bedding. (You can carry pet food; or check what the hotel offers.)
  • Adequate space for him to relieve himself and exercise.
  • He should not have to hobnob with hostile company; the hotel should bar aggressive pets. However good the facilities, it’s best not to leave your pet unattended.
  • He can get lost, run into traffic or get involved in fighting with other animals. Cats and rabbits are less of a bother as they like to remain inside the room.
travel pet

The Mahindra Homestays boast of a host of homestays across the country that are pet-friendly. There are other options, including the Petvacations chain of hotels, Aamod Resort at Shoghi and the INDeco Group of hotels in Tamil Nadu*.

A vacation ‘home’ for your pet…

Several resorts restrict the movement of guest pets and don’t allow them to sleep-in with owners in their rooms. Some even insist on self-owned utensils for pets, and that the pets be leashed when taken out for walks. Mahindra Homestays are relatively more welcoming for your pets, and have the largest number of properties (60 in a network of more than 150 homes) that are pet-friendly. They include Aagman and Beach Bungalow in Alleppey, Kerala; Birchwood Place and Green Villa in Delhi; Ashirwad and Colonel’s Homestay in Jaipur, Rajasthan; Kewzing Homestays in Kewzing, Sikkim; Alipura Palace in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh and Only Olive in Goa.

They welcome controllable pets – after prior approval of the homestay hosts. In case the homestay owners also have pets, the resident dogs and the visiting ones are kept on leashes till they get to know each other. Most homestays allow pets indoors; others prefer them to kept in the verandah. Owners can take them along when they go sightseeing or leave them behind.

There are also options for bathing your pet with a hose pipe in the lawn, but guests are expected to take their pets for regular walks. Several provide free food for pets. The homes are spacious with accompanying lawns where your pet can run around freely.

Contact: 1800 425 2737; reservations@mahindrahomestays.com

This story was published in the August 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.

Read the story on the India Today website – here.

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