The past year has been a tough one for pets, with most being cooped at home, deprived of their regular exercise or annual breaks. Pet parents have been wary of stepping out, worried about the safety precautions in place for their animal companions. However, Tanveer Taj and Priyanka Jena, founders of the vlog, Wheels and Tails, have just completed a trip of 100 days, covering over 12,000 kilometres and over 20 states across India, with their furry babies. “As per safety rules, we were at our Udupi home, in Karnataka, when the lockdown was announced. We spent most of 2020 there,” they say. “The days were great as we were right by the beach and by the beach. So, long walks, swims and beach treks were the daily do.”
But when the family moved back to Mumbai after the lockdown, they began to think of trips with their pet companions. Beaches and hills have always been delightful destinations for pets, as not only do they get up close with nature but also these places are safer for them. “Pets are more acceptable in nature’s haven rather than in cities,” say Taj and Jena. Based on their experiences, the duo lists their pick of the most pet-friendly destinations to travel to during the pandemic:
Goa: This beach destination has a series of pet-friendly cafes and accommodations, which are also budget-friendly. There is also easy access to pet supplies and good veterinary clinics. And there is nothing like endless stretches of beaches to run around with your pet companions.
Coorg: A lot of campsites and home stays in this pristine destination allow pets. You can go on hikes or gorgeous plantations walks, which allow you to be far from the teeming crowds. There are also loads of natural ponds to swim in. However, pet parents need to beware of leeches.
Manali: This has always been a popular destination for families with pets, with hostels and luxury resorts making space for your furry companions. If you are looking at your pet to experience snow, then Manali is the place to go to.
Mulshi: This is the place to visit during the monsoons for fun treks with your pets. Not only is the drive from Mumbai beautiful but Mulshi is also full of home stays that welcome pets. There is nothing better than splashy, muddy treks with your dogs, with the rolling lush hills as the backdrop.
Meghalaya: This is one of the most pet friendly states in the northeast. You can explore amazing waterfalls or opt for hikes through the pine forests. Hikes always excite dogs, as they get to be themselves and be off the leash. The locals revere nature over mindless development, and it shows in their approach to pets.