For pet parents in India, going on a holiday has always been a reason to panic with limited resources and services to take care of their fur babies. What’s even tougher, is planning a holiday with your pets. But Mumbai-based Priyanka Jena and Tanveer Taj are leading the way with their blog Wheels & Tails, showing you how it is done. The couple has been travelling across India with their dogs Frodo and Cruise for the last seven years. In 2019, they covered over 12,000 kilometres across 21 Indian states on a roadtrip with their pooches in an SUV—the adventure is all set to be captured in a television show very soon.
While the duo had to bid adieu to Frodo recently, who succumbed to illness, they have a new pack member, Noorie, the cat. The young feline has already been on quite a few adventures since he was adopted and is itching for more. Kayaking, boating, camping, swimming, these are just some of the many adventure sports the Wheels & Tails couple has done with their pets. Therefore, we decided to speak to the pros themselves as to how they make travelling with pets look so easy and plan the next roadtrip with our fur babies.
When did you start travelling with your pets?
Tanveer and I used to travel individually with Frodo and Cruise (respectively) before we became a pack. This started almost seven years ago.
Currently, we are cooped up in Mumbai due to an ongoing work project. Our next exploration with the pets is going to be Kerala. We haven't seen much of that wonderful state and wish to do so with our furry babies. We hope to go on another long-distance adventure in 2022—either to explore Northeast India or Southeast Asia. It all depends on how this pandemic shapes up and what the travel restrictions are.
When and how did the idea of Wheels & Tails first strike you?
When we started travelling together, we needed a new social identity to document our adventures. Tanveer and Frodo + Priyanka and Cruise were now becoming a pack. So, we came up with the name, Wheels and Tails, to best describe us.
Tell us about your four-month long road trip across India where you covered over 12,000 kilometres in an SUV with your pets?
Well, it was an adventure of a lifetime! We travelled across the periphery of India covering all terrains and landscapes of the country and experienced different weather conditions. It was not a rushed trip, we spent four months on the road, and the car was basically our home. The road is where we belong and feel the most at home.
The four-month long trip with our Golden Retriever and Labrador started on December 7, 2019 from Mumbai and we covered 21 states across the Northeast and the northern parts of India, and ended in our hometown where we reached finally after covering Rajasthan and Gujarat. During the travel, we carried tonnes of food and made sure to stay in pet-friendly Airbnbs. From beaches to hills to even forests and forts, our adventures across different terrains is soon coming up on a TV show.
How has travelling with pets changed since the pandemic?
Travel in general has changed since the pandemic but for us it hasn't changed much. We’ve always been partial to remote and natural locales, homestays, camping and the least crowded places. We like being to ourselves and having the whole place to us so that our fur babies can enjoy themselves without much care. So, even during the pandemic such places are the safest.
What are the challenges while travelling with pets?
There is a lot to plan and consider while travelling with pets. Their needs and comfort have to be the priority and you must plan accordingly. Planning is key. Not all places are pet friendly, so, it is important to plan your destination as well as the stops along the way. Make sure you pack enough food, an extensive first aid kit, and other pet essentials.
What makes pets the best travel buddies?
It is pure joy to watch your fur buddies enjoying themselves and having fun! If you are a pet parent, this experience cannot be expressed in words! It is just a sense of deep satisfaction. Start travelling with your pets when they are few months old. Get them to love travel and they will love being a part of all your adventures.
Dogs or Cats, who make for better travel buddies?
Cats are generally difficult to travel with as compared to dogs. It is best to start them young as kittens. Practice recall training with treats. Have a bell and escape proof vest leash when they are hiking with you out in the wild. It is a lot more work but it is still worth it.
Guide To Travelling With Pets
1. Plan and pack according to the number of days you are going to be travelling. Have an extensive medical kit.