Pet Travel by Train

Ideally, traveling with your pup should be as easy as going to the dog park. However, every step of planning has the added task of making sure your furry friend can be along for the ride. Luckily, the logistics of traveling with your dog is increasingly getting easier. Not only have airlines added accommodations for pet travel, but also train lines are becoming a more feasible transportation option while toting dogs. This article addresses some basic questions you might have about taking your dog on a train before you embark on your next journey. 

Getting Started

The first place to check for information about taking your dog on a train would be the website of the train line you plan to use. A simple Google search or a search within the website will most likely lead you to the information you need. For example, searching “pets” on Amtrak’s website leads to a page with all their information on traveling with pets. Most train lines have their own policies and requirements about pet travel, so pet owners should check well in advance of their trip for the rules.  

What to Expect

Despite slight differences in policies for train lines, pet owners can expect some commonalities in terms of requirements for pet travel. Generally, rules about pet travel do not apply to service animals, so if you are a passenger with a service animal, you may not have to follow these same expectations. Typically, the maximum weight allowed of the pet and their carrier is 20 pounds. The weight limit leads to another rule which requires dogs to be in an enclosed, hard- or soft-sided pet carrier with proper ventilation. These are the broadest rules about bringing dogs on trains, but there are other rules to be aware of once you select your train line, so be sure to know the rules before attempting to ride. 

Carrier Information

While owners have freedom to choose their pet carrier so long as it does not exceed any size limitations and provides proper ventilation for the pet, owners should choose a carrier that is smart for travel. Like any piece of luggage, a pet carrier should be durable, lightweight, and practical. While shopping for a carrier, look for a carrier with sturdy handles for carrying the dog throughout the terminal and within the train. Some carriers even have wheels or can be carried like a backpack which might be more convenient for some owners. Additionally, a carrier that keeps all your dog’s accessories like a leash or treats in handy side pockets would save room in your own luggage while ensuring your dog has all that they need at the ready. 

Plan Ahead

As with any other travel, traveling with pets on trains takes advance planning and the right equipment. However, the more you plan ahead the easier the ride will be. So, the next time you start to plan a trip with your dog, keep the train in mind as a convenient way to get you and your dog to your chosen destination. 

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