News Flash! All Aboard - Pets and Owners welcome! With new service offerings from Amtrak and more city train services now allowing pets, train travel is becoming a viable mode of transportation for pet owners. Train travel can be much less stressful for pets and their owners than traveling by air and opens up a new way to explore the world for breeds that cannot fly.
Remember that if you travel between countries, you’ll need to make sure you meet the pet travel regulations for each of the countries you are visit.
US and Canada
After a successful pilot program, Amtrak now allows Fluffy and Fido on select trains. The service is still limited to small dogs and cats but it is a step in the right direction. The cost is currently $25 for your pet. The program restrictions include:
- Limited to dogs and cats weighing up to 20 lbs
- All pets must remain their carrier for the duration of the trip
- 1 pet per passenger
- 4 pets allowed per train –first come, first serve basis
- Must have an approved pet carrier (Link to our carriers?)
For more details, see https://www.amtrak.com/carry-on-pets
While that is helpful for those with small dogs or cats, how about those of us with medium or large dogs? What if we have more than 1 dog? Unfortunately, the options are slimmer for long distance travel but there is a company that specializes in helping dog owners travel with their dogs using all modes of transportation. The Dog Travel Company has been around since 2007 and may be an option to explore.
Traveling around town is a bit easier. Many cities allow pets on public transit trains but some have restrictions such as size of breed allowed or requirements such as muzzles, etc. For an extensive list of trains that allow dogs throughout the US and Canada and their associated requirements, visit dogfriendly.com
There are considerably more options to travel by train with your pet in Europe although the Eurostar is not one of them. Except for service dogs, no other pets are allowed.
Europe’s extensive rail system has a large network of trains and most including TGV and Thalys allow small dogs and cats. However, some trains in Great Britain, Spain, Ireland, Norway, and Finland do not allow pets.
Pet travelers will need to contact the train company to verify they can take their pet aboard and to determine any restrictions such as size, pet carriers, muzzles, etc. Many trains require advance reservations for pets so it’s a good idea to book as early as possible. Click here for a list of all European trains.
If you are traveling on an overnight train, you will need to purchase the entire compartment as a courtesy to other travelers.
Once you’ve booked your ticket and have Fido or Fluffy ready to board, before you take your seat, it is necessary and a common courtesy to ask the other passengers sitting near you if there are any objections to the presence of your pet. If so, please move to another part of the train.
Costs for pets on trains in Europe are generally half of the cost of 2nd class ticket.
There is still a long way to go to ensure that our furry best friends can accompany us wherever we go, but things are looking better. All Aboard!
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