With the holiday season beginning and travelling getting into full-swing, many people will worry about how to transport their pets with them on the train. Since I've done it about a bazillion times, let me be your guide!
Travelling with a dog on a train is pretty simple if you're in the UK. Despite having almost as many rules and regs as in the US, travelling with a dog is pretty damn straightforward. Here's some of the rundown:
-Dogs are always permitted, as long as they are on a lead and not aggressive or a nuisance.
-They do not have to be in a carrier and can sit on the seat if they are on a bed or towel. Naturally, they will need to be moved if the train is full.
-They do not require an extra ticket
-They are not allowed in restaurant or cafe cars
There are some things to be mindful of, however, if you're taking a dog onboard. These include:
-If your dog is very large, check with the train company you're travelling on first before getting on with him.
-If you're travelling on a Sleeper (such as from London to Inverness), bringing your dog is allowed, but subject to a charge and you'll need to notify the train company 48 hours before you board.
Remember, if your dog isn't well-behaved, they do reserve the right to chuck you off.
Here are all the rules for the UK.
Otherwise it's pretty straightforward.
Things to Remember on the Train
-a towel for your dog to sit on
-a dog pad if the trip is especially long. Do you expect to go 7 hours without peeing?
-a collapsible water bowl
-treats/a meal if the journey is particularly long
-If you're changing trains, remember that some stations have trains that pass at a very high speed. I hate this, but it can also alarm your dog. Keep him close to you at all times.
Here's Eugene on the train, breaking the rules. He should be on a towel. I'm not sure if we got told off or not.
Dog Train Travel in the USA
You can take a dog (up to 20lbs) in the US on certain Amtrak lines, but it is subject to a wide range of restrictions. I've never done this before, so I invite you to defer to the Amtrak Pets on Train guidelines. The program is still very new and subject to lots of regulations, but it is awesome that you can now take your furry friend with you in the US!
Once You Get to Your Destination
Check with each city and its policies on pets on public transport. London allows leashed dogs on the tube, as long as they are not taken on escalators down to the trains. New York City, and I imagine most cities in the US, are a bit more stringent and often require that animals be in carriers in order to board the train.
Some buses in the UK allow dogs, but they may be subject to a child's fee and can be refused at the driver's discretion. In the US, they are typically allowed as long as they are in a carrier.
Taxis are typically up to the driver's discretion as well. Small dogs are usually okay on a lap or towel, however sometimes drivers will be reluctant to let them in. Other times, they will request that the dog be in a carrier, though this is more of a US rule.
However, I would strongly suggest that you research all of this before you travel to avoid upset once you arrive.