How to Travel With Pets On Trains

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While the most common way to travel with pets is likely by car, train travel has increased in popularity in the last few years. As people adopted pets in 2020 more than ever, they want to bring their furry friends along for the ride. We’re here to tell you more about traveling by train and taking your furry friends along for the ride.

Train Travel is Safer

Traveling by train can take some of the stress of planning and organizing a trip by car or plane out of the equation. More importantly, train travel can be a safer alternative to traveling by plane or even by car. Airlines have breed and size restrictions, which can limit your options significantly. For example, brachycephalic (literally meaning “short-headed) dogs have shortened snouts which cause narrowed airways and trouble breathing. Most airlines have strict policies that don’t allow these dogs on board due to their inability to breathe properly in a pressurized cabin or in the cargo area. Unless you’re traveling with an emotional support animal, air travel can be pretty hard on your pets. On a train or in your car, you won’t have to worry about traveling with your pet as cargo or baggage.

Train Travel is Cheaper

Traveling by train with pets is a cheaper alternative to traveling by plane with your furry companion. Air travel with a dog for example, can cost you anywhere from a few hundred dollars upwards of $1,000 – and that is in addition to your own likely pricey ticket. Prices depend on the flight you’re taking, any layovers you may have, and the time of year. In the U.S., dogs and cats up to 20 pounds are able to travel on most Amtrak routes up to 7 hours long. While fees are assessed on a case-by-case basis, the basic fee is $26 to take your pet on an Amtrak train.

Train Travel is Easier

Pet check-in and paperwork is relatively straightforward and quick when traveling by train. As mentioned, fees are generally low. Some basic rules include that you must travel with a carrier for your pet, all pets must be leashed when out of the carrier, and pets must be odorless and non-disruptive to the rest of the passengers on the train. The goal is to make traveling more enjoyable for you and your pet, and going by train can help with that!

Do all Trains Allow Pets?

All of that being said, not all trains allow pets all the time. In the U.S., Amtrak specifies that only dogs and cats are allowed to travel on their trains. In Canada, travel with pets on Amtrak is not allowed on Adirondack, Maple Leaf and Amtrak Cascades; not available on Auto Train, Keystone Service, Pennsylvanian, San Joaquins, Capitol Corridor or Thruway Connecting Services. In Europe, smaller pets are generally allowed to travel on trains for free, and larger dogs must be leashed and muzzled and can travel for a small fee. The rules and regulations vary by company, route, and circumstance, so be sure to check with the train service you’re planning on taking before finalizing your trip.

Traveling by train with pets can be a unique alternative to traveling by plane or car, so it’s something to consider for your next trip. Remember, as with any travel plans, to double check the rules and regulations of any services you are planning to use and be sure your furry friend is allowed on with you before making any final decisions!

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