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Are Dogs Allowed On A Train? Full Details

Are Dogs Allowed On A Train? Full Details

Many of us have wondered are dogs allowed on a train? Can I take my furry friend with me? Are there any restrictions? Well, you have come to the right place.

Here we will discuss everything you need to know regarding traveling with dogs on a train. Keep reading to learn more.

For dog lovers, traveling with their furry friends is one of the most exciting and memorable things.

If you are planning a trip to the United States, you may not want to leave behind your four-legged friend. Fortunately, may train services now allow small pets, including dogs, to be carried onboard. 

Generally, traveling on a train is less stressful for both the dog and the owner than flying.

Train travel will offer you shorter check-in times as well as the comfort of having your dog on your lap for the whole journey, rather than in the hold compartment or under your seat.

There is also the cost of transportation to consider. With Delta Airlines charging as much as $150 to transport your dog as a carry-on, Amtrak will charge as low as $26 to transport your pet.

traveling with dogs - Are Dogs Allowed On The Train

Amtrak Dog Policy

Amtrak allows passengers to bring cats and dogs (up to 20 pounds) onboard most of its journeys that are seven hours or less.

Dogs are prohibited on Thruway connecting services or specific mainline routes. 

Amtrak provides the following rules and regulations for bringing your dog onboard:

  • Dogs should be booked on a reservation, with a maximum of five dogs allowed on every train service. This is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Only one dog is permitted per passenger on the train. They can only ride in coach class but not the business class or any other sleeper services.
  • Dogs should be transported in a pet carrier with measurements not more than 19 x 14 x 10.5 inches. The pet carrier should be leakproof and well ventilated. In addition, the total weight of the dog inside the pet carrier should not exceed 20 pounds.
  • The pet carrier will count towards your carry-on allowance and must be placed under your seat. Your dog is not permitted outside of the pet carrier in stations or for the duration of the journey.

Paperwork and Health Requirements

  • You will be required to sign a Dog Release and Indemnification Agreement for every segment of the journey.
  • Passengers must check in with their pets at the ticket desk 30 minutes before the train departs. This will allow time to complete the dog release paperwork.
  • Dogs must be at least eight weeks old to travel on Amtrak services. They must also be odorless, well-mannered, and non-disruptive to other passengers.
  • You will have to certify that your dog is up-to-date with all the necessary or required vaccinations before traveling with it.

Train Systems That Allow Dogs

Here are a few train systems in the United States of America that allow dogs. 

Alaska Railroad

Alaska Railroad permits dogs and other small pets in the baggage car in an airline-approved pet carrier or kennel.

The transportation fee is $20, which counts as one piece of your checked luggage allowance. You will also be required to make sure that your dog does not cause any disturbance inside the train.

White Pass & Yukon Route

White Pass & Yukon Route allows dogs on Chilkoot Hiker Service trains. However, they do not allow dogs on any connecting bus services.

They usually charge a transportation fee of $25 per pet. You will have to make sure that your dog is in a pet carrier or kennel. 

California Metrolink

California Metrolink allows dogs and other pets as long as they are secured in an enclosed carrier. Dogs are not allowed to take up seats or block doorways or aisles.

In addition, you will be required to be in control of your furry friend and ensure that it does not cause any disturbance to other passengers on the train.

San Francisco Muni

Dogs are allowed on San Francisco Muni trains as long as they are muzzled and on a short leash. They can travel while under the seat in front of you or ride on your lap.

San Francisco Muni also permits other pets if they are in a secure and enclosed pet carrier. They will require you to be in control of your dog and ensure that it does not cause disturbance on the train.

traveling with dogs - Are Dogs Allowed On The Train

Connecticut CT Rail Shore Line East

Connecticut Ct Rail Shore Line East is pet-friendly and allows dogs on board. However, you will have to make sure that your dog is on a short leash or contained in an enclosed and well-ventilated container.

The dog should also not disrupt other passengers on the train. Train attendants may be forced to cancel your travel if your dog causes disturbance.

Connecticut CT Rail Hartford Line

Dogs are permitted on Connecticut CT Rail Hartford Line if they are transported in an enclosed and safe pet carrier with the weight and size not exceeding 20 pounds and 19 x 14 x 10.5 inches.

Your furry friend must be well-mannered and should not cause any disturbance on the train. 

Florida Brightline

Florida Brightline allows only one dog per passenger. If you are transporting the pet on the floor or on your lap, then the pet carrier must not exceed 17 x 10 x 10 inches.

In addition, the pet carrier should not be more than 28 x 20.5 x 21.5 inches if your dog is being transported in a coach luggage tower.

Just make sure sure that your dog is well-behaved throughout the journey. Also, make sure that your canine friend is on a short leash and under your control.

Things To Consider Before Traveling 

To ensure your pet’s safety, and that you are adhering to the existing rules and regulations, there are several things that you need to consider before taking your pet on board a train. Here are some of them.

Motion Sickness

Like human beings, some pets can experience motion sickness too. Therefore, it is always good to test out several short journeys before embarking on a long-distance train journey.

This will ensure that your furry friend is used to long distances and does not develop motion sickness.

Be sure to bring along plenty of clean and fresh water to avoid your dog becoming dehydrated. Dehydration will only make the sickness worse.


Many train operators will only allow dogs and other small pets to be transported inside a pet carrier.

However, it will be up to test how your furry friend responds to being inside the pet carrier for a long time.

Some train operators, such as Amtrak, also state that dogs must not be disruptive while on the train.

Train travel may not be suitable if you have a pet that barks continuously while inside its pet carrier.

In addition, you will need to ensure that your dog is well behaved in public. You can slowly introduce the pet to large crowds prior to your travel.

Most train operators may cancel your travel if your dog is not well-mannered and causes disturbance while on board.

Health and Documentation Requirements

The train personnel on most local train services will less likely request the documentation.

However, you will be required to sign to certify that your dog is up-to-date with their vaccination when using Amtrak services. 

If you are transporting a dog between two or more states, most states will require that the dog has a recent Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI).

The certificate will indicate that your furry friend is clear of rabies and other infectious diseases.

The rules as to when the certificate should be obtained before entering any state vary from one state to another.

However, the most common time period for most states is thirty days before entry.

traveling with dogs - Are Dogs Allowed On The Train

Dog Identification

Although not mandatory in the United States of America, you may want to consider getting your dog microchipped for safety reasons.

With a microchip, it will be easy to track your furry friend whenever they get lost in an unknown destination.

In addition, you will have to make sure that your dog has a collar with your contact number so that you are contacted easily whenever your dog gets lost and is found by someone else.

Nearest Vet

It is good to familiarize yourself with your nearest vet, even if you are planning to take a short trip.

This will ensure that your pet gets proper medical care if they require urgent care while on the journey. 

Relief Breaks

Like humans, your dog will also need sufficient relief breaks, especially when traveling on long journeys.

You can check with the train operators to see whether they have scheduled stops that are more than a few minutes so that you have enough time to relieve your dog in a suitable location.

What To Take On Board

  • Vet contact details
  • Leash and collar
  • A well-ventilated pet carrier
  • Poop bags
  • Food and drink bowls
  • Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI)
  • Food, snacks, and plenty of freshwaters


Dogs are allowed on several train operators in the United States. However, there are rules that you must adhere to while traveling with your dog.

For instance, most train operators will require you to ensure that your dog is well-mannered and transported in a pet carrier.

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