In this three part series on traveling with pets, we’re going to give you a lot of valuable and time-saving information that is bound to help you have a successful trip—no matter how you choose to travel. We’ll be covering travel on trains, buses, planes and of course, by automobile.
Travel by Train
Travel by Train
Amtrak is the only national passenger train service in America, and unfortunately, they don’t allow companion animals. The only animals allowed on board are service animals, and if you plan to travel with a service animal, you’ll have to make your reservations by calling Amtrak—you can’t make them online.
Guidelines for Service Animals:
- Must remain on the floor at all times. They aren’t allowed to sit in the aisles or seats.
- Must be leashed at all times, unless the handler is unable to control the service animal with a leash due to disability or handicap.
- Owners may walk their service dogs at stops, as long as they stay close enough to get back on board in a timely manner when the conductor gives the call. Be sure to let the conductor know you plan on walking your service dog when you first board the train.
- As far as walking is concerned, check with Amtrak when you call as some routes may have limited or no stops.
For more information on traveling with animals on Amtrak, read their Service Animals and Pet Policy.
You can get in touch with Amtrak by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) or using their contact form.
Additionally, if your trip could be serviced by a more region-specific company, visit this site to look at some other options in your area.
Travel by Bus
Travel by Bus
All of our research has shown us that most bus lines have similar policies when it comes to bringing pets on board—service dogs only. Greyhound and Peter Pan allow service animals (view their policies here: Greyhound – Peter Pan), but Trailways may be a good option if you’re looking to bring your dog or cat as a companion, and not for service reasons. Trailways is a line of independently owned bus lines (you can find a local Trailways affiliate by clicking here), and while Trailways itself allows one pet under 25 lbs and secured in a pet carrier per passenger, each affiliate may have different policies, so be sure to check with your local affiliate before making any solid plans. Now that we’ve given you the scoop on traveling with your pets via train or bus, print out this checklist below when you’re planning your trip so you won’t forget anything!
- Contact the railway/bus line to confirm pet policy and get details on where (or even if) you’ll be able to store items like a pet carrier or travel bag.
- Travel bag
- Food and water (don’t forget the collapsible bowls)
- Waste disposal bags
- Vet records (including immunization records)
- Booties to protect their feet (always a good idea when facing unknown terrain and environments)
- Service Dog jacket/vest (if yours is a service dog)