For the last part of our summer travel series, we’ll look into one of America’s oldest methods of transportation – the locomotive! While not as commonly utilized as car or plane, taking the train could be a nice change of pace for any family looking to take a trip with their four-legged friend.
Part 3: The Train
- Research the requirements – While most trains in the U.S. don’t allow any pets other than service animals, those that do have different requirements for how/when they are allowed to stay with you in coach or must stay back with cargo. Some pets may be allowed out of their carrier as long as they are leashed and muzzled. It’s up to you to contact the train operator ahead of time and learn what requirements are in effect.
- Plan for the route – If you’re traveling a route with prolonged stops at stations, plan it out with an employee to know when/if you’ll be able to take your furry friend out for a potty break. If it’s a long route without many stops, be aware they might not get many – so it’s crucial they empty their bladders before stepping aboard!
- Prepare them for the trip – While many of pets might tolerate – or even love! – long car rides, a train ride might be a new sensation to them. Exhaust as much of their energy as possible to ensure a calm, relaxed ride. If they are in another section of the train apart from you, make sure they are comfortable with an ample supply of toys.
While unfortunately the major train operator in the United States hasn’t allowed pets on board for many years, there is new hope. This year, they are launching a pilot program to help accommodate riders with small cats or dogs. Let’s hope this takes off!
Other great pet travel related resources: