May 20, 2022
How to – traveling with pets. Part 3 – traveling by train
For the most part, your pet will need to be in a carry bag to be permitted onto a train. There are exceptions for service animals, but your dog or cat should be prepared to remain in an enclosed space for a lengthy period.
Make the carrier a happy place
Your main job will be getting your pet comfortable in a carrier because many trains require you to use one. This work begins at home, long before the departure day on your ticket. We recommend using a well-ventilated carrier with both a top and a side opening so they can practice getting in and out of it. Start by letting the dog or cat smell the carrier and enticing them to come near it with treats. Slowly, start to place them in the carrier and give them treats while they are inside of it. When they are comfortable with this, pick up the carrier and walk a few steps, then set them down and let them out. Work up to being able to walk around the house with your dog in the carrier and the top and side openings closed. Then go outside and eventually into the car to ride short distances before working up to the train ride.
Visit the train station
You’ve been to a train station before: what did it sound like? Lots of horns, voices, and action that could be very loud and stressful to an animal. That’s why you should visit the train station leading up to your trip, so it’s not a terrifying experience from the beginning. Start by getting them used to the routine: walk down the steps to the train, walk along the platform, and go home.
Figure out breaks
And in some cases, understand there may not be an opportunity for your pet to relieve themselves on a train ride. We suggest talking to the staff to understand which stops will be the best options for your dog to get outside and take a relief break. Usually, these are stops at major cities, which pause longer than those in suburban or rural areas.