Traveling by air can really dig a hole in your pocket. Choosing to go by train can be a much more economical option, especially when traveling with a pet. Apart from the financial aspect of travel, train rides can also be much more fun with your furry friend. Your pet will prefer going by this mode of transport, as unlike flights, trains mostly let them sit with you rather than riding in cargo.
When traveling by train with your pet, consider the following tips:
1. Check the train’s policies
However, you should still check in with your respective train operating company as some train operators do not allow pets onboard. You should always contact and inform the authorities well in advance that you will be traveling along with your pet, so in case they do not permit it, you can look for another train operator. Make sure you do your research on the various train operating companies as the rules may differ as per each one. For example, operators like Amtrak only permit service dogs on their services. Local operators such as MARC trains from Maryland allow small pets in carriers on their services.
Some train operating companies allow the pets on board, but make it mandatory to keep them on a leash or be carried, while others require the pet to be in a carrier.
2. Proof of vaccination
It is also common practice to take along the pet’s vaccination certificate while making a train journey. You can check what each train operating company requires by checking their rules and regulations on their website or by contacting them.
Before taking your pet along with you for the train ride, make sure you go to a veterinarian to get your pet the necessary shots for rabies, hepatitis, distemper, or whatever is required by the service operator.
3. Follow the rules
Make your pet is used to the way they are going to travel as per the guidelines of the train company. Some guidelines may include:
- Keeping the pet on leash throughout the journey
- Using a muzzle for bigger dogs
- Keeping smaller dogs in a crate
As regards crates, they should be spacious enough for the pet to turn around and change positions and be comfortable in it. Make sure the handle is strong enough and the bottom of the crate is leak proof. Your pet will require a properly ventilated crate on both sides. These steps and practices are important for a pet-friendly travel experience.
5. Extra fares
Check the fares beforehand as they vary from operator to operator. Some services do not charge for the pet, especially if you will be carrying them. However, if your pet takes up a seat, you may get charged half the price of a normal ticket, which is the fare for a child’s ticket. Some operators may charge full fare for the pet.
6. Ensure their comfort
Lastly, make sure your pet is comfortable. To really ensure you have a pet-friendly travel experience in a train, remember to do the small things like carrying your dog’s favorite toy or keeping your cat’s food so that your pet feels relaxed even in a new place.