Can You Take Your Dog on a Train?

Reserve a seat ahead of time and make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations when traveling on a dog-friendly Amtrak train route.

Yes, you can take your dog on a train if he is under 20 pounds, you keep him in a carrier and you reserve a ticket for him on Amtrack. ©Benita Hartmann Tierfotografie/Getty Images

There’s just something so special about traveling the country by train — but imagine if you could experience the journey with your dog? Well, did you know that dogs and cats up to 20 pounds are welcome on Amtrak trains for a fee on 34 routes across the country? More than 276,000 four-legged passengers have traveled by train since 2015 when Amtrak began allowing pets, according to Jason Abrams, a spokesperson for Amtrak. The Northeast Regional train line is the most popular for pets, Jason says, but if you’re planning a trip on any of the pet-friendly routes it’s a good idea to reserve well in advance.

How many dogs are allowed on trains?

The pet-friendly Amtrak routes allow only five pets per train, so make reservations online or by phone as much in advance as possible to ensure there will be availability. There is an additional pet fee and pets are welcome on trips up to seven hours on most routes. “Thanksgiving is the busiest travel week of the year for Amtrak, and people love taking their furry friends when seeing their loved ones,” he says.

Some rules to keep in mind when taking your dog on a train:

  • Pets must be eight weeks or older and up to date on vaccinations. Check in 30 minutes ahead of time to sign a pet-release form.
  • Pets must remain in a pet carrier. Carriers can be hard-or soft-sided and the 20 lb. maximum is the combined weight of the pet and the carrier.
  • Your pet should be able to sit and stand comfortably in her carrier, which will have to remain under the seat on most routes.

To reserve a ride for you and your pet, or find out more information on Amtrak’s pet policies and routes visit:

Thinking of traveling with your dog by other means? Find out here how to fly with your dog or take a road trip with your dog.

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