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Home » Africa, Asia, Europe, Expat Life, Middle East, Pet transportation, Rest of the World, Russia - CIS

Pets Traveling by Train

Useful tips for taking your furry friends on a train ride

By Pet Lover
April 20, 2011

dog on a trainIt’s not always easy to find an ideal solution when travelling with pets, especially during the summer months. One method that’s worth considering if you are travelling short distances, own certain type of breeds, or if there are air travel restrictions on pets due to hot weather, is to travel by train.

If you wish to take a train ride with your pet, there are several things you need to know. Not all railway companies accept pets. The first step is to contact the company and check whether you may take your pet on the train with you. In some countries, such as the USA, only service animals are allowed in the passenger carriages of large operators. Some companies entirely prohibit animal transportation due to lack of railway car ventilation. Companies that allow pets on-board usually stipulate that pets must stay in carriers and travel in the baggage car. There will be no need to purchase a separate ticket for a pet, but some fees may apply. Many railway companies in Europe allow pets in trains, but regulations can vary, and pet owners are strongly advised to contact the company for details ahead of traveling.

Before you decide to put your pet on a train, consult a veterinarian to make sure your pet is healthy enough to withstand the rigors of railway travel. Some animals can experience serious respiratory difficulty while on-board trains.

Prepare your pet for travel by getting any required shots or inoculations specified by the train operator, such as rabies, distemper and hepatitis. The railway company may require that your pet have a leash, muzzle, crate or even that they be carried. It is a good idea to introduce these items to your pet several weeks in advance, to get your pet used to this method of travel.

Have your pet’s current health and rabies certificates with you, as you may be required to present them upon boarding. These certificates may also be needed if your pet experiences any health problems during travel. It is recommended that you avoid feeding the animal for four to six hours prior to travel. Also, you may consider exercising your dog before boarding.

If you feel that your pet may become anxious during the trip, arrange visiting times with the service manager. It could also be possible to exercise your pet during stops. Check on these possibilities before boarding.

Nobody knows your pet better than you. Make sure the animal is content during the journey. You may want to bring treats and its favourite toy, which will help it remain calm and obedient for the duration.


The Humane Society
All About Dogs and Cats
USA Today

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