Pet Travel Tips With Train
Traveling by train is often a more economical alternative than flying, especially if you are traveling with pets. Train travel is also typically less stressful on pets than flying since they can usually sit with or near you, rather than in the cargo hold. However, don’t be surprised if the train operator in which you plan to travel does not allow pets on its trains. If you are, in fact, permitted to take pets on the train, you will not only need to prepare yourself for the trip, but also your pets.
In fact, select short-nosed breeds are not allowed to travel on certain airlines because of respiratory issues that may make it especially difficult for them to breathe properly under the stress and environment of flying.
Certain Breeds of Dogs With Short Snouts, Like the Brussels Griffon, May Be Especially Prone to the Environmental Pressures of Flying. So You May Want to Consider Traveling by Train Instead!
1. Knowing the basics
Research or contact the train operator on which you are planning to travel to find out if pets are permitted on the train. If they don’t, look into another train system, if available. For instance, Amtrak does not allow pets at all (except for service dogs)
Locate the rules and regulations for taking your pet on the train by contacting the train operator directly or looking on its Website. Some train operators require that pets, where applicable, be kept on a leash (also called a lead), wear a muzzle or be hand carried, others require the pets be kept in a carrier.
There are some important items to check off before boarding the train with pets. You’ll want to make sure your pet complies with the rules of the PET travel scheme. This includes your pet, such as :
- being fitted with a microchip
- having a pet passport
- being up-to-date with all the necessary vaccines.
- Be sure to read the latest government rules to ensure you’re on track.
Rail travel still has a way to go to be classed as truly pet-friendly. However, it offers a far better option for pets than flying. Trains also offer the chance to easily break up your journey, causing less stress on both you and your four-legged friend.
2. What You Should Have With You
Fortunately, traveling by train with your pet is much easier than flying. That’s because in the vast majority of cases, you won’t have to worry about having to produce proof of vaccinations, a health certificate, or any other type of paperwork. In fact, most of them only require that your pet be able to travel in a pet carrier that can fit on your lap, or underneath your seat.
3. Prepare for your journey
Consider the time of day you are travelling and ensure you arrive for your train in plenty of time. Rushing for your train and travelling at busy time periods, such as during the morning commute, will only result in your pet becoming anxious and stressed.
Pack a pet-friendly travel kit, including pet food, treats, bottled water, bedding, litter box, leash, and any necessary medications. Animals will also need a container to eat and drink from. Packing a few of your pet’s favourite toys will comfort your animal, giving them something familiar to play with, reminding them of home.
4. Practise socialising your pet
There’s only so much preparation you can do for your pet. At the end of the day, there’s no telling how your pet will behave whilst travelling. Before embarking on a lengthy journey, it is wise to do a “trial ride” to see how it goes – try booking a return to your closest station. This will help your pet to become familiar with different environments outside of the home.
Let your pet experience the outside world from a young age, so that they can get used to busy places with lots of people and activity. This helps your pet to develop their confidence in dealing with new types of conditions and situations; it also teaches them to be outgoing and friendly. A lack of socialising can lead to anxiety and fear for most pets, which will make travelling a nightmare.
5. Getting on and off the train
Ensure that you leave yourself plenty of time to catch your train with your pet, as rushing will add stress to both the pet and owner. Never take your pet on escalators, and always be mindful of obstacles such as ticket barriers (use the manned gate) etc. Try to find the quietest area of the station and the platform to wait in with your pet, and stand well back from the tracks, both for your own safety and to avoid startling your pet when a train approaches.
Remember to let other people off the train first and stand well back from the doors when people are disembarking to allow them room to keep clear of your pet and avoid them feeling crowded. Be prepared to gently lift your pet into the carriage if there is a large gap when boarding and disembarking.