A lot of us travel by train or tube these days, purely because it’s quick and convenient, but what may seem like a breeze for you can present additional challenges for our four-legged companions. Read this article to find out our top tips for taking dogs on the train.
Travelling around by train or Tube is quick and convenient. But what about when you want to bring your dog? There’s so much fun to be had exploring the big city with your four-legged friend by your side. Here’s how to make the train journeys a breeze.
Can I take my dog on a train?
Yes, the majority of train operating companies allow dogs to travel on trains free of charge. They do however have their own set of rules you’ll need to follow in order to take your dog on the train. Before travelling you should visit your train operator’s website and read up on the specific rules and limits they have around pets.
Keep reading to find out our top tips to make your furry friend feel more comfortable when travelling with your dog on a train.
Obstacles at the train station
When visiting a train or Tube station with your dog there are a number of obstacles you may have to go through with your pet. The first is ticket barriers. They can be problematic for dogs; our advice is to use the bigger barriers available and to keep your dog on a short lead. This way your dog can’t panic and try to slip under or over the barrier before it opens.
It is also possible that their fur could get caught in the escalator when it’s moving, especially if you have a dog with a particularly long coat. Most train and Tube stations will have stairs available next to escalators, which will be much more familiar to your dog and are usually the safest option to choose.
Taking your dog into a crowded train station
When travelling with your dog on a train one of the most stressful parts of the journey for your dog will be walking in a large crowd before you board the train. This can sometimes cause a dog to be anxious and act differently to how they normally would. Because of this we advise you try to avoid rush hour as much as possible when travelling with your dog on a train. Outside of rush hour the crowds at the station will usually be smaller – this will be less stressful for your pet.
It’s also important to make sure you keep your dog on a lead when walking through the train station. The last thing you want is for them to run off when off the lead.
Where possible you should try and walk slowly with your pet. This helps keep your dog calm and less anxious. If you have to rush or run with your dog it can cause them to become confused and worried.
You may also find it useful when walking with your dog in a train station to carry treats with you. They can be used to distract your dog from the surroundings if needed.
Travelling with a dog on the train
Once you have boarded the train or Tube, there are a number of tips and rules you should follow to not only make the journey better for your dog but also for the people around you.
If you can, try and find a carriage that is not too busy for you and your dog to sit in. Quieter carriages are less stressful for your dog and will help them to relax. It will also give them more floor space to sit and lie down in.
When travelling with a dog on the train, it’s important once you have found a seat not to let your dog sit or lie down on the seat next to you. Most trains ban pets from sitting on seats, and if you do not follow this rule it could lead to a fine or even both you and your pet being ejected from the train. The ideal place for your dog to sit or lie down would be in your leg space by your seat. This way you can keep an eye on them and they can be close to you without them having to be on a seat.
When walking through the train with your dog you should try and avoid going through the restaurant carriage. Again, some train companies have rules that do not allow dogs to sit in or even walk through this carriage. Exceptions are usually made for assistance dogs. Breaking this rule could result in a fine or being asked to leave the train.
Once you have boarded the train you and your dog may encounter other pets travelling. If your dog is not great around other animals you should try to avoid these pets. However, even if your dog is good with animals, you don’t know how the other pets will react, that’s why we advise you try to keep animals separate where possible when taking a dog on the train or Tube.