Blog,  Train Travel

Can You Take A Dog On Amtrak? Know The Rules!

So can you take a dog on Amtrak? You see traveling with a dog can be tough whether your using an airline, ferry, train or bus they all have rules regarding pets.

Now the good news is Amtrak do welcome dogs and other pets on board, but to be sure there are rules you need to follow, which we are going to cover in this article.

So lets get started…

Dogs Age And Health

Now there are Age and health restrictions you need to be aware of when taking a dog on Amtrak. First your dog must be at least eight weeks old to be able to board this train.

Your dog cannot be disruptive and must not require any attention while traveling, your dog needs be odorless and not show any kinds of aggression to other passengers.

Second, you must also show documents that your dog is up to date with all vaccinations, you will be required to sign a pet release document at check-in and accept liability for your dog, you need to do this no later than 30 minutes before departure.

Approved Pet Carrier

If you haven’t got one already ‘then’ your need a dog carrier to be able to board Amtrak. The rules say you must transport your dog in a Approved Pet Carrier with the maximum size of 19″ long x 14″ wide x 10.5″ high, and the weight of 20 pounds, including the dog carrier.

Your dog carrier must be leak proof, well ventilated, and have enough room inside the carrier to sit or lie down without touching the sides of the dog carrier. The dog carrier also counts as one carry on baggage.

Once on board your dog must remain completely inside the carrier when on the train or in the station, the carrier must be placed under your seat, and your dog must be with you at all times.

How Much Does It Cost

To make a reservation on Amtrak for you and your dog all you need to do is visit the Amtrak website or book by phone. When you do make a reservation this is made on a first-come first served basis, and theses reservations are limited to one pet per person with a maximum of five pets per train.

The cost to have your dog travel on board is $26 or 800 Amtrak Guest Rewards points, Antrak do advise that you to make your dog reservations in advance and your dog cannot be booked with multi-ride tickets.

Your dog is welcome in the Coach class, but are forbidden to travel in First class, Business class, or bedroom accommodations and they are not allowed in any food service cars.

Service Dog On Amtrak

If your taking a Service dog on Amtrak, I have some good news, All Amtrak services welcome service dogs on board, and are granted access in all areas of the train.

Your service dog must always be on a leash or harness unless this is not possible due to a disability. they must sit under the passenger’s seat or your feet. Service dogs are not allowed to sit in the aisle or on any seats or beds.

Identification requirements

When purchasing any tickets on board from the conductors or at check-in, you must provide photo identification to be able to purchase a ticket, and you must be 16 years old or over.

Once your on board, make sure you have easy access to your photo I.D. Amtrak are known for conducting random checks on board there trains, this is to ensure that passengers have valid tickets.

If your unsure what type of I.D that Amtrak accept, here’s some examples…

  • Passport
  • Military photo ID
  • Job Corps photo ID
  • State or provincial driver’s license
  • Canadian provincial health card ID card that has a photo
  • Student identification university, college or high school photo ID
  • Official government issued identification or foreign government.

Motion Sickness

It’s always a good idea to prepare for any motion sickness that your dog might experience when traveling on a train, this can happen suddenly and unexpectedly.

So always keep some dog accessories with you to keep your dog as comfortable as possible, make sure you have plenty of bag and wet wipes because you never know when you might need them.

Also your dog can get dehydrated very quickly when traveling for long periods of time so make sure you pack plenty of water and give to your dog when needed.

Where Can You Travel

Amtrak cover more than 30 train routes throughout the U.S, and over 500 destinations in 46 states with some even in Canada. Now If your planning on crossing the boarder you will need to show certain documents.

This includes your date of birth, your gender, country of citizenship, and detailed information regarding the form of ID that you will take with you on your trip and no passengers under 18 years old can cross the border.

To be granted permission to enter the US or Canada is at the discretion of Customs and Immigration officers. This is where your need to show all the documents for your dog.

Depending on which country you are from your need to show documents like a (CVI) short for certificate of veterinary inspection, this certificate will be stamped, signed and given to you by Official Veterinarian before you left your country.

This certificate shows that your dog is fit and healthy to travel and all the vaccinations that your dog has taken and are up to date.

Related Article

So can you take a dog on Amtrak? of course you can! but as you have just read in this article there are rules, If you have a small dog that’s not over 20 pounds then great, I don’t think your have any problems.

But if you are traveling with a large dog then unfortunately you won’t be able to use this travel-line as Amtrak don’t accept large dogs. Except service dogs.

If your planning on traveling europe with a dog and you want to know about some dog friendly trains check out this article below, there your find a wide range of trains with a list of countries that accept dogs and what the rules and regulations are.

Related Article

Hi! My name’s mike I’m a part-time blogger, married and live in the UK. I was raised with dogs throughout my life, and consider myself very experienced when it comes to pets. So I've created this website with useful tips and general travel advice regarding dogs.