Are Dogs Allowed On Amtrak?

Amtrak is an excellent way to explore America. The environment is stunning, and you can unwind and enjoy the journey. You also won’t have to deal with traffic or parking. But one thing you do need to worry about is whether or not your furry friend is allowed on board.

So, before you pack up your pup, be sure to check the policies for traveling with pets on Amtrak.

Taking Your Dog On The Train: Maybe

Service Dogs

Service animals are welcome aboard Amtrak trains, and there is no charge for bringing them onboard. All service animals, however, must be properly trained and vaccinated, and their owners must have strict control over them at all times. Therefore, when making a reservation, customers should inform Amtrak that they will be traveling with a service animal so that accommodations can be made.

Pet Dogs

Under Amtrak’s pet policy, small dogs and cats under 20 lbs. are allowed to travel with their owners in designated pet cars on select trains. In addition, service animals are always welcome aboard Amtrak trains, regardless of which car they travel in.

There are a few other things to keep in mind when traveling with your pet on Amtrak: 

  • Only one pet is allowed per passenger.
  • Pets may not be left unattended onboard the train at any time.
  • Passengers traveling with pets will be charged a $25 fee each way.

Not all Amtrak trains allow pets, so be sure to check the policy for the specific train line you’ll be traveling on before booking your ticket.

Where Can You And Your Dog Go On Amtrak?

Now that you know the rules, let’s take a look at some of the top pet-friendly Amtrak routes in the U.S.:

  1. The Adirondack: New York City to Montreal – This scenic route travels through the beautiful Adirondack Mountains region of upstate New York before crossing into Canada and stopping in Montreal.
  2. The Empire Builder: Chicago to Portland or Seattle – This popular cross-country route passes through America’s heartland before making its way west through North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho.
  3. The Coast Starlight: Seattle to Los Angeles – This stunning coastal route runs along the Pacific Ocean from Seattle to Los Angeles, offering breathtaking ocean views along the way.
  4. The California Zephyr: Chicago to San Francisco – Another cross-country option, this time traveling east to west through America’s Midwest Plains states before cutting through Colorado and Utah and ending in California.
  5. The Crescent: New York City to New Orleans – This southern route takes travelers from NYC down through Virginia into Georgia and Alabama before arriving in Louisiana’s Big Easy—New Orleans!

Other Restrictions  To Be Aware Of

  • First, pets must be placed under the pet parent’s seat at all times during the trip.
  • Second, trips with pets may not exceed seven hours in length.
  • And lastly, pets are not allowed in sleeping cars or first class.

So if you’re planning a trip with your pet, make sure you know the restrictions before booking your tickets.

How To Prepare For Your Train Trip With Your Dog

Buy Your Ticket In Advance

You’ll need to book your ticket in advance, as space for pets is limited on each train. When you make your reservation, be sure to let the agent know that you’ll be traveling with a pet so they can make the appropriate accommodations.

Make Sure Your Dogs Is UTD With Their Vaccines

All dogs must be up-to-date on their vaccinations before they are allowed to travel on Amtrak. Ensure that you have your dog’s vaccination documents on hand before you board the train.

Give Your Dog A Bath Before Boarding

No one wants to sit next to a smelly dog on the train, so make sure your pet is clean and fresh-smelling before boarding. A quick bath on the day of travel should do the trick.

Arrive Early

Get to the train station in plenty of time to check in and settle your pet in before your departure.

Check The Weather

If you’re traveling in extreme weather conditions, it’s essential to ensure your pet will be comfortable. Some dogs may not do well in hot or cold weather, so check the forecast and plan accordingly.

Pack Your Pet’s Essentials

Remember to pack your pet’s essential items, including food, water, toys, and a bed or blanket. You’ll also need proof of vaccination and your pet’s ticket.

Keeping these things in mind will help ensure that you and your pet have a pawsitively wonderful Amtrak experience!

Buy A Good Pet Carrier

If you’re planning on taking your dog with you on your next Amtrak trip, you’re going to need a good pet carrier. Here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing a carrier for your dog.

Size And Weight Requirements

The first thing you’ll need to consider when choosing a pet carrier for traveling on Amtrak is the size and weight requirements. The carrier must be no larger than 9″ x 14″ x 10.5″ and cannot weigh more than 20 pounds. Remember these requirements when shopping for a carrier, as you’ll want to ensure that the one you choose meets them.

Type Of Carrier

Next, you’ll need to decide what type of carrier you want for your dog. There are three primary types of carriers: soft-sided, hard-sided, and crate-style. Soft-sided carriers are made from fabric and are usually lightweight and easy to carry.

Hard-sided carriers are made from more rigid materials such as plastic or metal and can be more durable than soft-sided carriers. Crate-style carriers are similar to hard-sided carriers but usually have more ventilation to keep your dog cool.

Choosing the right type of carrier will depend on your personal preferences as well as your dog’s needs. For example, if your dog is particularly anxious or stressed during travel, a crate-style carrier may be the best option as it will help them feel more secure.

A soft-sided carrier may be the way to go if you’re looking for a lightweight and easy-to-carry option. And if durability is important to you, then a hard-sided carrier may be the best choice.

Pet-Friendly Hotels

If you’re planning on staying overnight during your trip, you’ll need to find a pet-friendly hotel. Unfortunately, only some hotels allow pets, so it’s important to do your research in advance and ensure that the hotel you’re planning to stay at is pet-friendly.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a pet-friendly hotel.

  • First, be sure to check the hotel’s policy on pets. There are hotels that allow only dogs and cats, and others that have far stricter pet regulations.
  • Be sure to find out if there are any extra charges for bringing your pet along. For example, many hotels charge a nightly fee for guests traveling with pets, so be sure to factor this into your budget.
  • Finally, make sure that the hotel you’re considering has adequate amenities for your pet. For example, some hotels offer pet-friendly rooms with special beds and bowls, while others may have on-site dog parks or walking trails.

Choosing a hotel that offers amenities that will make your pet’s stay more comfortable is essential to ensure that they have a good experience during their trip.


Yes, dogs are allowed on Amtrak as long as the requirements mentioned above are adhered to. Traveling with your dog can be a great experience for both of you, as long as you’re prepared and aware of all the things you need to do to make it go smoothly. So get those vaccinations up to date, grab your leashes and bags, and enjoy the journey!

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