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  • Taking Dogs on Amtrak – Holiday Travel Series

    by Felisha

    The holidays are fast approaching and many pet parents are beginning to contemplate holiday arrangements for their pets. The question of whether to bring your dog with you or arrange pet care is a tough one. This is the first in a series of posts to help you plan your holiday travel with your dog. We’ll start with some tips about taking dogs on Amtrak.

    Amtrak has recently made traveling with your dog (or cat!) even easier. For just $25 per pet, you can take them on all of your big adventures. We’ve created a quick list of what to expect on your train getaway.

    There is a weight limit.

    While we can all agree seeing a Great Dane have his own seat on the train would be amazing, Amtrak does have a weight limit for pet passengers, at 20 pounds or less.

    Our Pro tip: they won’t actually weigh your pet at the gate, so if you’re on the fence, you’re okay!

    You’ll need a recommended carrier.

    Just like on a plane, you’ll be expected to have your dog inside of their carrier at all times while on Amtrak. The carrier must be 19″ long x 14″ wide x 10.5″ high. Sadly, they aren’t allowed in sleeping cars, or business class. Amazon has some great options for recommended carriers, check them out here.

    Carriers for dogs on Amtrak are a must!

    Book early.

    Amtrak only allows 5 pets per train (yes, the entire train – not just train car!) so buy your tickets as soon as you know your dog will be on Amtrak with you. On the Amtrak website, they have a handy little visual that shows you how many pet seats are left.

    Limit their food and water intake.

    On that same note – we recommend not feeding them 6-8 hours before the trip, and giving them some water right before going into their carrier. You certainly don’t want any accidents while traveling.

    Take advantage of rest stops.

    While Amtrak will limit you to booking trips longer than 7 hours, your pet will also need to stretch their legs and relieve themselves. Unlike traveling by car, you won’t get to pick and choose when you stop on the Amtrak. Many of the longer Amtrak routes have at least one prolonged stop. Take advantage of this longer stop!

    With all of these tips in mind, remember to have fun! You and your pet are about to have a railway adventure of a lifetime.

    For more on traveling with pets, check out our articles on flying with dogs and car travel tips every pet should know.

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