When Boarding the Train with your Pet
Some things to consider when planning to take your pet on board a train.
Some animals can get motion sickness, so it’s advisable to test out some short journeys before embarking on a 7-hour train ride. Be sure to have plenty of water with you to avoid your pet becoming dehydrated as this will only make the motion sickness worse.
Test out how your pet responds to being inside a cage for long periods. Many train operators such as Amtrak state that the pet must not be disruptive, so train travel may not be suitable if you have a dog that barks continuously when in their pet carrier.
Health and Documentation Requirements
On local train services, documentation is not likely to be requested by train personnel; however, when using Amtrak services, passengers must sign to certify that their pet is up-to-date with their vaccinations.
To transport a pet between states, most states require that the pet have a recent Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), which indicates that the pet is clear of rabies and other infectious diseases. Each state has different rules as to when the certificate should be obtained before entering a state, but the most common time period is within 30 days before entry.
Although not mandatory in the U.S., consider getting your pet micro-chipped for their safety. If your pet became lost in an unknown destination, the likelihood of tracking them down would be far greater with a microchip. You should also make sure that they have a collar with your contact number.
Even if you’re only taking a short trip, it’s still wise to familiarize yourself with your nearest vet just in case they require urgent care while travelling.
If you’re travelling on a long train ride, then you’ll need to ensure there are sufficient relief breaks along your route. Check with the train operator for any scheduled stops that are more than just a couple of minutes so that you have time to relieve your pet in a suitable location.
Checklist for What to Take on Board
- Vet contact details.
- Well-ventilated pet carrier.
- Collar and leash.
- Blankets/jacket if the journey is cold.
- Chew toys for inside their carrier.
- Snacks, food, and plenty of water.
- Food and drink bowls.
- Poop bags.
- Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI).