Using public transport gives you the opportunity to take your dog to new and exciting places. Dogs are permitted to travel on public transport in most cases as long as they don’t jeopardise the safety of other passengers. However, there are some restrictions in place depending on where you are travelling and what type of transport you are using. Always check with the transport provider before beginning your adventure.
Trains - Up to two dogs per passenger
Buses - Usually accept dogs at driver's discretion.
London Underground - Dogs are permitted if they are carried up escalators.
Taxis - Always contact the company in advance to let them know you will be travelling with your dog as some companies may not accept dogs or the drivers might have allergies.
Just like us, some dogs are not big fans of travelling especially on public transport where the sights and sounds can become too overwhelming. While other dogs can find the experience exciting and fun. It very important that you’re able to read the signs your dog is giving you while travelling so you can make sure they feel safe and comfortable.
Training is key as it can help to make their journey as stress free as possible;
- Start small, introducing them to the walk to the station, the ticket hall and ticket barriers. Letting them get used to the sights and sounds while positively rewarding them throughout.
- You want to try and make sure your dog has relieved themselves before entering the station, this will not only avoid any embarrassment but also means your attention isn’t diverted from your dog while your tiding up any messes. This may mean you might have to make your walk to the station slightly longer then you would if it was just you.
- Their first few journeys should be short, maybe only a stop of two while you build up their confidence around these new surroundings. If you’re able to, try to get a seat with space so that your dog can sit/lie on the floor beside you.
- Make sure you always have some form of distraction and reward with you whenever you travel with your dog. Rewarding your dog throughout the journey with treats can help enforce a positive experience and if your journey ends up taking longer than planned due to delays, having your dog’s favourite toy or chew can help offset any boredom (obviously throwing a tennis ball is a no no!)
It’s important to remember when travelling on public transport, always be considerate of other passengers. Keep your pet as calm as possible and – in the case of dogs – don’t let them infringe on other people’s space, particularly if a passenger is nervous or has allergies.