What can be the best way to travel for any living creature of any size? Of course, it is the rail system; quick, easy, and stress-free for both animals and humans. Besides, it is cheaper than flying and even driving. Yet, the question comes to mind… Would there be any restrictions?

Generally speaking, railway companies may have rules on the number of pets allowed per passenger or per train compartment. The restrictions on the number of large dogs allowed on a train can vary based on the specific train service and the country or region you are in. They frequently make a distinction between little animals (such as cats or small dogs) and larger dogs. Due to their size, large dogs could need particular accommodations or limitations. It is advised to get in touch with the railway company or transportation authority in advance and find out about their pet policies to guarantee a hassle-free and seamless voyage. 

So, where to begin? Let’s start with the booking process. It usually takes a few steps to book rail travel with a big dog. An overview of the procedure is provided here for your convenience:

Learn about the policies

Make a quick research about the railroad or other transportation organization you intend to use. Find out whether there are any breed limits, size restrictions, or other rules that you must adhere to.

Get in touch with the railroad

To find out more about their pet policy and the procedure for making reservations with a large dog, get in touch with the train company directly through their customer care hotline, email address, or website. It is critical to go over the exact policies and guidelines of the railway company with which you intend to travel to confirm that they accommodate large dogs and to understand any restrictions or requirements they may have. We can share some examples of railway companies that accept large dogs on board:

Amtrak (United States)

Amtrak permits pets, particularly large dogs, on several of their trains. Dogs must be in a carrier and must fit within specified size constraints. Amtrak’s policies and procedures may differ based on the exact train route, so it’s best to consult their website or contact them directly for further information.

Deutsche Bahn (Germany)

Dogs, even large dogs, are permitted on Deutsche Bahn trains. Dogs must be kept on a leash and muzzled, and particular routes or times may be restricted. For precise restrictions and any associated expenses, it is suggested that you consult Deutsche Bahn’s pet policy.

Eurostar (Europe)

Dogs, particularly larger types, are permitted on Eurostar trains under certain conditions. Dogs must be in a Eurostar-approved carrier or box, and there are limits on traveling with pets on certain routes. For additional information, visit Eurostar’s website or call their customer support.

SNCF (France)

Dogs, even large dogs, are permitted on SNCF trains as long as they are leashed and muzzled. However, restrictions may apply during peak hours or on specific routes. For more information about SNCF’s pet policy, visit their website or contact them directly.

Shiba Inu dog running on railway tracks. Shiba Inu is a Japanese breed of dog.

Make a reservation for your train trip

Once you have all the information you require, don’t forget to make a reservation for your train trip. There may be a limit to the number of pets permitted on a specific train or carriage. It’s best to reserve a spot for your dog ahead of time.

Let the train company know it’s a large dog

Giving them precise information will enable them to make the necessary arrangements for your dog’s safety and comfort.

Check Guidelines

If you’re taking a big dog on the train, there might be further guidelines or limitations. This can entail utilizing a particular kind of pet carrier, restraints for your dog during the trip, or current vaccination papers. 

Costs might be important too

Traveling with pets might result in additional costs with some train companies. Some train firms may charge a fixed cost, while others may charge a fee dependent on the dog’s size or weight. The duration of the train travel may affect the fees in some situations. Long-distance or overnight trains may have different pricing schemes than shorter trips.

Preparing your large dog for a train trip

Preparing your large dog for a train trip is not a big thing. There are only a few things to keep in mind:


If your train company needs your dog to be on a leash and/or wear a muzzle during the voyage, this is critical information to verify before embarking. This is frequently done for the sake of safety and the comfort of other passengers. If you are new to muzzles, check out the article about muzzle training and duration of wear for dogs.

Accustom your dog to the carrier or crate

If your dog will be traveling in a carrier or crate, let them get used to it before the journey. Check that the carrier or crate fulfills the train company’s size and safety regulations. Proper ventilation, secure latches, and enough room for your dog to stand, lie down, and turn around are typically required.

Related articles for choosing the right crate and crate training:

Make an appointment with your veterinarian

It’s so important to verify they are up to date on vaccines and have a current health check. Train companies may request confirmation of vaccinations or health certificates for your dog, especially if you are crossing countries or traveling for an extended period.

Basic Commands and Instructions For Your Dog

Make sure your dog knows basic instructions like sit, stay, and come. These commands might be useful while traveling by any mode of transportation.

Dog in city public transport

Trial Journeys

Work out before your trip. During travel, a fatigued dog is more likely to be calm and comfortable. You can do trial journeys on shorter public trains, bus rides or a car ride.

Additional Needs

Bring food, snacks, water, collapsible bowls, waste bags, a leash, a comfortable blanket or bedding, toys, and any other items required for your dog’s comfort and well-being.

Double-check the documentation

Complete and thorough documentation is essential. Check that your dog is wearing proper identifying tags with your contact information. Furthermore, thorough immunization records, health certificates, identity tags, the microchip registration process, and any other permissions and licenses should be verified directly with the train company for the most correct and up-to-date information.

Your dog should feel comfortable

Bring items that are comforting to your dog, such as a favorite toy or a blanket with familiar scents.

Prepare for noises

Prepare your dog for train noises and movements: If feasible, expose your dog to train sounds and movements ahead of time. 

Be positive

Use positive reinforcement tactics to reward and praise your dog for remaining calm and well-behaved during the preparation phase and the train ride itself. Positive associations with the journey experience can be aided by treats, verbal praise, and caressing.

A crucial thing to ask the railway company is whether they can provide a separate location for pets. Some trains may have special rooms or compartments for passengers traveling with pets. These places are frequently outfitted with necessary amenities to ensure the comfort of both pets and their owners. When making your reservation, please make sure you request or book a spot in these designated areas if they are available.


All in all, among all the transportation options, dog-friendly train travel is the poetic one. You may enjoy the local environment while building fantastic memories with your four-legged travel companion. Rail travel may still have a long way to go before it can be considered fully pet-friendly. However, if you want to incorporate your pet into a family vacation in the least stressful way possible, the train is an ideal way to go.

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