Train travel with your pet
Want to take your British Bulldog to the beach or your Persian to Paris?
We are a nation of animal lovers, therefore naturally we often want to take our pets away with us to let them explore too. Whether you are soon to embark on a journey or just want to know for future reference, then here is our guide on how to travel on a train with your beloved furry friend.
Choosing a train
On Grand Central trains, we allow small animals, such as dogs and cats, to travel for free with their companion, providing that they are kept on a lead or in a secure pet carrier. (We don’t allow pets on seats as it might not be fair for future passengers who sit there.)
When choosing a train for you and your pet, we would advise buying an off-peak train ticket from the timetable, so that you have a better chance of the train being quieter and less congested. This should be less frightening for your pet, who might not be used to so many people in such a confined space.
Your pet carry case
If your pet is not a regular traveller, then he/she is likely to be nervous, especially if travelling in a pet carry case, which he/she might not be used to. The case you bring onboard must be rigid so that the animal doesn’t escape, however, it should be fit-for-purpose and well ventilated to keep your kitty or puppy cool and able to breathe normally.
You should consider the size of your pet when choosing a suitable carry case and ensure that they are able to stand up and lie down with enough space around them. You might also want to place their favourite blanket or cuddly toy in with them for company and security.
Just like us humans, pets need to keep hydrated, so make sure you offer them regular water and nutritious snacks to keep them well on their journey.
Make sure you interact with them regularly, checking they are okay and reassuring them that you are close by to avoid any anxiety.
Keep others in mind
When travelling with animals of any kind, it’s good to keep in mind that not everyone might love your pet as much as you do. Small children could especially be scared or alarmed by certain animals, and you need to be prepared for mixed reactions when on board with your pet.
The likelihood is that everyone will be “oohing” and “ahhhing” at your little cutie, but if you are prepared for other reactions too, then you won’t be in for any surprises. Other people, for example, might be allergic to certain species of types of fur, so bear this in mind too, as you wouldn’t want to make anyone else’s journey uncomfortable.
If a pet is deemed unsuitable for travel or is thought to pose a threat to anyone onboard, then the train crew have the right to refuse the animal onto the train. Arrive early to the train station and chat to a member of the team if you have any concerns or questions.
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