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5 Essential Reminders For Traveling With Dogs On Public Transport

At A Glance

Considering taking public transportation with dogs? These tips will help you navigate public transportation with your dog smoothly, from following guidelines and carrying necessary documents to maintaining proper etiquette.

  • Be aware of restrictions in specific areas, keep your dog under control at all times, and schedule regular water and toilet breaks.
  • Be prepared for possible cleanups in case your pet makes a mess, and travel with a human buddy, if you can. This way, your buddy can watch over your dog and wait for you while you quickly stop at a place where dogs are not allowed.

Last Updated on: May 26, 2023

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Today’s dogs have more opportunities to travel to different places with their owners than ever before.

It’s not uncommon for pets in rural and urban areas to take short journeys from their homes to get checked for various health conditions, for instance. Sometimes, taking public transportation with dogs is inevitable.

The world is becoming more pet-friendly than ever. In neighborhoods that welcome canine companions, there are even facilities and shared spaces where dogs can accompany their owners as they go about their days.

Pet-friendly establishments, for example, often welcome employees who opt to take their pets with them to work. There are also parks, restaurants, and stores where dogs accompanying their humans are quite a common sight.

Many pet parents use their private vehicles to transport their dogs to these places. But some prefer to use public transportation systems when traveling with their pets.

If you’re one of the latter, you might have noticed the growing number of pet-friendly transportation options like buses, trains, and ferries that can accommodate your canine companion.

However, you need to do a few things when taking public transportation with dogs. This helps ensure the comfort and safety of your dog, as well as everyone you’ll be sharing the commute with.

Such courtesies and precautions for taking your dog with you on public transport include the following:

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Be Aware Of Restrictions

It’s important to understand that different places have different guidelines concerning bringing pets into public transportation vehicles.

A particular city may allow you to bring your dog on a ferry without any issue, but a dog may be an odd, unwelcome sight on a bus in the same locality.

Before taking public transportation with dogs, check the rules in your area and find out which transportation options or schedules welcome pet passengers.

In addition, do some research about where you can and can’t take your dog in public, whether you need to invest in a crate or if using martingale collars will do just fine, and what you should do in case your dog makes a mess in a shared space.

Knowing the rules will help you avoid issues and allow you and your pet to actually enjoy the journey.

dog in carrier

Keep Your Pup Under Control

Some dogs tend to approach unfamiliar people, places, and situations with fear. This can make them somewhat unpredictable when presented with things they haven’t faced before. You should seriously consider this reaction when taking your dog into a public vehicle.

Before taking a bus, train, plane, or ferry for the first time, you should acclimatize your pet to new people and places so that you can easily gauge their reaction and train them to behave in public.

If it’s not possible to train your dog ahead of time, keep them contained in a crate or carrier where they can be safe and comfortable.

Take note that some public transportation systems require pets to be in crates and carriers rather than on leashes.

Schedule Water And Toilet Breaks During The Commute

If your journey with your dog will take you more than two hours, the prudent thing to do is to schedule water and toilet breaks throughout the trip.

If your pet doesn’t have direct access to water, offer them fluids every two hours.

How frequently your dog should go to the toilet depends on how old your dog is, their size, their breed, and other factors.

Younger pups, for example, will need toilet breaks every hour, while older pets need a potty break every four to six hours.

It can be a bit troublesome to look for the perfect opportunity to take these breaks, especially when you’re using public transportation. Knowing that, be sure to plan your stops and try to estimate how long each leg of your journey will take.

Prepare For Possible Cleanups

Even if you plan your trips with your dog meticulously, there is always the possibility that they will make a mess in a public place.

You must have a plan in place for when this occurs. Anticipating this kind of situation will make it much less stressful when it inevitably takes place.

When commuting with your dog, bring a small cleanup kit with you as well. This includes pet poop bags, tissue paper or old newspaper, and even wet wipes.

As much as possible, ensure your dog has done their business before using public transportation to minimize their chances of peeing or pooping in a vehicle.

You may also have your dog wear appropriately designed diapers in case they tend to leave their mark everywhere.

taking public transportation with dogs - tweet

Travel With A Human Buddy

Not all places are welcoming to animals. Dogs, for example, are generally not allowed in places where a lot of food preparation or storage takes place.

If you need to stop at one of these places on your commute, consider taking another human companion.

This way, your buddy can watch out for your dog and wait for you while you quickly stop at a place where canine companions are generally not allowed.

With a little research, training, and preparation, it won’t be hard for your dog to join you on your next commute-and you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a welcoming and affordable public transportation system together. Follow these tips to make this experience pleasantly memorable for you, your pup, and the other commuters.


General taking public transportation with dogs

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I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.