Amtrak’s New Permanent Pet Policy Is A Huge Win For Dog Owners

Written by: Morgan Greenwald

March 22, 2016

After a successful trial run along the Northeast corridor where more than 2,700 pets traveled with their hoomans, Amtrak has decided to make its “pets on trains” policy permanent for virtually every train route.

According to Amtrak’s pet policy page, each passenger is allowed one dog who is over eight weeks old and less than 20 pounds. Dogs onboard must also be “odorless and harmless”, though Amtrak noted that the trial run resulted in no complaints.


The pet policy is now permanent on all cross-country Amtrak routes less than seven hours, thus excluding the Auto Train, which has been deemed too long a trip to bring a pet on. Click here for a full list of Amtrak’s guidelines.

Amtrak’s new policy is a huge win for pet owners as much as lawmakers, who have been urging Amtrak to allow dogs onboard for years.

The ‘Pets on Trains Act’, which requires every Amtrak train to have at least one car designated as a “pet car”, has been on policymaker’s minds for years, but was only just passed in December 2015 as part of a larger highway appropriations bill. Luckily, Amtrak and lawmakers are now on the same page.

“We recognize pets are family members and passengers want to bring them along,” WSDOT Rail Director Ron Pate said in a statement about the ever-expanding policy. “We’re excited to offer this option.”

Featured image via Dogs on Trains

Written by: Morgan Greenwald

March 22, 2016