Taking a train journey with your dog can be fun but challenging. But there are a few extra difficulties if you have a very large dog. From personal experience with our greyhounds, we’ve put together these four tips to help people taking a large dog on a train.
1. Bring Blankets
A large dog can cause quite a disruption if blocking a carriage walkway. Getting your dog to relax and stay in one place is a good way of stopping them
Blankets don’t just provide a soft place to sit or lie down. A favourite blanket brought from home can also help dogs to feel more relaxed. That means they’ll be more likely to chill out and stay in one place.
Chase and Lewis like their large, fluffy blankets. As soon as we spread out the blankets, they know it’s time to settle down.
2. Use First-Class Carriages
Did you know it’s sometimes free to travel in first-class carriages? The same goes for dogs!
When a first-class carriage is declassified, it means it’s not being used for first-class passengers. However, the carriage is still available for everyone to use! But most people don’t know this, so you’ll normally find the carriage is quiet, giving your dog the perfect spot to relax.
If the route is listed in the timetable as only having standard class seating, but a train with first class carriages turns up, it’s likely the first class section will be free to enter!
If you do fancy shelling out and travelling in style, most rail providers in the UK allow dogs to travel in first-class carriages. The only exception is when food is being served. Upgrading to first class might only cost between £5 and £10 on some services, so the price could be lower than you think.
3. Use Bike Bays and Wheelchair Bays
Large dogs might need a little extra space to spread out. Often, the best spots are bike bays or wheelchair bays. These large areas of the train allow big dogs to spread out without blocking the aisles.
There is nothing wrong with using a disabled bay, provided you are willing to make space for any disabled passengers who board the train after you. Just be aware of your surroundings and be respectful of other passengers.
4. Allow Extra Time
If possible, allow extra time for your train journey. Allowing extra time will allow you to avoid trains that are particularly crowded. With a little extra time, you can wait for the next train if things get too busy.
You should also factor in some time for stops. If you’re on the train for too long, your dog may feel agitated and could even have an accident. Getting off at a few stations along the way will allow you to keep your dog friend happy and allow you to see some new and interesting places along the way.
Taking a Large Dog on a Train Made Easy
Remember that a train journey can be an exciting or scary time for a dog. Be sure to take it easy and give your dog lots of support. With a little time and extra planning, taking a large dog on a train can be lots of fun.
We hope you enjoyed our list of tips. Feel free to let us know your own idea to make travel easy in the comments. Follow us on Facebook for more helpful hints and tips.