Dogs travelling on trains is, of course, more widely available than on planes, in fact, they can even nab a seat in a first class carriage if they’re lucky! For pet travel in 2023, many countries make it easy to take your cat or dog aboard a pet friendly train. For instance, if a purchased ticket is required, you can normally make the booking online for yourself and your pet. The United Kingdom (Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland) together with many EU destinations such as Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Italy, allow dogs to travel on trains. In fact, some pet friendly train services even permit rabbits, rodents, birds and fish!
Some exciting new train routes have opened up across Europe in 2023, with a new cat and dog friendly European Sleeper Service between London and Berlin, making pet travel between the UK and Europe easier than ever. In addition, the European Sleeper Service now offers pet friendly night trains between Belgium, Holland and Germany.
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General Rules for Pets Travelling on Trains
Across the board, no matter which country you are travelling in, your dog will at the very least, have to be on a lead while onboard a pet friendly train. Cats always have to be within a travel carrier, but some train services may require this for dogs too, instead of a lead.
In the UK, for example, trains accept dogs, cats and other small animals free of charge, with a maximum of two pets per passenger. However, there is a cost for pets travelling on Caledonian Sleeper Train services.
On all UK pet friendly trains, dogs must be kept on a lead, or otherwise travel in a pet kennel. All other animals must make the train journey in a suitable travel carrier, and pets cannot take up a passenger seat without paying.
You can check out information on pet travel for the following train services, along with the reviews and opinions of other pet travellers. Be aware that some trains only allow Assistance & Service Dogs to travel, as is the case on Eurostar London routes to all EU destinations.
In the case of pet friendly sleeper trains, your pet usually travels free but you have to book a private sleeping compartment, and may be charged an additional cleaning fee.
For details of the train policy for each individual country, check out global pet travel laws which cover transport in each location by plain, train and bus.
Long Distance Pet Friendly Trains
If you’re travelling with your cat or dog in the UK or EU, here are the pet policies for some of the most popular travel routes.
- Caledonian Sleeper Train
- European Sleeper Train Germany, Holland and Belgium
- European Sleeper Train London to Berlin
- Eurostar EU Routes
- Eurostar London Routes
- Eurotunnel Le Shuttle
- ÖBB Nightjet Sleeper Trains
- SJ EuroNights Sleeper Train Sweden and Germany
- Venice Simplon Orient Express