How to Travel on the Subway with Your Dog

Posted by Josh Savinson on

Urban dwellers face multiple challenges while living with their dogs in the city. Transportation is one issue which is complex to navigate when you take public transit to get to places.

Travelling anywhere is pretty much doable while being on the subway. Taking your canine friend can be tricky if there are rules to be followed or restrictions present.

Today, most of the public transit including buses and subway allow pets to ride on them with certain restrictions and rules which need to be followed.

Pet Travel Rules on Public Transit

If we consider New York, dogs need to be in a carrier all the time when they are travelling on the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

They should be well-behaved and not make any mischief with any other riders and pets who are travelling.  Small dogs can easily fit in the carrier.

For dog parents with bigger dogs, you don’t really need to worry. Innovation is shining through as many dog parents are getting creative by making their pets travel safely in the subway in their carriers!

If we consider Washington D.C.’s Metro, they allow pets in special carriers which do not allow for escapes and exits. Chicago on the other hand, does not allow pet parents to occupy any seat or block pathways while carrying small pets in carriers.

San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is another transit agency which allows dogs to be transported in the specific pet transport carriers. So, Ikea bags and creative containers need to take a bow as they will not be allowed.

Conversely, San Francisco’s Municipal Railway has rules which do not allow pets travel during peak hours. Though off-peak times allow dog parents to take their muzzled and leashed dogs with a ticket, still they need to be seated under your seat or on your lap.

As per Disability rules, all service animals are allowed on public transit as they are trained to aid an individual with any disability. Usually, therapy dogs are not considered as service animals.

 The subway travel rules represent rules for regular pets, not service animals. Check out the latest subway rules before you travel with your pet.

Tips for Preparing your Dog for subway travel

Once you have checked all the rules for travelling, do spend time on getting the traveller ready for the journey as well.

It is a big step for your pet, as they need to be acquainted with different kinds of people, animals, sounds, traffic that they will be encountering on the travel.

  • It is typically easier on dogs who are more social. You can train your dog to be social by having frequent visits to the dog park, interacting with other animals, pets, humans.
  • Taking him out for smaller travel journeys will also help him get accustomed to different sounds, smells and sights while on public transit.
  • Ensure that all the vaccinations and check-ups of your pet are up to date before bringing him out into the external environment. Sick and unhealthy pets should preferably be kept at home and not taken out on public journeys.
  • Check out the type of carrier needed for the specific transit you are taking to travel. Being abreast of the rules before travel will help you, and your pet will be better prepared for the actual journey.
  • Pack a little pet bag where you can stock his water, treats, chew toys and anything else you want him to play with and stay busy with him with during the travel.
  • Do note that you can consider other travel options like ridesharing, taxis or pooling to get around in the city.