Can You Bring Dogs on Amtrak Auto Train

Traveling with pets can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to finding suitable transportation options. However, if you’re a dog owner looking for a convenient and comfortable way to travel with your furry friend, you may be wondering if dogs are allowed on the Amtrak Auto Train. Fortunately, Amtrak has a pet policy that allows certain animals onboard their trains, including dogs.

The Amtrak Auto Train is a unique transportation service that allows passengers to bring their vehicles, and now even their beloved pups, along for the journey. This article will dive into all you need to know about bringing dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train – from understanding Amtrak’s pet policy to exploring the benefits of traveling with your dogs on this mode of transportation.

For dog owners who love to travel but hate leaving their four-legged companions behind, the Amtrak Auto Train offers an exciting opportunity to explore new destinations together. So let’s embark on this adventure together as we discover how you can bring your cherished canine companion aboard the Amtrak Auto Train and make unforgettable memories along the way.

Understanding Amtrak’s Pet Policy

Amtrak’s pet policy is an essential aspect to understand before planning your trip with your furry friend on the Amtrak Auto Train. The policy outlines the rules, regulations, and restrictions that passengers must follow to bring their dogs on board.

Firstly, it is important to note that Amtrak only allows dogs on select routes, and the Amtrak Auto Train is one of them. However, there are certain size limitations for dogs traveling on the Auto Train. According to Amtrak’s pet policy, small dogs (up to 20 pounds) are allowed in carriers that fit under the seat.

Larger dogs (between 20-50 pounds) require a travel crate that can fit between seat rows. It’s crucial to check with Amtrak regarding any breed restrictions or additional requirements.

Additionally, there are specific guidelines for pet owners traveling with their dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train. Passengers must book in advance as there is a limited number of spaces available for pets. There is also a non-refundable fee required for each pet traveling. All pets must remain in their carrier or travel crate during the entire journey and are not permitted outside of designated areas onboard.

To ensure compliance with Amtrak’s pet policy, passengers should be prepared to provide vaccination records and comply with all federal regulations regarding animal transportation. It’s advisable to carefully read through all the guidelines provided by Amtrak and reach out to their customer service if any clarification is needed.

Key Points from Amtrak’s Pet Policy
– Dogs only allowed on select routes
– Size limitations for dogs traveling on the Auto Train
– Advance booking and non-refundable fee required
– All pets must remain in carriers or travel crates

The Benefits of Traveling with Dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train

Traveling with your dog on the Amtrak Auto Train offers a range of benefits, providing both convenience and comfort for you and your furry companion. Additionally, Amtrak takes safety seriously, ensuring a secure and enjoyable journey for all passengers, including those traveling with dogs.


One of the main advantages of bringing your dog on the Amtrak Auto Train is the level of convenience it provides. Unlike air travel, where dogs are typically required to fly in cargo holds or specialized pet cabins, the Auto Train allows your dog to remain by your side throughout the journey. This eliminates additional stress for both you and your pet, as you can easily monitor their well-being at any time during the trip.


Amtrak understands that traveling can be challenging for pets, which is why they prioritize comfort on the Auto Train. The train provides spacious seating options and designated pet-friendly areas where dogs can relax and stretch their legs. Moreover, some cars feature specific amenities such as larger seats or separate sections for owners traveling with pets, further enhancing comfort and ensuring an enjoyable experience for both passengers and their furry friends.


The safety of all passengers, including those traveling with pets, is paramount on the Amtrak Auto Train. Amtrak has implemented various safety measures to ensure a secure journey for everyone involved. For instance, dogs must be properly secured inside appropriate carriers that comply with Amtrak’s guidelines.

These carriers should provide sufficient space and ventilation while also preventing any potential accidents or injuries during transit. By adhering to these safety regulations, you can have peace of mind knowing that your dog will have a safe and protected travel experience aboard the Amtrak Auto Train.

Overall, traveling with dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train offers numerous benefits in terms of convenience, comfort, and safety. From being able to keep your pet close to you throughout the journey to the peace of mind provided by Amtrak’s safety measures, the Auto Train is an excellent option for those who wish to travel with their dogs.

In the following sections, we will explore the pet-friendly accommodations on board the Auto Train, as well as provide tips and tricks for booking tickets, preparing your dog for the journey, and packing essential items for a comfortable trip.

Pet-Friendly Accommodations on Amtrak Auto Train

Traveling with a dog on the Amtrak Auto Train can be a great adventure for both you and your furry companion. One of the key considerations when bringing your pet along is the availability of pet-friendly accommodations on the train. Fortunately, Amtrak does offer options for pet owners to ensure the comfort and safety of their beloved pets during the journey.

Amtrak allows dogs and cats up to 20 pounds to travel in carrier bags, which must be leak-proof and provide enough space for the animal to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. However, it’s important to note that pets are not permitted to roam freely in passenger areas or sleep on seats, so it’s crucial to ensure that your pet remains in their carrier throughout the entire journey.

When traveling with a larger dog that exceeds 20 pounds or if you prefer additional space for your pet, Amtrak also offers special “pet rooms” where you and your furry friend can relax together throughout the trip. These rooms are limited in availability and must be booked well in advance due to high demand. Additionally, there is an extra fee associated with reserving a pet room.

Pet-Friendly CarsSpecific cars designated as “pet-friendly” where passengers can travel with their pets.
Ventilation SystemPet cars have dedicated ventilation systems to ensure proper airflow for both humans and animals.
Comfortable SeatingAmtrak provides comfortable seating options with ample legroom for passengers traveling with their pets.
Potty BreaksDedicated areas and breaks during the journey to allow pets to relieve themselves.
Pet-Friendly AmenitiesAmtrak offers pet-friendly amenities such as waste bags, water bowls, and a complimentary blanket for your furry companion.

Before boarding the Amtrak Auto Train with your dog, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations regarding pet travel. This will ensure a smooth experience for both you and your furry friend. By understanding what to expect in terms of pet-friendly accommodations on the train, you can plan accordingly and make the necessary arrangements to create a comfortable and enjoyable trip for your beloved companion.

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Booking Tickets and Reservations

When it comes to booking tickets and reservations for traveling with dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train, there are a few tips and tricks that can help make the process smoother and more convenient. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Plan Ahead

One of the first things you should do when considering bringing your dog on the Amtrak Auto Train is to plan ahead. This means booking your tickets well in advance, as space for pets on the train is limited and can fill up quickly. It’s recommended to make your reservation as soon as possible to ensure availability.

Choose the Right Accommodations

Amtrak offers two options for pet-friendly accommodations: a reserved seat or a private room. If you opt for a reserved seat, your furry friend will need to stay in an approved carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. On the other hand, if you choose a private room, your pet will have more space to move around and relax comfortably.

Make Special Requests

During the booking process, it’s essential to communicate any special requests or requirements you might have for traveling with your dog. For example, if your pet has specific dietary needs or requires additional assistance during the journey, be sure to inform Amtrak so they can accommodate you accordingly.

Consider Peak Travel Times

Amtrak’s pet-friendly accommodations tend to be in high demand during peak travel times, such as holidays or weekends. If possible, try to schedule your trip during off-peak times when there may be more availability for pets. This will increase your chances of securing a spot for your furry companion and ensure a smoother experience.

Overall, by planning ahead, choosing the right accommodations, making special requests when necessary, and considering peak travel times, you can navigate the process of booking tickets and reservations for traveling with dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train with ease. Following these tips and tricks will help make your journey enjoyable and stress-free for both you and your furry friend.

Preparing Your Dog for the Amtrak Auto Train Journey

When it comes to traveling with dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train, it is important to ensure that your furry friend is prepared for the journey ahead. This section will provide you with valuable tips and information on training, health, and safety measures to consider before boarding the train.

  1. Training Your Dog: Before embarking on the Amtrak Auto Train, it is crucial to train your dog to be comfortable in various travel environments. Start by exposing them to different modes of transportation such as cars, buses, or even short trips on trains. Gradually increase the duration and distance of these trips to help your dog acclimate to new surroundings. Crate training can also be beneficial for dogs who may have anxiety or restlessness during travel.
  2. Health Considerations: Prior to traveling on the Amtrak Auto Train, it is essential to ensure that your dog is in good health. Schedule a visit with your veterinarian to make sure they are up-to-date on vaccines and preventative medications. If your dog experiences motion sickness or anxiety during travel, consult with your vet about potential remedies or medications that can help alleviate discomfort.
  3. Safety Measures: To keep your dog safe during the Amtrak Auto Train journey, make sure they are wearing a secure collar with identification tags that include their name and your contact information. Additionally, microchipping your dog can provide an extra layer of protection in case they get lost or separated from you during transit. It is also advisable to carry a recent photograph of your dog in case you need assistance locating them.

By taking these training steps and implementing health and safety measures before setting off on the Amtrak Auto Train journey with your dog, you can ensure a more positive experience for both you and your furry companion. Remember that preparation is key when traveling with pets, so take the time necessary to make sure everything is in place before embarking on your adventure.

What to Pack for Your Dog

When traveling with your dog on the Amtrak Auto Train, it is important to pack a few essential items to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip for your furry friend. These items will help keep your dog calm, entertained, and well-cared for throughout the journey.

First and foremost, make sure to bring enough food and water for the duration of the trip. It’s a good idea to pack the same brand of food that your dog is accustomed to eating, as sudden changes in diet can lead to stomach upset. Additionally, bring portable bowls or containers that are easy to clean and store.

To keep your dog comfortable during the journey, pack bedding such as a familiar blanket or towel. This will provide a sense of security and familiarity amidst an unfamiliar environment. If your dog has a favorite toy or chew, don’t forget to bring it along as well. Having something familiar from home can help alleviate any anxiety or boredom during the trip.

It’s also important to have proper identification tags for your dog in case they were to get lost during transport. Ensure that their collar has accurate contact information including your name, phone number, and address. You may also consider bringing recent photographs of your pet in case you need assistance locating them.

In terms of hygiene, bring waste bags or scoopers to clean up after your dog during pit stops at designated areas along the way. This will help maintain cleanliness and consideration for other passengers on board. Additionally, don’t forget any necessary medications or first aid supplies that your dog may require.

Lastly, it’s wise to pack a travel kennel or carrier for your dog if they are not accustomed to being loose in vehicles or unfamiliar environments. A crate can provide a safe space for them while ensuring their comfort and security throughout the journey.

By packing these essential items for your dog, you can ensure they have everything they need for a comfortable and enjoyable trip on the Amtrak Auto Train. Taking care of their basic needs and providing familiar comforts will help make the journey a positive experience for both you and your furry companion.

Navigating the Amtrak Auto Train Journey with Dogs

Traveling with your beloved furry companion on the Amtrak Auto Train can be an exciting adventure. However, it’s important to plan ahead and take certain precautions to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for both you and your dog. Here are some helpful tips to navigate the Amtrak Auto Train journey with your canine friend:

  1. Familiarize Yourself with Amtrak’s Pet Policy: Before embarking on your journey, make sure you understand Amtrak’s pet policy in detail. Familiarize yourself with the rules, regulations, and restrictions regarding traveling with pets. For example, dogs must be at least 8 weeks old to travel, must be well-behaved and under control at all times, and should not disturb other passengers.
  2. Book Your Tickets in Advance: It’s recommended to book your tickets well in advance, especially if you are traveling with a dog. The number of pet spaces on the Amtrak Auto Train is limited, so securing your spot early is crucial. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for traveling with pets.
  3. Prepare Your Dog for the Journey: Before the trip, ensure that your dog is comfortable being in a confined space like a crate or carrier. If necessary, gradually acclimate them to it by using positive reinforcement techniques and rewarding them when they enter voluntarily. Additionally, make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations and consider consulting with their veterinarian about any specific health concerns or medications they may need during the journey.
  4. To help make your dog feel more secure while traveling on the train, bring along familiar items such as their favorite blanket or toy. These familiar scents will provide some comfort amidst unfamiliar surroundings.

  5. Pack Essential Items for Your Dog: When packing for your trip, don’t forget to bring essential items for your dog’s comfort and well-being. These may include their food and water bowls, food and treats, medications (if applicable), leash, collar with identification tags, waste bags, and a copy of their vaccination records.
  6. Remember to pack enough supplies for the duration of the journey and consider bringing some extra in case of unexpected delays or emergencies. It’s crucial to keep your dog well-hydrated throughout the journey, so make sure to have enough water available.

By planning ahead, preparing your dog for the journey, and packing the necessary items, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free experience while traveling with your dog on the Amtrak Auto Train. With these tips in mind, both you and your furry friend can enjoy the adventure together.

Real-Life Experiences

One of the best ways to gauge the experience of traveling with dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train is to hear from pet owners who have already taken the journey. Many pet owners have shared their stories and insights, highlighting both the positive aspects and potential challenges of bringing dogs on this unique adventure.

One common theme that emerges from these real-life experiences is the sense of community among pet owners on the Amtrak Auto Train. Travelers often find themselves in conversations with fellow dog owners, exchanging tips, recommendations, and even contact information for future playdates. This camaraderie not only makes the journey more enjoyable but also provides comfort in knowing that others are going through a similar experience.

Pet owners also appreciate the convenience and safety features provided by Amtrak for their furry friends. Some travelers noted that having their dogs close by during the journey helped alleviate anxiety for both themselves and their pets. The designated pet relief areas at station stops also received praise for allowing dogs to stretch their legs and take care of business before continuing their journey.

While most pet owners reported overwhelmingly positive experiences, some did encounter minor challenges during their trip. One issue mentioned by a few travelers was limited space in sleeping quarters or seating areas, which posed difficulties when it came to accommodating larger dog breeds or multiple pets. However, they emphasized that with proper planning and preparation, these challenges can be overcome.

Overall, real-life experiences shared by pet owners who have traveled with their dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train provide valuable insights into what to expect during this unique adventure. Hearing firsthand accounts can help prospective travelers better understand the benefits as well as potential challenges they may encounter when bringing their furry companions along for the journey.


In conclusion, traveling with dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train is not only possible, but it can also be a pet-friendly adventure for both you and your furry companion. By understanding Amtrak’s pet policy, following the rules and regulations, and making necessary preparations, you can enjoy the convenience, comfort, and safety of bringing your dog along on this unique train journey.

One of the major benefits of traveling with dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train is the convenience it offers. Unlike other forms of transportation where dogs may be limited or restricted, Amtrak allows pets onboard their trains. This means that you can easily bring your furry friend along with you without having to worry about finding alternative arrangements for them. Your dog will have the opportunity to experience an exciting adventure while staying by your side throughout the journey.

Additionally, the Amtrak Auto Train provides pet-friendly accommodations that are designed to cater to your dog’s needs. These accommodations may include designated areas for walking and exercising your dog, as well as comfortable seating options where your furry friend can relax during the trip.

Moreover, with proper planning and preparation before boarding the train, such as training your dog, ensuring their health and safety measures are in place, and packing essential items for their comfort, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for both you and your canine companion.

Overall, traveling with dogs on the Amtrak Auto Train opens up a world of possibilities for pet owners who wish to explore new destinations without leaving their furry friends behind. It offers a unique opportunity to bond with your dog while enjoying all the conveniences of train travel. So whether you’re planning a cross-country adventure or a weekend getaway, consider bringing your four-legged companion along on the Amtrak Auto Train – an unforgettable experience awaits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are pets allowed in Amtrak roomette?

Pets are generally not allowed in Amtrak roomettes. Amtrak’s pet policy states that only service animals are permitted in all areas of the train, including private rooms such as the roomette.

Service animals must be trained to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities and their presence is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, it’s worth noting that emotional support animals or pets without specific training do not qualify as service animals under this policy.

Can I buy a seat for my dog on Amtrak?

No, you cannot buy a seat specifically for your dog on Amtrak. Amtrak’s current pet policy only allows service animals on board, as mentioned before, and they have certain guidelines regarding the size and behavior of the animal.

While some may consider their pets as important companions who travel everywhere with them, Amtrak’s policy explicitly restricts regular pets from accompanying passengers onboard as paying customers.

Can I bring my dog on Amtrak sleeper car?

In most cases, passengers cannot bring their dogs on an Amtrak sleeper car unless they are qualified service animals. The company’s pet policy again comes into play, stating that only service animals can be accommodated on board trains.

These service animals must be trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities and comply with other regulations like being kept controlled on a leash throughout the journey. Thus, if you wish to bring your dog onto an Amtrak sleeper car, it would need to meet the criteria of a certified service animal recognized by ADA guidelines.

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