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Because of the recent federal laws protecting service animals, you will learn that service dogs are allowed in many public places like Amtrak.

Service dogs are essential, and when taking long train rides, they are needed by many owners for safety and comfort. Amtrak has established specific guidelines to accommodate service dogs.

Service dogs are allowed on Amtrak for no additional costs and do not fall under the same policies and rules as traditional pets. We recommend calling ahead to make your reservations to get the proper seats reserved for you and your service dog that are most suitable.

A service animal is defined as an animal that has been trained to assist an individual with a disability. Service animals are allowed on Amtrak trains and stations, but they must always be under the control of their owner or handler.

It is critical to understand these rules and regulations, and our data and research were compiled directly from Amtrak and other government sources. We spoke with the local Amtrak ticketing office about service dog policies too.

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Are Service Dogs Allowed On Amtrak?

Service dogs are protective animals used by people with disabilities to make everyday tasks easier. These animals undergo extensive training to learn proper behavior to qualify for this prestigious title.

Service dogs are allowed on Amtrak, but rules must be followed to comply with the Amtrak policy.

Unless circumstances say otherwise, a service dog must be under control and on a leash during the trip.

A service dog cannot occupy a seat or be seated in the aisle, either. You should keep your dog between your legs on the floor.

You should also call ahead or book reservations online so they can accommodate you adequately. This includes giving you a requested seat that works best and providing you with a list of stops to walk your dog if needed.

Is Amtrak Strict About Dogs?

Amtrak is a popular train service in the United States. It provides passenger transport between cities and towns, so many people ask about bringing dogs on board.

Like most places, Amtrak provides a guideline of rules to follow, but they are not overly demanding or strict. The rules are even lighter for service dogs.

Amtrak does everything it can to make dog owners feel comfortable bringing their pets on the train.

Do You Need To Pay For Your Service Dog On Amtrak?

Amtrak allows cats and dogs on all trains for a small fee, but bringing a service dog on your train is free. These companions are classified under federal law, and special rules apply.

You will be charged a fee if you request a seat for your service dog. But this is not available on all trains, and your available options will vary based on capacity.

How Do I Get My Service Dog On Amtrak?

When traveling with a service dog, you must make arrangements with Amtrak. This can be done either online at or by calling directly at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

You can make a reservation for yourself and your service dog. Be sure to mention you have a service dog traveling with you on the phone because special arrangements can be made to accommodate you.

Calling ahead is the most efficient option. When you bring a dog on the train, you have fewer seating options, and some cars do not allow animals.

For example, no animals can stay in sleeping cars and food service cars. These are rules enforced to allow people to sleep and eat peacefully.

What Size Service Dog Is Allowed On Amtrak?

There is no size restriction for service dogs. You have much broader rules and regulations to follow with a service dog than a regular pet.

The traditional pet rule does not allow dogs over 20 pounds to take the Amtrak. However, any size service dog is allowed, but we recommend calling to confirm when booking your ticket.

Other Rules To Consider For Your Service Dog On Amtrak

Your trip is approaching, and you have service dog requirements. It’s time to start thinking about best practices to ensure everything goes well when boarding and riding your train.

Follow these rules and tips to eliminate concerns and guarantee a trip without problems.

You Must Keep Your Service Dog Under Control

Amtrak's rules are clear: Service dogs must be controlled while on the train. This means they should be leashed, tethered, or harnessed at all times.

Many Amtrak passengers are unaware of the rules and may be surprised when they are asked to leave the train if their service dog is not under control.

Service dogs can help make a passenger's journey easier and more enjoyable, but they must always be careful to keep their service dog under control.

Your Service Dog Must Sit On The Floor

Amtrak trains are not equipped with designated areas for animals. Service dogs must remain on the floor between the user's legs while on the train.

It is a violation of Amtrak's policy to allow a service dog to sit or lie down anywhere else on the train, including in the aisle or on another seat.

You Are Permitted To Walk Your Service Dog At Designated Stops

During your journey, Amtrak designates specific stops for service dogs and pet owners to take their animals for a walk quickly.

This allows the animal to get fresh air or go to the bathroom. Always review with an employee when and how long these stops will last.

Make sure to take advantage of these stops too. Your dog is your responsibility if they have an accident on board.

You Should Call Ahead With Reservations For A Service Dog

We always recommend calling ahead to make your reservations because many Amtrak trains will limit the number of animals.

Luckily, they won’t limit you because you have a service dog. But it could impact your seating arrangements if many pets are already booked on the same train.

In Summary

If you have a long train ride ahead but are worried about bringing your service dog, don’t worry. Amtrak is friendly and accommodating to make your ride comfortable.

Simply follow the rules and keep your dog under control, and you should have no problems along the way.