Travelling with pets

Pets — excluding guide dogs — are not allowed in passenger cars. They must travel in the baggage car, which means they can only travel on trains that offer checked baggage service.

Only cats, dogs and small rodents are allowed aboard VIA trains. They must be carried in a rigid cage large enough for them to stand in, and you must provide a padlock to keep it shut.

Please be aware that baggage cars are often heated, but that most are not air-conditioned. Your pet may therefore be exposed to high temperatures. From June 1st to September 12, baggage cars cannot transport animals due to lack of proper ventilation. However, pets may be transported year-round on the Ocean (Montréal – Halifax), as all cars are air-conditioned.

Travel cages

Service charges for transporting an animal range between $30 and $50 (per train).

Height of cage Transportion Costs
(per train)

Cages less than 24" high

  • $30 per train used in Corridor and Eastern services.
  • $30 per overnight on the Canadian.

Cages more than 24" high (maximum of 33" high)

  • $50 per train used in the Corridor and Eastern services.
  • $50 per overnight on the Canadian.

Pet owners must provide their own cage. Cages can be purchased at larger pet shops or specialist shipping agents.

VIA Rail personnel may refuse traveller-supplied cages that appear to be unsafe or inadequate for train transport.

Check if pets can be transported on your departure through our online booking engine.

Restrictions

There is no weight limit for your animal. However, for safety reasons, VIA personnel will not transport animals and cages whose combined weight exceeds 32 kg (70 lb.). If your pet exceeds this limit, you are solely responsible for carrying your animal when boarding or disembarking from the train. In this case, a VIA employee can carry the empty cage.

For security reasons, your dog must wear a muzzle when it is out of its cage and being carried to the baggage car. Furthermore, we ask that you provide a lock to help prevent your pet escaping from its cage during the trip.

On Toronto – Vancouver, Montréal – Gaspé and Montréal – Halifax trains, you are permitted to occasionally visit and tend to your animal during the trip when you are accompanied by a VIA Rail employee. Please contact your Service Attendant immediately upon boarding to discuss a schedule for visits. Please note that this schedule will be subject to normal train operations. Should train operations be affected in any way, every effort will be made to ensure you can tend to your animal.

On several trains, you are permitted to visit your animal during the trip when you are accompanied by a Service Manager.

Please note that VIA Rail reserves the right at check-in to refuse any animal that is judged to be a danger to the security of any or all travellers.

Your responsibility

If you wish to travel with your pet, please let us know 24 hours in advance by calling 1 888 842-7245 or TTY 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired). Be sure also to check in your pet at least one hour before departure.

During the trip, it is your responsibility to feed, water, exercise and tend to your animal’s needs. To do this, or simply to visit your pet, you must be accompanied by the Service Manager or another designated employee. Visiting times must be set in advance with the Service Manager when boarding.

There is only one exception: train routes in the Québec City – Windsor corridor are shorter. You therefore do not have to take care of your pet and will not be allowed to visit it during your trip. Moreover, few Corridor trains have baggage cars. As such, if you plan on travelling in the Corridor, we suggest you find out if the services you need for your pet are available by calling 1 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245) or TTY 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired).

Don’t forget that you have to claim your pet as soon as you reach your destination!