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Travelling with a pet on board in the passenger car


VIA Rail allows dogs and cats to travel in cars with their owners as long as the animals are small enough to fit comfortably in a carrier that meets our carrier standards.

This policy does not apply to service and support dogs. For this policy, please consult: Travelling with a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Emotional Support Dog

Animals are sentient beings, so we want to make sure that they’re treated respectfully and travel comfortably while on board. To help us help your loyal friends, here are a few steps to follow.


The reservation for travelling with a pet must be made once the ticket has been purchased and at least two days before departure. It is strongly recommended to advise us well in advance, as space is limited and subject to availability.

It is essential for the passenger to let us know at least two days before their train departure. The passenger must contact our call centre to advise us that they will be travelling with a pet at 1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888-842-7245) or 1-800-268-9503 (hearing impaired).

Pet registration can also be done at a VIA Rail ticket counter, provided that two days’ notice is given.



Certain provinces and regions refuse pit bulls. As such, VIA Rail does not allow this breed of dog system-wide<. Mix or cross breed pit bulls are not accepted./p>


  • Only small dogs and cats are permitted. Pets must be at least 12 weeks old and fully weaned.
  • A maximum of one carrier per passenger (12 years old and older) is allowed. Only one pet is permitted per carrier.
  • The total weight of the carrier and animal must not exceed 10 kilograms (22 lb.).
  • Pet travel is booked on a space-available basis. We accept a maximum of two pets in Economy and one pet in Business Class (does not include service and emotional support dogs).
  • The pet and its carrier are considered an addition to the permitted carry-on baggage allowance. Therefore, a pet on-board fee will apply.
  • The pet must remain imperatively in a closed pet carrier, very close to the passenger.
  • The passenger is responsible for transporting and keeping the pet in its carrier with them at all times throughout the journey.
  • In stations, for security reasons, the pet must wear a muzzle and be on a leash at all times when out of its carrier.
  • Passengers travelling with their pet must arrive at the station as follows:
    • Terminal Staffed Station: 1 hour before scheduled departure time.
    • Intermediate Staffed Station: 30 minutes before scheduled departure time.

VIA Rail may, at its sole discretion, refuse to transport any animals that appear to be unruly, aggressive, distressed and dangerous or that appear to be dangerous or in pain. As such, VIA Rail personnel may require the passenger to remove the animal en route or from the station premises if:

  • • The animal is out of control and effective action is not immediately taken to control the pet (for example, a dog barking repeatedly and uncontrollably or that is not housebroken).
  • • The pet poses a threat to the health or safety of others

Pets are prohibited from travelling with:

  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Passengers travelling with infants under the age of two years old
  • Passengers who require the use of a medical device at their seat, such as a CPAC machine, oxygen tank, etc.
  • Passengers with intermodal reservations
  • Passengers travelling on The Maple Leaf (Toronto – New York) Amtrak train.
  • Passengers already travelling with a service dog or an emotional support dog.* A support person may travel with a pet as long as they are able to aid both the pet and the passenger who requires assistance.

*Please consult VIA Rail’s policy for service and support dogs.

CAGE REGULATIONS – Standards and Necessary Conditions

The passenger must ensure that the carrier is comfortable and complies with relevant regulations. The passenger must keep the pet from exploring the train and avoid causing the animal unnecessary stress. Travelling by train should be enjoyable for everyone.


VIA Rail employees may refuse traveller-supplied carriers that appear to be unsafe or inadequate and/or do not meet the following criteria:

  • VIA Rail accepts hard and soft-sided carriers.
  • The total weight of the carrier and animal must not exceed 10 kilograms (22 lb.).
  • Maximum carrier size permitted in a car:
    • Height :
      27 cm (10,5 in,)
    • Width :
      40 cm (15,5 in,)
    • Length :
      55 cm (21,5 in.)
  • Only one pet is permitted per carrier.
  • Pet carriers must be leak-proof and well ventilated.
  • The pet must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably.
  • No part of the pet may extend outside the pet carrier.


  • The pet must be kept under control and must always be attended in the station and while on board the train.
  • The pet must always remain in the carrier.
  • The pet must remain imperatively in a closed pet carrier, very close to the passenger.
  • The pet must remain on the floor at the passenger’s feet.
  • The pet must not be left unattended in any public or private area such as a washroom.
  • Under no condition can the pet carrier be placed on the seat.
  • Considering the shape and structure of the seats in our cars, animal carriers cannot be stowed under your seat or the seat in front of you. They must therefore remain on the floor at your feet or between your legs.

RATES AND FEES – Carrying Pets on Board

The pet and its carrier are considered an addition to the carry-on baggage allowance and an on-board transporting fee applies (


(Quebec City – Windsor)

$ 50.00 per direction (plus tax)


If additional space is required, the passenger may purchase an additional seat at the applicable rate depending on availability at the moment of the reservation. The carrier can then be placed on the floor at the foot of the adjacent seat rather than at the passenger’s feet. The $50 fee will apply in addition to the price of the seat.


Passengers traveling in Business class with their pets will be allowed in the VIA Business Lounges as long as the pet remains imperatively in a closed pet carrier and never left unattended


In case of a delay, the passenger should anticipate their pet’s needs.

  • The passenger must bring enough food and water for their companion.
  • The passenger must ensure their animal has done its business before departure in order to ensure a smooth trip.
  • Pee pads may come in handy in some situations (must be provided by the passenger).


VIA Rail will not be held liable for the loss, delay, injury, sickness or death of any pet accepted for transportation.

VIA personnel may require the passenger to remove the animal en route or from the station premises if the animal is out of control or if the dog poses a threat to the health or safety of others. VIA Rail will reimburse the non-travel portion of the trip in this event.

If the passenger is asked to remove the dog, but would like to remain on the premises and/or continue to travel without the dog, they must make arrangements at their own expense for another person or local animal control to assume custody of the animal, and they may be required to continue the VIA train trip at a later time or on a later date.

Love the way you travel


Dog days in London, Ontario

We took our pooch on the train to London, for a weekend of canine capers.