Take a dog on the train: costs and tips for the trip

If you want to take your dog on the train, you may be able to do so for free. From a certain size, however, the four-legged traveler needs a ticket. Here you can find out more about the cost of a train journey with your dog and find valuable tips for a relaxed journey. Strictly speaking, this cute train beagle should actually be wearing a muzzle - Shutterstock / Soloviova Liudmyla

If you have the choice between a train journey or a flight, it is best to choose the train that suits your four-legged friend - this travel variant is associated with significantly less stress. The following information and tips will prepare you for the train journey with the dog.

Pets can travel free of charge in a transport box

Small dogs and generally small pets can travel free of charge as "hand luggage" if they theoretically fit in a transport box or bag. So if you take a small dog on the train, you don't have to buy a ticket for it if it fits in a box (or bag) that theoretically fits under the seat or on the shelf above the seat. The "Deutsche Bahn" itself writes that there are unfortunately no concrete dimensions for the size and asks passengers to act to the best of their knowledge and belief. It should be clear, for example, that a golden retriever does not go through as "hand luggage".

Larger dogs need an additional ticket

If you take a larger dog on the train, you have to buy an additional ticket for your fur friend. You basically pay half the fare for this. The regulation applies to both the so-called flex price and the saver prices in long-distance transport. Important: journeys with country tickets and the Schön-weekend ticket are excluded from the half price rule - here the dog counts as a normal person or adult. For example, if you travel with the Lower Saxony ticket and your travel group consists of three adults and one dog, you have to buy the country ticket for four people.

An exception are guide dogs for dogs, which are always allowed to travel on the train free of charge and without a muzzle.

When traveling with the dog: that must be in your luggage

If you want to take your dog on vacation, the appropriate luggage must not be missing ...

How do I buy a ticket for my dog?

It is best to book the ticket for your dog on site at the DB Travel Center or pull it at the machine. An online ticket to print out yourself is not possible for dogs. If you would prefer to book online, Deutsche Bahn recommends that you indicate your dog as a child from six to 14 years of age without a companion and choose mailing for the ticket. Important: The dog must not be specified as a child under the age of six or an older child with a companion during the booking process - they should travel free of charge. If you have any questions or doubts, it is best to find out directly at the ticket counter for the cheapest way of taking your dog on the train.

Tips for the train journey with a dog

• To get your four-legged friend used to long train journeys, you can make a few small journeys with the dog on the train in advance.
• Less tip than regulation: During the train journey, your dog must be on a lead and wear a muzzle, unless it can be stored in a transport box.
• Because of the leash and muzzle requirement, take the dog leash and muzzle with you.
• If your dog is not used to a muzzle, you should familiarize it with it before the train journey. The same applies to the transport box for smaller dogs.
• Take a long walk with your animal partner before the trip so that they are busy and can ease themselves.
• If possible, plan your train journey with the dog in such a way that you are not traveling during rush hours such as rush hour traffic or on public holidays. Full moves mean more stress for dogs.
• Depending on the length of the trip, take enough food and water (including bowls) with you.
• You should never feed your dog directly before the trip, but give the last meal a few hours before the start of the trip.
• If you travel abroad by train, be sure to inform yourself about the regulations for domestic train journeys common in the country of travel.