Can You Take A Dog On A Bus?

Whether you are trying to save money or you just want a convenient way of travelling, going on a bus is always a great idea. Unfortunately, that may not always be the case if you’re with your dog. For example, if you are going abroad with your dog by a car to save money, it is possible, but, what is the travelling situation when it comes to buses locally and travelling long-distances?

So, can you take your dog on a bus?

Well, the answer to that will depend on the company you’ll be travelling with (Here is Arrivas rules). There is no legislation that requires buses to allow dogs. For companies that do allow dogs to travel with their owners on a bus, expect some charges and restrictions.

How to Travel With A Dog On A Bus

The first thing you have to do is call the bus company prior to your trip. Ask if they allow pets to travel. If they do, try to know all the rules or procedures they have for boarding a dog. That way, you can prepare ahead of time.

Assess your dog’s capability to behave well on a bus. If he is typically afraid of strangers, you may want to put your dog in a crate or simply put him on a lead. That way, you’ll remain in control in case he gets overwhelmed.

Make sure that you have delicious dog treats and toys available. If you’ll be crating your dog, make sure to put all those items inside the crate to calm the dog down and get a crate cover to prevent them from seeing any potential distractions such as cars on the road. Putting familiar items inside his crate can make him feel more relaxed.

Once inside the bus, try to sit near the back area. This way, you won’t disturb the other passengers getting on and off the bus. If there’ll be people sitting next to you, ask their permission. Apart from being a polite gesture, this will also help make sure that you’re not putting your dog next to someone who has pet allergies or phobias.

How to Make Your Dog Comfortable When Inside A Bus

You can’t really expect an anxious dog to behave well. With that, you need to make sure that your dog is as comfortable as possible during the trip.

If you’ll be putting a lead, collar or muzzle on your dog, make sure that it’s the right size. If they are too tight, your dog will only get more agitated.

In case your dog gets motion sickness, get him used to riding a moving vehicle first before your actual trip. Taking him on car rides often can help.

Take note that vomiting and excessive drooling aren’t the only signs of motion sickness in dogs. They can also show the following signs:

  • Yawning
  • Whining
  • Dry Heaves
  • Restlessness
  • Defecating

Puppies tend to have more episodes of motion sickness than adult dogs. This is because their ears aren’t fully developed yet. Because of that, try to avoid taking your dog on bus rides until he’s older.

Also, try to wait for about two hours after his meal to travel. This is to allow the food to get fully digested.

When bringing his favourite toy, choose one that isn’t noisy to avoid disturbing the other passengers. Provide a really tasty treat as a reward to make the experience good for him.

Bus companies and their dog policies


Arriva do allow dogs on their buses, but it is only if the driver permits. Guide dogs and assistance dogs are the only exception to this rule. If you are a trainer or disabled person, therefore, you will need to show an appropriate means of identification. No additional charge is given, however, for any dogs whether they are assistance dogs or not. If it is necessary, they must be muzzled, and all dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. If smaller dogs are not a danger or a nuisance, they will be allowed if they are boxed, caged or on a lead. No animals are allowed to sit on the seats of the bus.

Transport for London

Dogs are allowed on the bus in London unless the driver has a valid reason to refuse. Some drivers will refuse dogs, but some are more than happy to let them on board. It is up to the discretion of the person driving the bus. However, the good news is that there is no additional ticket price for taking your dog on a London bus.


If your dog is accompanied, well-behaved and will not be a nuisance to the other customers and the driver, it will be allowed on the bus or coach at the discretion of the driver. The person driving the bus may decide where the dog should be carried off to. You may or may not be charged for taking a dog onto the bus, and it will cost an extra pound if you are charged. If it is necessary for the dog to be muzzled or on a lead, it should be in accordance with the Dangerous Dogs Act, and small animals should be kept under control. No animals are allowed on the seats and must be kept under control at all times by the owner.

National Express

With the sole exception of assistance dogs, National Express do not allow dogs on any of their buses. You must carry identification to prove that your dog is a trained member of an organization that deals with assistance dogs.

First Bus

Guide dogs, hearing dogs, disability support dogs, canine partners for independence, are all allowed on First Bus vehicles, for no extra charge at all. Whereas other dogs are only allowed if the driver permits them to go on, they are on a leash and muzzled if they might be a danger to anybody on the bus. An owner will be charged an extra 50p to take his dog on the bus unless it is an assistance dog, and only one dog is allowed per deck. Dogs should not be placed on the seats or get in the way of anyone else using the bus.


If the dog is accompanied, on a short lead, kept under control, not injuring someone or making anybody feel they could be injured and is not a banned breed it will be permitted on board an EYMS (East Yorkshire Motor Services) bus. Assistance dogs will not be charged, but other dogs will be charged the standard fare on the fare table. Only one dog per deck is permitted on board an of the EYMS buses, with the exception being assistance dogs.

Cardiff Buses

Guide dogs, assistance dogs and hearing dogs are allowed, if there is enough space to carried. In any other situation, one dog is allowed as long as it is well-behaved, not going to disturb any other passengers and is kept under control by the owner with a lead, on the owner’s lap, or on the floor (dogs are not allowed on the seats). Certain dangerous breeds will have to be muzzled, according to the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Belfast Bus Company

Dogs are allowed free of charge after 9.30 am, and only assistance dogs (‘Pets as Therapy’ dogs are included in this category) are allowed on Belfast Bus Company buses prior to that. They should be of a size so that they can be kept under a seat or under the owner in a way that will not obstruct the way of the passengers. All dogs must be kept on a lead at all times, and small dogs are permitted ito travel on the bus f they are capable of being carried on their owner’s knee. If the dog is found on a seat, the owner will be liable to a charge. If the dog is deemed dangerous, it will not be allowed on the bus.

Merseytravel Buses

Dogs are allowed on the Liverpool buses at the discretion of the driver. However, if you are allowed to take your dog on a Merseytravel bus, you are not expected to pay any additional fare for your four-legged friend.

Lothian Buses

At the driver’s discretion, small dogs will be carried, and guide, assistance, and learning dogs if there is enough space for them to be carried on the bus. All dogs must be put on a lead, and the person driving the bus may remove the dog if he has to. Dog owners need are responsible for the safety of the dog and any damage the dog causes.


Of the ones we researched the Belfast Bus Company and EYMS allow dogs on, Merseytravel, Arriva, Stagecoach, Lothian Buses, Transport for London and Cardiff Buses allow dogs on at the discretion of the driver and National Express only allow guide dogs.

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