The easiest and often fastest way to get around London is on the tube. Are you wondering whether your furry friend is just as welcome to ride the train as you are? Let us ease your mind, then. Yes, you can bring your dog on the tube. There are a few things to note beforehand, though. Read on for our advice on bringing your furry friend on the London Underground.
Dealing With Escalators
Before you and your pooch even step into the tube, you will have to navigate your way through the stations. While you wouldn’t think twice about taking the escalator, it’s a different story when you are travelling with your dog.
In general, dogs are not allowed to step unto escalator. This is for your dog’s safety. The teeth of escalators are hazardous for dogs that don’t know how to behave on them. Their skin, fur or nails can get stuck in the moving parts of the escalator. Nobody wants to take that risk.
According to the Transport for London (TfL) regulations, the only dogs that are allowed on a moving escalator are the ones that have a pass that proves they know how to behave on an escalator. In practice, this means that only service dogs, who have been trained to ride on an escalator, are allowed on a moving escalator. Any other dog must be carried while on the escalator.
Now, if you have a smaller dog like a Lhasa Apso, carrying your dog during the few moments that it takes to ride the escalator should not be a problem. If you have a larger breed, for example, a Rottweiler, then this might be more of a challenge.
So what are your alternatives? Technically, the TfL staff can stop the escalator for you and your dog to pass. This takes away the danger of any moving parts. However, in practice, they will only do so when the station is not busy. With the regular London commuters, this might not be a chance you want to take.
Your safest and quickest option is to simply take the lift or stairs when you are with your dog.
Going Through The Ticket Gate
The good news is, Fido gets to ride the tube for free. The TfL recommends a maximum of two dogs per person. If you are travelling with more than two then you might be charged extra.
So what do you do when you go through the ticket gate? Most ticket gates are not wide enough for you and your dog to pass through. The moving parts are also a potential hazard for Rover. TfL regulations require you to, once again, carry your dog through the ticket gate.
If you have a service dog then you will either have to go through the wide automatic ticket gate or ask the staff to open the gate manually for you.
On The Tube
Once you’ve made it through the station, there are still a few conditions to abide by while riding the tube with your dog.
The first condition is that your dog stays on the lead or in a carrier. A dog is not allowed on the seats, even if Fifi is inside a carrier. A dog on a tube seat requires a ticket. If your dog is on a lead, simply have her stay close to you and sit quietly on the floor or carry her on your lap.
Any dog is allowed on the London tube. The only time that staff is allowed to refuse you and your dog is when the dog seems dangerous. This rule applies to all pets. As long as your dog is well-trained, this should not be a problem. You also don’t need to purchase a muzzle just for the times your ride the tube together. A lead is all you need.
Other Useful Tips For Riding The Tube With Your Dog
Make your trip run smoothly by checking the TfL journey planner before you head for the underground with your dog. The TfL Plan a Journey tool lets you filter for stations where you won’t have to take an escalator. Change the preferences by choosing the option for ‘use stairs, not escalators’. This way you can be sure that there are steps that are safe for your pooch.
The same Transport for London application also lets you filter for stations that don’t have a step between the platform and the train. Choose the option for ‘step-free platform’ in the preferences selection. There you go, a quick and smooth trip through the tube station.
Also, ensure that Bodie is well-behaved on the tube. The staff is not allowed to handle your dog so don’t suggest that you and your dog will be of any hassle to the other passengers.
What About Other Transportation Options?
If your journey with your four-legged pal cannot be fully covered with the tube alone, check the local transportation websites for their regulations on dogs. Whether your pooch gets to travel for free depends on the transportation company.
For all transportation options that are operated by Transport for London, dogs and other pets are allowed to ride with you. In most cases, the conditions are that the pet is on a lead and does not take a seat.
Black taxi’s are actually operated by Transport for London, too. Assistance dogs may ride on black taxi’s for free. For other pets, this choice is left to the individual driver.
Before you embark on any journey with your dog, check for any regulations that apply to your dog. The tube can be a fun ride for you and your furry buddy. However, neither of you enjoy travelling on a crowded train. Do yourself and your dog a favour by planning your journey outside of peak hours. The other passengers will appreciate it too.