New Yorkers love to travel with their dogs. They have plenty of local choices: the Hamptons, the Jersey Shore, upstate New York and more. There are lots of transportation options available to peripatetic dog owners to help them on their way.
Scroll down to find out more about the LIRR, Metro North, rental cars, Uber, Lyft, Spot On Pet, taxis, subways, planes, buses, boats, and more!
Most New Yorkers don’t have cars. So that means city folk are generally reliant on trains for getting in and out of the City. But the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) and Metro-North have slightly different rules about dogs even though they are both part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA.)
Can I Bring My Dog on the LIRR?
Properly contained dogs can travel on the LIRR.
Working service dogs are exceptions. You don’t need to put them put in containers.
The LIRR website specifies:
“Small pets are permitted as long as they are carried in kennels or containers that can fit on your lap without inconveniencing other customers. No part of the pet should stick out from the kennel or container. Pets should not occupy seats or bother other customers. Service animals that are properly harnessed and accompanying people with disabilities are always welcome in MTA´s network.”
That said, I have seen plenty of people bring large dogs in carriers going out to Fire Island. Big dog owners should proceed at your own risk.
Can I Bring My Dog on Metro-North?
Metro-North is slightly different from the LIRR.
The good news is you can bring leashed dogs on Metro-North trains:
“Small pets are permitted subject to approval by the conductor. Pets must be enclosed in a kennel or carrier, or secured on a leash throughout the trip. They should not occupy seats or bother other customers. Service animals that are properly harnessed and accompanying people with disabilities are always welcome in MTA´s network.
Can I Bring My Dog on New Jersey Transit and PATH trains?
If you’re heading west to New Jersey, New Jersey Transit trains and PATH trains allow dogs in crates or containers.
Can I Bring My Dog in Rental Cars?
Another travel option is using a short term car rental service like Zip Car. The company allows dogs in crates or containers. Other car rental companies, like Hertz, Alamo, Budget, Sixt, and Avis, are pretty accommodating as well. The cars we’ve rented come with a warning that transporting pets can result in extra cleaning fees. Sometimes those charges can be pretty hefty. Transport a dog in a rental car at your own risk!
Or you can just make sure the car is EXTRA clean when you return it. That’s why we always try to vacuum our rentals before returning them.
To date we’ve never had to pay any cleaning fees and we rent cars a lot! We must doing something right.
Because renting cars in New York City — especially Manhattan — can be very expensive, you should give some thought to renting a car in New Jersey or at La Guardia.
If you’re planning a long distance care ride, check out my post Driving from New York City to Florida. It has a check list of tips to make long car rides with your dog successful.
Can I Bring My Dog in Car Services?
New York City also has many “dog taxi” services.
You can hire these private vans to take you and your dog anywhere you want to go. We’ve used them a few times. They can vary widely in price. If you Google “pet transportation new york city” you’ll find plenty of options.
I think if you need transportation for medical reasons, you should definitely consider one of the pet taxis. Some of them specialize in transporting animals to and from the vet’s office. At the very least, the pet taxis are going to be sensitive to the needs of a sick animals.
They are also good for longer jaunts; we used one once to get to Sayville, out on Long Island.
Old school car services like Carmel or Dial 7 are also available. They generally require that your dog be in some type of container.
Can I Bring My Dog on the Hampton Jitney?
Another option for out-of-town travel is the Hampton Jitney. Dogs are okay as long as they are in carriers that you are able to carry onboard with you. Pets must remain in carriers at all times. There is a charge of $10 to travel with your pet. Keep in mind that your pet will have to travel on your lap if the coach is full. (In its carrier!)
I called Hampton Jitney’s North Folk office to see if there was a size restriction. The charming lady I spoke to said there’s no weight restriction, but “you can’t bring your Saint Bernard on!” She reiterated the policy that you need to be able to easily carry your dog on board in a carrier.
Can I Bring My Dog on Planes?
If you need to travel longer distances, we here at Urban Dog recommend driving. Flying can be pretty stressful for dogs. However, here’s a little information if flying is your only option.
All of the major carriers allow dogs in the main cabin. United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, and Alaska Airlines all permit dogs in their climate-controlled checked baggage areas.
The rules for traveling with dogs on planes are similar for each airline. However they differ enough that you really need to check out the individual rules for each carrier. Follow these links to get all the details: United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Frontier, Virgin America, Spirit, JetBlue, and Southwest.
Please be aware: the Department of Transportation has issued new rules about flying with service animals and emotional support animals. Starting in early 2021 passengers will have to pay to travel with their emotional support animals. They no longer fly free. Airlines will only allow trained service dogs fly in the cabin free of charge.
Here’s a link to Urban Dog’s comprehensive guide to Flying with Your Dog.
Traveling in the city presents a completely different set of challenges.
But, between private companies, like Uber, and public transportation, you should be able to come up with plenty of usable options.
Can I Bring My Dog in an Uber or Lyft?
Uber, Lyft, and other ride share companies let driver’s decide whether to accept pets or not. The companies state that drivers must accept service animals.
Here’s Uber’s official line: “In accordance with local and federal laws in your area, service animals are permitted to accompany riders at all times.”
Lyft has a similar policy: “Unless the passenger has a service animal, it’s entirely up to the driver whether or not to allow the passenger’s pet in the vehicle. We advise passengers to call their drivers right after their requests are accepted to confirm that it’s okay to bring their pets.”
Use your app to send a text message or call to let the driver know you’d like to bring a pet. Please help drivers keep vehicles clean for all riders by bringing a crate or blanket to reduce the risk of damage or mess. Some drivers may keep a blanket in the trunk. We always carried a towel with us. That seemed to be sufficient.
Can I Bring My Dog on Spot On Pet (Of Course You Can! Duh!)
Try Spot On Pet. It’s a ride hailing service specializing in transporting people and their pets.
I’ve never used it (if someone has please let me know how your experience was) but I have downloaded the app and looked at the services they offer. It looks like exactly what pet owners need to travel around the city. They also offer delivery service from PetCo stories in New York City.
Can I Bring My Dog in NYC Taxis?
Taxis can pick up dogs, but the decision is left to each driver’s discretion. Our advice: try to hail a cab with your dog visibly leashed and behaving by your side.
We had success that way, but it sometimes takes awhile for a taxi to stop. We also brought a towel with us to put on the seat for Bodhi to sit on.
Again, we always tip generously.
Can I Bring My Dog on NYC Ferries and NYC Water Taxis?
New York City Ferry, servicing the East River, says: “Only service animals are allowed on board. Dogs, with the exception of trained service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, are not permitted on NYC Ferry vessels unless they are in a pet carrier and / or muzzled.”
The Staten Island Ferry says: “Pets, other than service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, are not allowed in the facilities and/or onboard the ferry boats, unless they are caged and/or muzzled.”
Can I Bring My Dog on NYC Buses and NYC Subways?
Public transportation is the cheapest option for traveling with pets, however, it’s not as easy using public transportation within in the city as it is on private enterprises.
Dogs can ride on New York City buses and New York City subways, but they have to be in containers and can’t be a nuisance to other passengers.
That’s relatively easy if you have a small dog, with large dogs it’s a bit more challenging!
The restrictions on dogs on all MTA-governed transportation do not apply to service animals. “Service animal” means a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.
The term service animal does not include a therapy animal or animal used for emotional support.
We mentioned above that you should want to consider a dog taxi for medical issues. In the case of an emergency, you might want to go one step further and call a pet ambulance service like Ambuvet. For more, read their FAQ. If you’re reading this and need ambulance service immediately, here’s their number: 800-AMBUVET (800-262-8838.)
We here at Urban Dog hope you and your pooches have great adventures on the road!