If you plan to travel from one city to another on a bus, Greyhound (greyhound.com) is a logical option. The bus line visits nearly 4,000 destinations across North America and has approximately 13,000 departures across the continent each day. Whether you're taking Greyhound in Canada or the U.S., the company's regulations regarding pets are the same. Unless your animal meets very strict criteria, you cannot travel with it on the bus.
Greyhound is strict about the animals it allows on its buses. With the exception of certified service dogs, animals of any species are not permitted on any Greyhound bus, either in the cabin with the passengers or below the bus in the storage compartments.
As is the case with other methods of transportation, including airplane, train and city bus, Greyhound allows travelers to ride their buses when accompanied by a service dog. Service dogs can provide a variety of tasks, including leading a visually impaired owner, helping a hearing-impaired owner navigate busy areas and reminding someone with mental health issues to take his medication.
If you enjoy the company of your animal and it improves your mood when it's in your presence, the animal is not a service animal. To be considered a service dog, the owner has to suffer from a disability recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the dog has to perform a specific task, such as a guide dog leading you across a busy intersection if you're visually impaired. Finally, the animal must be well trained and not negatively affect the environment around it.
There are no special vaccinations required aside from typical immunizations required to keep animals, pet owners, and the public safe. Service dogs can be a large dog or small dog and owners are not required to show documents but as a courtesy to others should keep a copy of vaccination or health records when traveling.
Emotional Support Dogs
Emotional support dogs or other emotional support animals, which help people who suffer from emotional conditions such as fear and anxiety, are no longer permitted on many airlines in the U.S. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not consider emotional support dogs or other animals to be service dogs, thus these animals are not permitted on Greyhound buses.
While Greyhound buses do not allow non-service animals, Amtrak is pet-friendly for small animals on certain trips, depending on trip route and length. The dog-friendly policy allows small pets (dogs and cats) up to 20 pounds in a pet carrier. The weight limit includes both the animal and approved crate or leak proof carrier.
Air travel may also be an option, especially for those with larger dogs who do not meet weight restrictions. For smaller dogs, usually 20 pounds or less, select carriers may allow the pet to be an in cabin carry-on. Travel with pets who do not qualify to stay in the cabin usually requires the animal to be in a kennel which is then placed in the cargo hold of the airplane.