Dog Friendly Transportation in New York City
New Yorkers love to travel with their dogs, but most don’t have cars. That means they’re reliant on various forms of dog friendly transportation, bot public and commercial.
In the post below you will find out if you can bring your dog on the following forms of transportation. Click on the item you’re interested in to jump to the relevant information. The information herein was current as of June 2023.
• Long Island Railroad (LIRR)
• New Jersey Transit
• Rental Cars
• Car Services
• Hampton Jitney
• Ride Share (Uber, Lyft, Spot On Pets, etc.)
• Ferries and Water Taxis
• Pet Ambulance Services
First off: how to get out of the city using dog friendly transportation!
Can I Bring My Dog on the LIRR?
Properly contained dogs can travel on the LIRR:
“No person except a police officer or another person authorized by LIRR shall enter in a terminal, station or train with any animal except a seeing eye or hearing ear dog or an animal properly confined for shipment.“
The LIRR does not make any mention about the size or weight of the dog you’re traveling with.
Working service dogs are exceptions. You don’t need to put them put in containers.
Can I Bring My Dog on Metro-North?
Metro-North is slightly different from the LIRR: the good news is you can bring leashed and contained dogs on Metro-North trains. Here is their policy:
“No person except a police officer or other person authorized by Metro-North shall enter a terminal, station or train with any animal except a seeing eye or hearing ear dog or an animal en route to or from a train and under the direct control of the individual the animal is accompanying such as by leash, container or other device.”
Metro-North does not make any mention about the size or weight of the dog you’re traveling with.
Service animals that are properly harnessed and accompanying people with disabilities are always welcome on Metro-North.
Can I Bring My Dog on New Jersey Transit and PATH trains?
New Jersey Transit specifies that dogs must be “small” and must be confined to cages:
“Only service animals accompanying customers with disabilities or their trainers, police dogs, and small pets in carry-on travel cages are allowed on-board NJ TRANSIT trains, buses and light rail vehicles.”
PATH trains have similar rules: “No person shall enter in or upon PATH with any animal that is not properly confined for shipment.”
Can I Bring My Dog in Rental Cars?
Another travel option within the city is to use a short term car rental service like Zip Car. Here is their rule: “Pets are not allowed in Zipcars unless they are in locked pet carriers. Members are subject to fees if evidence of pet hair is found in the vehicle they have reserved.”
The long term car rental companies are pretty accommodating when it comes to dogs.
Can I Bring My Dog in Hertz Rental Cars?
Hertz allows dogs in their cars: “Simply add your pet to the reservation at least 24 hours before you pick up your car. This allows our team enough time to ensure has all the necessary equipment to keep you and your pet safe. There is no additional charge for adding housebroken pets – specifically dogs – to your trip… You will only ever be charged a fee if there’s damage or the rental requires special cleaning after your reservation.” Click here for the full low down with Hertz.
Can I Bring My Dog in Avis Rental Cars?
Here is Avis‘ policy: “… you can bring pets in your rental cars at most Avis locations; just call your pickup location to confirm before you arrive. Also return your rental car in clean condition and free of pet hair and smells to avoid a cleaning fee of up to $450.” Click here for details.
Can I Bring My Dog in Alamo Rental Cars?
Alamo: “Pets are allowed in Alamo’s rental vehicles. Customers need to keep pets crated and return their rental car in clean condition and free of pet hair to avoid cleaning/detailing fees. Service animals used by customers with disabilities are allowed in the vehicle without a carrier.”
Can I Bring My Dog in Budget Rental Cars?
Budget: “Housebroken pets are invited to travel in your rental car, just as they do in your personal car. Although Budget doesn’t assess an extra fee for pets, pet owners will incur an additional charge for any damage caused by animals, or any special cleaning required as a result of shedding or accidents.”
Can I Bring My Dog in National Rental Cars?
National: “Pets are allowed in rental vehicles. Customers need to keep pets crated and return their rental car in clean condition and free of pet hair to avoid cleaning/detailing fees. Service animals used by customers with disabilities are allowed in the vehicle without a carrier.”
Can I Bring My Dog in Sixt Rental Cars?
Are pets allowed in Sixt cars? “Yes, pets are allowed in rental vehicles. Customers must return their rental car in clean condition and free of pet hair to avoid cleaning and detailing fees. To accommodate our customers with disabilities, we waive the special cleaning fee for a service animal.and are pretty accommodating as well.”
We’ve rented many cars and traveled with our dogs. Our advice: make sure the car is super clean when you return it. Bring something for the dog to lie on and make sure all the hair is vacuumed up! There is ALWAYS hair where you least expect it.
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, Connecticut, 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 something like “dog friendly transportation in new york city” you’ll find plenty of options.
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. Carmel requires you hire a mini van. Dial 7 says: “Dial 7 can accommodate dogs, cats and small pets provided the animal is leashed or in a carrier when traveling in the vehicle. Any animal over 25 lbs must ride in a minivan or van.”
Can I Bring My Dog on the Hampton Jitney?
Another option for out-of-town travel is the Hampton Jitney.
This is the answer to question about bringing dogs on the Jitney: “Yes, as long as your pet is in a D.O.T. approved carrier that you are able to carry on board 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, in its carrier, will have to travel on your lap if the coach is full.”
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 holds.
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, Spirit, JetBlue, and Southwest.
Please be aware that the Department of Transportation issued new rules about flying with service animals and emotional support animals. Starting back in 2021 passengers had to start paying to travel with their emotional support animals. They no longer fly free. Airlines will now only allow trained service dogs fly in the cabin free of charge.
Now, how to get around New York City using dog friendly transportation!
Can I Bring My Dog in an Uber or Lyft?
Uber has a program where you can hail drivers already primed to travel with dogs. Click here for Uber Pet info.
Whether to take a dog or not is left to the discretion of Lyft drivers. You should hail a Lyft car and then call the driver to make sure it’s okay to bring your dog. Here’s more about Lyft.
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 Ferries and 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.”
Muzzles? What is this 19th century New York?
Can I Bring My Dog on NYC Subways and NYC Buses?
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 in New York City subways and on New York City buses but they “must be in a bag or other container and carried in a way that doesn’t annoy other riders. Service animals and working animals with law enforcement agencies are allowed at all times.”
That’s relatively easy if you have a small dog, with large dogs it’s a bit more challenging!
New Yorkers have gotten pretty creative when it comes to putting dogs into containers. Check out these pics! Talk about dog friendly transportation!
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!