Larger dogs can now also get on a Spanish train, Source: Unsplash

Large dogs finally welcomed on Spanish trains

Large dogs finally welcomed on Spanish trains

The railway operator Renfe is starting a pilot program for the sale of tickets for man’s best friend

Until recently, the only dogs who could accompany their masters on Spanish trains were those that weighed under 10 kilos. As of yesterday, 15 September, however, Renfe, the national railway operator, has launched a trial program which will sell tickets for larger pooches as well.

There is still a limit, however, but this time it has been substantially revised upwards. All dogs under 40 kilos can get on board. The fixed price for them will be 35 euros one-way.

The pilot project will be carried out for three months on AVE high-speed trains on the Madrid-Barcelona line. The move represents a further step in Renfe's commitment to its customers, thus valuing the importance for travellers of being able to travel with their pets.

European railways are becoming friendlier spaces for pets

European railway companies are warming up to having more pets on board. But it also looks like there was some corporate lobbying behind the new measure since the trial project came in the wake of an agreement between Renfe and Nestlé Purina (pet food producer) under which both companies undertook to promote the train services for larger dogs.

For this project, Nestlé Purina has advised Renfe with a travel guide with good practices, so that customers and their pets can travel on board the trains in the most pleasant way, and ensure the well-being of the animal during the journey. 

Some of the advice: bring aboard the dog’s own blanket and soundless toy, avoid feeding him during the first three hours before the trip to prevent dizziness, or walk him for a long time before the trip so that he can relax.

There are still certain limitations, however, to keep in mind. Only one large dog per passenger will be allowed, with a maximum of two large dogs per train, in a single car and always in a fixed space with two specific seats. They will also have to wear a muzzle and be kept on a non-extendable leash.

The weight limit also means that larger breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards might still suffer “train discrimination”.



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