A pet expert has shared his tips on travelling on Metrolink with four-legged friends, and signs to look out for that they’re anxious
Pet dogs are now allowed onboard trams in Manchester for the first time since Metrolink’s launch back in 1992 as part of a three-month pilot scheme.
For many of dogs this will be their first time on public transport.
John Smith, the founder of Manchester-based personalised pet brand Yappy.com, has shared his top tips for taking the tram with a pet pooch.
He said: “The first and most important thing to remember is that public transport is not for every dog: it can be a scary and stressful experience, so it’s best to consider your dog’s needs and welfare before travelling, after all, you know them better than anyone else.
“There are some instances where you should absolutely avoid public transport with a pet, such as at peak rush hour, or when it’s particularly hot – use your ‘paw-renting’ instinct.”
John warned pet owners to bear in mind others when travelling on the tram, adding: “Be considerate of others: not everyone is a dog lover, and some people may be scared of dogs or allergic to fur.
“It’s always best to check that someone is comfortable with dogs before you sit down next to them, public transport is for everyone after all!”
Signs your dog is anxious, and what to do about it
John said: “It’s not unusual for a dog to be unsettled for their first trip on public transport, but it’s best to keep an eye out for signs they’re becoming uncomfortable.
“If your dog shows any of the following signs, they could be feeling anxious.”
- Excessive licking/chewing
John shared his advice for mitigating anxiety: “It’s always best to leave a little earlier than you need to, so that if your dog shows any signs of being uncomfortable you have time to get off, give them a break and a short walk so they have time to calm down.
What to take with you
John shared a list of essentials he thinks all dog owners should take with them.
Public transport can be hot at all times of the year, so it’s always best to be prepared and take water and a portable bowl/something a dog can drink out of.
It’s always useful to have some treats, particularly if that is how the dog is trained. If they are well behaved, reward them.
Poo bags and wet wipes
Even a well-trained dog might have a little accident if riding the tram for the first time, so it is best to be prepared.
Lead and collar
A short lead and good quality collar or harness are absolute essentials to give full control and keep the dog safe from slipping off the lead in an unfamiliar place.
Skills your dog should know before you go
John thinks all dogs should know these commands before they get on a tram.
This will be the most beneficial to them, as standing for an entire journey might be uncomfortable.
There are a lot of distractions on trams, so it’s best to know how to settle them and keep them close.
Be mindful that people leave rubbish, leftover food and drinks and other objects that may harm animals.