Are Dogs Allowed On Buses? [You’ll Be Glad You Checked!]

Are you planning on a trip or journey that requires the use of a bus? Do you want to take your dog along with you? Well, you’re going to need to know if they will be welcome on board. Here is what you are going to need to know.

So, are dogs allowed on buses? Dogs are generally allowed on buses. Though, there is no nationwide or legal legislation that either allows/prevents them from being permitted. It is ultimately up to the bus company, along with the discretion of the driver. Though, assistance and guide dogs will always be allowed.

As such, it’s pretty essential that you check ahead of time.

Make some inquiries, and see what each company has to say on the matter.

You’ll likely find you’re greeted with good news.

Except if you enquire with one particular company.

As we shall soon discover in the next few sections.

Bus Companies That Allow Dogs

The following companies have publicly stated that they allow dogs on their buses:

  • Arriva
  • First Group
  • TFL
  • Go-Ahead Group
  • Stagecoach

Bus Companies That Do Not Allow Dogs

The following companies have publicly stated that they do not allow dogs on their buses:

  • National Express.

There may be others too, which is why it is essential to check and not assume you’ll be permitted on board.

Rules When Travelling With A Dog On A Bus

The following rules are typically shared by bus companies that do allow dogs.

Still, some may have their own rules and regulations – so do consider checking in ahead of travel.

  • You will be limited to a maximum of 1-2 dogs per passenger.
  • Dogs may not be permitted during peak/busy times.
  • Dogs are not allowed to sit on seats.
  • Charges may apply for admittance.
  • Dogs must be kept on a short leash at all times, or smaller dogs may need to be kept in a carrier.
  • You may be required to sit/stand in certain areas.

Suggestions When Traveling With A Dog On A Bus

The following recommendations will ensure that you have a calm, successful journey with your dog.

Check With The Bus Company First

Before you even set out, or buy a ticket, be sure to check in with the bus company/companies that you intend on traveling with.

Ask about their dog policies and any advice should they permit dogs.

Examples include:

  • What are the best times to travel?
  • What rules are in place?
  • Where is the best place to sit/stand?
  • Etc.

Short Journeys To Begin With

If you can, test a journey or two.

Make sure they are short and get your dog used to the experience.

This way, you can see how they respond and how they fare before embarking on a long journey.

Opt For Larger Buses

This may or may not be possible, depending on the route/location.

Though, if you can, opt for larger, less-busy buses that will afford you more room/space on board.

Toilet Before You Get On

Pretty self-explanatory and obvious this one, but it’s a good idea to ensure your dog has a chance to go before you get on.

The closer to your travel time, the better.

Also, do take poop bags with you, just in case.

Keep An Eye On Your Dog

There will likely be a mix of people on the bus.

Young children, old people, those not confident around dogs, etc.

Thus, you need to keep a close eye on your dog at all times – limit interactions and be sure that everyone is kept safe and comfortable around your dog.

Insurance Is Advisable

If you do not have an insurance policy in place, I’d strongly recommend you get one set up before you travel.

You do not want to be liable should you dog nip or hurt a fellow passenger.

Even if your dog is generally well-behaved, if they feel stressed or anxious, they may act out of character.

Avoid Buses With Dogs On

It’s a good idea to peer through the window and have a quick check that no other dogs are on board already.

If they are, and if you have the time, try to catch the next bus.

At the very least, stand/sit away from the other dog/owner.

When Not To Travel On A Bus With Your Dog

The following are situations when taking a dog on a bus may not be advisable.

During Hot Weather

On extremely hot days, buses are not a particularly nice place for dogs to be.

Especially if they are busy when they are more likely to be stuffy.

So, you could either leave earlier in the day (before the bus warms up) or look for another arrangement.

Such as getting a train, if possible.

During Peak Times/Holidays

It’s a good idea to steer clear of buses during peak times or even school/public holidays (when lots of young kids/other people may be on board).


Dogs are typically allowed on buses, but not always.

Still, even when they are permitted by the company, just bear in mind that the driver may have their own say on the day.

Related Questions

Are dogs allowed on London buses?

Dogs are allowed on London Buses. At least those that are operated by TFL. Independent London-based bus companies may, however, have their own separate policies – so checking with them first is advised.

Are dogs allowed on Stagecoach buses?

Dogs are typically allowed on Stagecoach buses, though it is ultimately up to the driver. If permitted, dogs do need to be kept on a leash and must be kept off seats. A charge/fee applies, too, though the cost will vary by Stagecoach bus company.

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