New dog-friendly train carriage design revealed

With dog owners in the UK getting ready to commute back to the office, Bought By Many, has teamed-up transport and dog behaviour experts to design a more dog friendly train carriage.

The design has been created in response to new research from Bought By Many that reveals almost one in five dog owners are now planning to take their pets into work with them as employers are now more flexible about dogs in the office. Of these, 37% are planning to travel with their four-legged friend via public transport – 43% travelling at least every day or a few days a week.

With 12 million dogs in the UK, this equates to 840,000 pups on trains, tubes and buses.

While three quarters say they will be adapting their working hours and commute so it’s easier to travel with their dogs, nearly eight in ten say public transport lacks suitable facilities, while 53% are concerned about their canine commuting companions feeling anxious on public transport. Other fears include annoying other passengers who don’t like dogs (44%) and their dog going to the toilet on the journey (43%).

With 72% of dog owners believing public transport could be adapted to accommodate their pooches, Bought By Many has worked with leading dog trainer and behaviourist, Oli Juste and transport design practice, PriestmanGoode to design a dog friendly zone for the train carriage that offers a more positive commuting experience for dogs.

The dog friendly zone includes:

  • Safe covered space – for dogs between seats with acoustic material to shield from the noise of the commute (this space can also be used for luggage when not occupied by dogs)
  • Further safe space under passenger seating – this can be full seats for smaller dogs to sit underneath, or flipped up for larger breeds to have more space
  • Cooling mat – to cool dogs on hot days
  • Water refill and treat area – a recessed area for water top ups for thirsty dogs and a treat dispenser to reward good behaviour
  • Amenity area – to hold emergency poo bags and a hook to hang a lead
  • Water bowl area – for a quick refreshment

Oli Juste, dog expert and behaviourist, said: “Trains and buses, particularly during busy rush hours can be stressful for dogs, especially for those who haven’t been socialised in crowded environments because of lockdown. With more dogs expected to join their owners on the commute, we need to consider how we make the experience as comfortable as possible. The dog-friendly train zone is a way of exploring how we can create the optimal environment for them.”

Steven O’Callaghan, Senior Insurance Product Manager, at Bought By Many said: “The world of work has changed dramatically over the past year and many dog owners are now thinking about how to balance looking after their dog with the return to the office. For many owners, leaving a pet at home alone or organising doggy day care can be stressful and costly, so improved commuting options as well as flexibility from employers about allowing different commute times to avoid peak rush hour and dog-friendly offices will be welcomed by thousands of pet parents up and down the country. We have reflected the needs of these owners in our policies so they are covered at home, on the commute or in the office.”

Kirsty Dias, Managing Director of design agency PriestmanGoode, said: “We’re delighted to have worked with Bought By Many on visualising the perfect pup commute. We see an opportunity to rethink the design of carriages to create an environment that is comfortable and stress free for dogs, as well as their human companions. While some of the ideas, such as special cooling mats on the floor, are specifically designed to ensure the dog’s wellbeing, we have also implemented other ideas that have a variety of functions and can benefit different users. For example, flip up seats create more space for not only large dogs, but also passengers with prams or wheelchair users. It’s about ensuring flexibility and making sure that the future of the daily commute is comfortable for all passengers, both human and canine.”