Ride sharing services Uber and Lyft are increasingly pet friendly, and in most cases, you can now catch a ride with your pet. Typically, traditional taxi cabs place several restrictions on allowing pets to ride, and many taxi companies may exclude pets altogether, leaving many dog owners out of luck. Luckily, Uber and Lyft offer convenient ride options for those who need to transport their pets.
Catch an Uber With Your Pet
Fortunately, a pet-friendly Uber isn't difficult to find. Uber has a special service, known as Uber Pet, that allows you to bring your furry friend along for the ride. If you have a service animal, they can ride in an Uber without selecting Uber Pet. Uber Pet allows one pet per ride, but if you have more than one, you can ask the Uber driver for permission to bring another along. If you have a pet that isn't a cat or dog, they may also be accepted at the Uber driver's discretion.
Uber Pet costs more than other options and if your dog leaves excessive hair or damages the Uber driver's vehicle, you may be charged a fee. It's also important to note that your pet has no insurance coverage. If an accident were to occur, neither the driver nor Uber is responsible for injuries to your pet.
Uber Pet is now available in more than 20 U.S. cities, including New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, with plans for expansion. The service works just like traditional Uber does. You request your ride through the app and wait for your driver to arrive.
Get a Pet-friendly Lyft
Although Lyft allows dogs and cats in general, the driver has the final say on whether or not to allow the pet to accompany them on the ride. Unlike Uber, Lyft does not have a specialized pet service, so when you're searching for your ride, you can simply book the ride on the regular part of the app or website.
If the pet is a service animal, it is authorized; nevertheless, as a courtesy, you should inform the driver that you will be traveling with a service animal. If you don't have a service animal, and you would like your dog to come along, you can cancel the ride and request a new ride. If there is a cancellation fee, you can call Lyft to take care of the fee.
Americans with Disabilities Act and Ride-sharing
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as any dog that is trained to perform tasks for the benefit of someone with a disability. The ADA states that drivers cannot ask riders about their disability before allowing them to ride. If someone claims they have a service animal without any proof of certification, it's illegal for drivers to deny them access to their vehicle. If you fraudulently claim your dog as a service dog, and they are not, you can face serious legal consequences.
For those who are Uber or Lyft drivers, if you're using your own car, you might not know how many passengers are allowed at one time, so check with your company's rules before making any assumptions about how many pets can be brought inside your vehicle at once.
Don't Forget to Tip Your Driver
Since the driver has the option to cancel your ride due to a pet request, it's recommended you provide a tip for their acceptance. Pets can be a distraction and can cause a bit of a mess, even if it's only a bit of fur left behind in their car. Providing them with a tip is a good way to show your appreciation.
Ride-sharing Etiquette for Dogs
Consider these tips on how to prepare your pet and yourself for a smooth and pleasant experience for everyone before sending your driver a request for a pet-friendly ride with your furry companion.
Use the Back Seat
If you need to rideshare with your dog, it's best to keep them in the back seat. Your pet should not sit in the front seat of the vehicle. It is possible for your dog or cat to be injured from the airbag deploying or from being thrown around when an accident occurs. Also, if you are involved in a collision, sitting next to an unrestrained pet may cause serious injury for both of you. In some cases, animals can even jump out of moving vehicles when they see another animal on their side of the window.
While it's always nice to bring your dog along for the ride, it can be difficult to transport them in most vehicles. This is where dog car seats come into play. Dog car seats allow you to safely and easily transport your dog from one place to another without having to worry about if they'll be comfortable on the way there.
Also, remember that dogs shouldn't wear collars while riding in cars because they could get caught on something inside the vehicle and possibly strangled. Put your pet into a seat belt harness with their car seat so they aren't able to roam freely around the car.
Bring a Towel
As a pet owner, you have the responsibility to clean up after your pet. You should always bring a bag and towel or blanket to lay on the seat before placing their dog seat in the vehicle. This prevents damages or messes from staying in the driver's vehicle.
Travel Safety for Cats
Cats are a bit more complicated when it comes to car safety. If you have an indoor cat, it's likely that your pet has never been in a car. There are a couple of options when it comes to cat safety while on your ride.
Using a harness instead of tethering or clipping your cat into the seatbelt itself is recommended. While there are some cats that do not mind being restrained by their owners, many others will get scared and start thrashing around when they see themselves trapped inside a moving vehicle. The best option is to put on a harness when you get in the vehicle because it allows them to move around a little, unless you feel they may become car sick. In that case, you may want to grab a carrier.
If you don't already have one, pick up a carrier so that if at any point during your journey there's an issue, you can confine your cat inside this space where no harm can come from them being loose. Keeping your cat in a carrier will also help prevent a mess in the driver's vehicle. To make the ride more comfortable, you can place a towel or blanket inside the carrier.
Keep Your Cat Calm
Keep your cat calm and quiet. If you have a nervous cat, try to keep them in their carrier while traveling. This way they can safely hide and relax as opposed to being exposed to the sights, sounds, and movement of the car ride. If your cat is already accustomed to riding in a carrier, make sure it is secure but comfortable enough for them so they don't feel trapped or shut down by the experience.
Give your cat treats and toys to keep them entertained. Try putting treats inside their carrier or on top of it so they have something fun to do while sitting inside during the trip. You can also provide toys that encourage playtime. Crinkle balls or a play mouse, for example, can be helpful along the ride.
Get the Most Out of Your Ride
Bringing your dog or cat along in a pet-friendly Uber or Lyft can be a good way to travel, but it's important to keep their safety and well-being in mind. By following these tips, you can ensure that your pet is happy and healthy for the duration of the ride.