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Can an Uber Driver Have their Dog Along?

Beagle looking out of the cracked window of a parked car.

Pets are cherished members of families. They bring joy, service, and companionship for years. Leaving them unattended and neglected is not an option, but that can make working arrangements more difficult when you own pets with issues like needing frequent medication or severe attachment issues.

Uber’s drivers have the ability to take both companion pets and service animals along with them on rides. Before you load yourself and your dog into the car for a money-making ride, take a moment to learn the risks and responsibilities.

How does an Uber driver need to manage a pet?

Safety dog inside the car.

Although Uber has no specific requirements about their drivers’ pets, there are a few steps that drivers should take to best ensure safe and satisfying rides.

First, there are logistical concerns. Be sure to account for the animal’s space when taking jobs. Your pet will limit the total amount of space in your vehicle, which may stop you from taking higher tiers of work.

Putting the animal into the cargo area can also take off from luggage space that will occasionally rake in extra cash.

The animal should be leashed or otherwise under control at all times. Seat harnesses for dogs are relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and may save your dog’s life. Strongly consider getting one if you plan on frequently bringing a dog or another large four-legged friend with you.

While every animal deserves love, some have developed habits that are not well-suited to being a travel companion.

Animals that are exceptionally agitated, violent, noisy, or panicked while riding in a vehicle should not be regular companions while driving an Uber. Drivers are not allowed to refuse rides to anyone with a service animal, per company policy and many laws, so animals that are aggressive to other animals can present problems – even if you don’t sign up for the Uber Pet driver option.

Most importantly, an agitated animal presents an immediate safety risk that’s present every time you take a trip. While laws requiring vehicle restraints for animals are not widespread, an unmanaged animal that causes driver distraction or other safety issues may result in legal punishments.

It can also exacerbate the physical and mental health issues of the animal. Lastly, the animal may cause you to receive a lower rating from riders.

Can I take my pet on an Uber ride?

Cat carrier with striped cat under anesthetic, sleeping after surgery at veterinarian.

Uber riders have the option to sign up for the Uber Pet service when they book their trip. Any single pet can come along for the ride. There is a small extra fee to select the service, varying with the area and overall price shifts. This option is not available for UberPool rides, which is reasonable given the larger number of potential issues with more riders. It is also not available in all service areas.

With larger or multiple animals, it can help to include a pickup note detailing the quantity, size, and type of the animals and their travel containers. You can also call the driver after they accept the job, although you might spend some time talking to multiple drivers that way. Either option can serve as a way to get an animal-friendly ride in areas without the Uber Pet option.

When booking a ride, treat each large animal or container as a needed seat, and consider upgrading to a larger ride like UberXL if you have 5 or 6 seats worth of people and animals. Drivers are only required to take one animal, so the extra steps to make sure they don’t get there and have too many passengers and paw-ssengers will save everybody time and money.

Service animals on Uber rides

Golden retriever helps the owner to cross the street.

Service animals receive a special exception to these rules to account for their importance in their owners’ daily lives. Owners do not have to pay for the Uber Pet service and can take their service animals onto UberPool rides.

If you have a large service pet, ask for an extra seat for them when using UberPool to make sure that the vehicle has enough room. Uber will refund the cost of the second seat for service animals if you fill out the form available on their website.

What does a rider need to do when bringing a pet on an Uber ride?

No matter what type of animal you take on the ride, you will be expected to manage any hair, waste, or other damage caused by the animal. Excessive damage may result in fines for repairs and cleaning. Like drivers, passengers also have a rating given to them by drivers that might be influenced by an unruly animal that causes chaos.

I’ve tried to drive while an angry cat who escaped from a haphazard container panics in the cabin, so trust me when I say that paying a small amount for a proper carrier is worth the cost. Other animals who have anxiety around vehicles, people, or other animals should also be contained if at all possible for the ride’s safety.

Take the animal to the bathroom before the ride. When getting into the vehicle, use a thick blanket or other covering on the seat to minimize the amount of hair leftover from a shaggy shedder. A little hair will escape, but it’s better than letting the seat fabric endure the brunt of the assault.

Keep the pet leashed and under control for the duration of the trip. Minimize the amount of disturbance the animal causes the driver as much as possible so they can focus on the road.

Does Lyft allow drivers to have pets?

Like Uber drivers, Lyft drivers can bring their pets along with them on rides. Also, like Uber drivers, they need to consider the safety and quality of their trips when deciding to take an animal. The same concerns about ride safety, animal safety, legal liabilities, and customer satisfaction hold true for both rideshare companies.

Can I take my pet on a Lyft ride?

Lyft drivers have the final say on whether or not they will carry riders with pets. Service animals can’t be denied a spot based on Lyft’s company policy, and the driver risks deactivation of their account for falsely accusing someone of lying about a service animal’s status.

Because there’s no convenient option like “Lyft Pet”, you will need to leave a note or call the driver after they accept the job to let them know that you have pets that you’d like to bring with you.

With no service option forcing Lyft drivers to accept pets, making sure your animal is calm and ready to go on a car trip will help you get a ride in a reasonable amount of time. Your passenger rating will also benefit from keeping the animal behaving well, and a higher passenger rating will lead to shorter wait times and a higher likelihood of pet-friendly rides in the future.