Tips

Tips for drivers: taking dogs in Uber rides

April 24, 2019 / United Kingdom

Can you take a dog in an Uber ride? Often, the choice will be yours about whether you choose to let a dog into your car.

But there will also be times where you are required by law to take the rider’s dog. Read on for details.

Dogs in Uber rides

Dogs in Uber rides: general rules

First, the ground rules: you must always allow service dogs in Uber rides to accompany their riders – it’s the law.

Service dogs provide their owners with assistance to help with a range of disabilities, such as deafness or blindness, not all of which may be immediately apparent. Keep in mind that these animals may need to sit next to their owner, and that you shouldn’t interact with the animal as it may distract them from their duties.

With non-service animals however, whether it’s an emotional support animal or just a pet, you have the final say on taking them in the ride.

The rider may send you a message via the app, or phone, if they are going to bring a dog with them. We encourage pet owners to be as specific as possible about their dog’s breed and size, so you can be sure to know whether your vehicle is big enough for both the animal and its human.

In terms of which animals are allowed, any animal classed as a domestic pet can be accepted in an Uber vehicle, so don’t be surprised to see riders with cats, bunnies or even a guinea pig from time to time.

The canine is the owner’s responsibility – be clear that the passenger must stay in the car with their pet for the whole journey, and remind them of this obligation if it appears in doubt.

Dogs in Uber rides

Exemption certificates

The only instance in which you can say no to a rider with an assistance dog, is for medical reasons. To do this, you must obtain an exemption certificate in advance from your local licensing authority, and have it in your car for every trip.

Providing a dog-friendly Uber ride

If you think you’re going to be taking a lot of animals, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you provide a dog-friendly Uber ride. From dog-proofing your car to ensuring the dog is comfortable during the ride, here are some of the best ways to keep those tails wagging:

Checklist for dog-proofing your vehicle

The first thing to do is to get your car ready for an animal passenger.

Covered seats

Using seat coverings, floor mats and window cover sheets, which, by the way, may also help when driving in winter can ensure no marks or stains are left behind on the leather or paw and nose prints on the glass.

Designated dog spot

Selecting a specific seat or doggy area, complete with a mat and/or blanket can help make sure the rest of the car won’t be made messy. Remember however the owner of a service animal may need their canine companion to sit somewhere different to assist them.

Cleaning kit

Consider stocking up on wipes, air fresheners and similar in case of lingering doggy whiffs, mucky paw marks – or worse. If your car requires professional cleaning, you should take photographs of the mess, keep the receipt from the cleaning and contact us.

Harnessed and secure

The Highway Code states that dogs or other animals must be suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving. Be sure either the rider or you have a suitable way of doing this before setting off, whether it’s seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage, dog guard or some other type of restraint.

Dogs in Uber rides

Keeping the canine comfortable

There are also a few, basic common-sense things you can do to keep the canine comfortable and happy:

  • Keep the temperature in the car cool, using the air conditioning if necessary
  • Stop when the passenger asks or regularly on long journeys
  • Keep a water supply for any animals, especially on warm days
  • Equally, while this is unlikely to apply, ensure no animal is ever left in a hot vehicle
  • If you can, especially with regular riders, try and make sure the creature hasn’t had a heavy meal before travelling

You also have to use common sense when it comes to taking dogs in Uber rides: don’t let the passenger allow their animal to hang its head out of the window for example. But with some extra forward thinking and preparation, you, your passengers and, most importantly, their four-legged friends, can all easily enjoy a hassle-free trip.