Lyft and Uber Pet Policy: A Guide for Drivers


You may love animals and want to welcome them into your car as much, or even more, than any other passenger, or you may not want to let them anywhere near your vehicle. In either case, you need to know the rules for carrying pets as passengers because those guidelines may be more important than you think. What about the Lyft and Uber pet policy?

Here's what we cover:

Understanding pet transportation rules

It’s your car, and it’s your body that might have an allergic reaction or aversion to animals. Are there really instances when you have to take an animal into your car? 

In the case of service animals, the answer is yes. 

The requirement to accept service animals is not only a rule imposed by your gig service company, it’s the law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires all government offices and businesses (including rideshare drivers) to accept service animals.

According to the ADA, service animals include dogs of any breed or size that are trained to perform a task directly related to a person’s disability.

If you are reported by a potential passenger for refusing to allow a service dog into your car, and an investigation by your rideshare platform proves that you refused them, you can be immediately and permanently deactivated from the driving app, whether it’s Uber or Lyft.

How can you know for sure if a passenger’s dog is a service animal?

To be honest, you can’t. The passenger is not required to present any papers or put special tags or other designations on the dog to prove that it’s a service animal. You’re only allowed to ask the passenger two questions:

  1. Is the service animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

The consensus, and the expectation of rideshare platforms is that most people are honest about the roles their animals play in their lives. As a driver, you’re just going to have to trust them. 

And, according to many people with disabilities, they expect you to understand and help by preparing to take them and their animals. After all, people with disabilities need rideshare services and depend on them to live a comparatively everyday life.

What about pets that aren’t service animals?

It makes sense to try to accommodate your passengers’ needs to transport their pets because you’ll be able to make their experience with you more pleasurable. That will most likely mean you get higher ratings and more significant tips.

Of course, each driver has different preferences, and you do have options. You decide if and under which circumstances you’ll agree to take a pet on board. Let’s look at the pet policies of both Uber and Lyft to see exactly what these options are.

Uber’s policy when it comes to pets on rides

Uber’s pet policy addresses both service animals and other pets. You always have the option of accepting passengers with pets. Now, though, there’s Uber Pet. With this service, your customer’s requests will be marked similarly to UberX rides. You can opt to take the passenger and pet, depending on your wishes. Uber’s customers are charged extra for Uber Pet rides, and you’ll get paid a little more for them! Opt into Uber Pet rides from the work hub in the Uber app.

What is the Uber policy when it comes to cats?

This is an Uber pet policy cat lovers can appreciate as well. Uber drivers are expected to accept feline friends as part of the Uber Pet arrangement. When it comes to more exotic pets, from ferrets and hamsters to monitor lizards and boa constrictors, you can make the call. You won’t be penalized for refusing these pets.

What is Uber’s policy if a pet or service animal leaves a mess?

Cleaning fees can be applied if a passenger’s pet soils your vehicle, and the passenger won’t be refunded, except in most cases involving service animals. Your rideshare company will still reimburse you, but your passengers with service animals will have their cleaning fees refunded if the only mess is caused by shedding. If a service dog’s excessive hair or bodily fluids are part of the mess, the rider will not be charged for the first two incidents, but after that, the cleaning fee will not be refunded.

When you decide to accept Uber Pet rides, you will want to carry a tarp or a blanket for your backseat to prevent your car from being covered in pet hair. If you are allergic, or if you just don’t dig dogs or care for cats, be sure you opt out of Uber Pet on the app’s work hub. You, as a driver, still are required to take service dogs in your vehicle, though, so taking along that tarp or blanket is always a good idea.

What are Lyft’s policies for pets, and cleaning up after them?

Lyft pet policy is similar to Uber’s, but there is no special pet-friendly option for passengers. In general, customers are asked to call and tell you that they have an animal with them. If you’re not willing to take their pet, you can cancel the ride and make yourself available for another one. In this case, the customer won’t be charged a cancellation fee.

If a pet makes a mess in your car, you’d report it like any other damage. Lyft doesn’t state any specific company policy about how you’d be reimbursed for cleaning up after animals, and there is no distinction between soiling or other damage caused by service dogs versus ordinary pets. If you have to deal with a major mess left by a rider’s animal, Lyft recommends that you report the damage and seek reimbursement.

Does Lyft’s pet policy leave room for your own service animal? 

What if you need to have a service animal with you? Under the law, you’re permitted to have a service animal with you while you’re driving. It’s polite and a smart policy, though, to call or otherwise inform your passengers that they can expect to meet your friend when they ride with you. Some people are allergic to or afraid of animals, and being in a car with one could be very unpleasant for them.

For safety as well as the comfort of your customers, consider restraining or kennelling your service animal, at least while others are in the car with you. This way, your furry friend will be able to remain focused on you, and won’t be distracted by passengers’ adoring comments.

What about emotional support animals?

In case you’re wondering, emotional support animals are not classified under the law the same way service animals are. Lyft’s pet policy doesn’t require you to accept rides with animals other than service dogs. 

Just like with any pet, you can accept the animal or let the rider find a driver willing to take the ride. Remember, riders are instructed to inform you when they request the ride that they have a pee.

You can’t bring your pet or an emotional support animal for your rides, though. You’ll have to settle for meeting the furry friends your passengers might bring in. Carry along some sort of covering for your back seat so they can ride comfortably and still let you keep your car looking clean and fresh.

How to maximize your rideshare efficiency and service quality

Your rideshare driving experience is better when you go out of your way to provide safe and friendly service to your customers. You have the right to set your boundaries, including whether you will agree to transport someone’s pet in your vehicle. Being honest and courteous about expressing your preferences is always a good bet.

You have lots of reasons to drive for Uber and Lyft, including more freedom, time, and additional earnings. Knowing policies about pets, providing honest and sincere customer service, and accommodating your passengers’ requests with kindness and courtesy will help you get bigger tips!

It’s also smart to have the tools you need with you at all times to run your rideshare gig right. Gridwise makes managing your business easy by giving you

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See the difference having a way to manage all your gigs in one place can make!

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