Etiquette When Using Rideshares With Pets
Owning a car can be expensive. On top of the price of buying the car itself, you also have to pay for insurance, gas, and maintenance. Plus, some cities simply aren’t driver-friendly. If you’ve decided that owning a car simply isn’t in the cards for you, you’re probably already using rideshares. These make it easy to get where you need to go quickly without having to own a car yourself.
But how does your dog get around? Most rideshare apps have pet policies stating that pets are allowed but it is up to the driver’s discretion. Keep reading to learn how to navigate rideshares with your pet and to learn some simple points of etiquette.
Are Pets Allowed in Rideshares?
From the moment rideshares became available in 2009, they have changed the way people travel. Depending where you live, you may be able to get a rideshare sooner and at a lower price than you can hail a taxi or even drive yourself. But what about bringing your pet along for the ride?
Most rideshare companies have general pet policies that allow pets at the driver’s discretion. This is important because drivers for most companies are contractors, not employees, and they use their own cars to drive. This being the case, it would be near-impossible to enforce a blanket pet policy. Instead, passengers are encouraged to contact drivers directly to ask about pets.
Simple Points of Etiquette for Ridesharing with Pets
The most important thing to remember is that even though you are hiring a driver to take you somewhere, it is probably their personal vehicle. It is very rude to call a rideshare and accept a ride for yourself and your dog without informing the driver that your pet will be riding as well.
Here are some basic tips for rideshare etiquette for riding with your dog:
- As soon as you are paired with a driver, call them and ask if it is okay to bring your dog in the car – if they say no, you can cancel the request and try again.
- When your ride arrives, show off how calm and well-behaved your dog is – he should be sitting nicely beside you, on a leash, to settle any worries your driver might have.
- Bring along a towel or blanket to spread over the seat. Even if your dog isn’t a big shedder, it’s still polite to keep pet hair off the seats that your driver might have to clean after you leave.
- Always tip your driver well to show your appreciation for his flexibility.
- If your dog makes a mess in the car, clean it up yourself and ask your driver how they want to handle the situation – some companies compensate drivers for mess and others don’t.
The next time you grab your keys and open your phone to call a rideshare, ask yourself whether you really need to leave your pet behind. As long as you communicate with your driver and follow basic etiquette rules, your pet can join you in your ride!
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
More by Kate Barrington