Are All Taxis Pet Friendly?
If you’re a dog or cat owner, or just an animal lover, then you’re probably the kind of person who wants to take your pet with you everywhere you go. We know that small dogs and cats are allowed on planes, as long as they are well-behaved and can fit under the seat. But how do owners go about getting their pets to the airport? This leads us to a question that we are often asked as a taxi company in the Tri-Valley: are all taxis pet friendly? While our drivers are happy to transport your four-legged friends, that’s not true for every cab company – or every driver within each company, for that matter.
Reasons Cab Drivers Adopt a No Pets Policy
As you can imagine, there are reasons that certain drivers might choose to not allow pets in their cab. For one, pets can be messy. A dog that is shy or timid – or just not used to travelling in a car – might pee, which would cost the driver hundreds of dollars in missed fares and cleanup fees. It’s also surprisingly difficult to get the smell out of upholstery. And of course the hair. Whether you love pets or not, dogs and cats shed, and a car with darker interior will show every bit of pet hair, which could look unattractive to future riders.
You also have to think about the driver, since he or she could be allergic to pets and not want to have a watery-eyed, sneezing and coughing fit while taking you to your destination. And, of course, not all dogs are the most well-behaved. The driver might not want a barking dog in their back seat, since it can be a huge distraction.
Reasons Cab Drivers Allow Pets
All of the above reasons aside, many taxi drivers are pet friendly. It might be because they have pets themselves and sympathize, but it’s also likely the fact that allowing pets in their taxi cab means more money for them. As long as your pet is quiet and well-mannered, there’s really no skin off the driver’s back. Any pet hair left on the upholstery can easily be removed with a lint roller.
Do Uber and Lyft Allow Pets?
Uber and Lyft are a bit different from legitimate taxi cab companies. Why? Because each individual driver is using his or her personal vehicle, and that means they can decide who enters (or doesn’t) their car. And with the outrageous cleanup fees that some drivers are charging their customers, you want to make sure to protect yourself as a passenger.
Instead of waiting for your Lyft or Uber driver to arrive to find out, you can call the driver right after requesting a ride. Let them know that you have a pet, and be honest about its size and temperament. The driver can usually tell you right over the phone if they’re willing to give your pet a ride. If not, no worries – just order a different driver and repeat the process.
How to Boost Your Chances
All things aside, there are several ways you can boost your chances of getting a pet friendly taxi, and avoiding any ridiculous fees if your pet does make a mess. In addition to following best practices as a passenger, you should also consider the following when traveling in a cab with your pet:
1.Call ahead of time.
We already mentioned this for driving with Lyft or Uber, but really, you should be calling whichever taxi service you choose ahead of time. Be confirming via phone that pets are allowed in the cab, you’ll save yourself stress and time.
2.Train your dog.
Make sure your dog is well-trained, and that you have it on a leash. When the cab driver approaches, have your dog sit calmly to show that he’s on his best behavior. We recommend bringing lots of treats so you can reward him during the ride, too.
3.Bring a carrier.
Letting your dog hop into a cab is just asking for trouble. It’s highly recommended that you bring a carrier or crate for smaller dogs, that way you protect the driver and the inside of the car from any mishaps.
Accidents DO happen. Just assume that your dog might get over-excited, or that his hair will get everywhere. Bring a towel to put down on the seat where the dog will be sitting so that when it’s time to go, you can remove the towel and any trace of dog hair with it. This is also great for rainy days.
5.Give a generous tip.
Remember to tip nicely, since your cab driver is doing you a service by allowing your dog or other pet to travel in his vehicle.
What are your thoughts on pet friendly taxis? Share your comments below!