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Lyft Pet Policy: Everything You Need To Know

Last updated: October 9, 2021
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vector graphic showing a Lyft pet hanging its head out the window of a lyft rideshare vehicle

Whether you’re heading into town or making an emergency trip to the vet, sometimes you need to bring your pet along on a rideshare ride.

Before your driver gets there, make sure you know this information about the Lyft pet policy and if you can bring yours along for the ride.

Lyft Pet Policy

While human passengers are allowed in Lyft vehicles, your furry friends are another story.

There are certain rules around pets in Lyft vehicles that you’ll have to follow to bring your pets along with you when ride-sharing.

vector graphic showing a man inside of the back set of a lyft vehicle to illustrate the lyft pet policy

Are You Allowed to Take Pets in a Lyft?

When it comes to service animals, drivers are not able to discriminate against riders with these animals.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal to discriminate against those with disabilities, including how their disabilities are mitigated or treated.

This law means that service dogs or emotional support animals are always allowed in Lyft vehicles.

However, it’s a different story with regular pets.

Since normal pets aren’t required to be accommodated by Lyft drivers, bringing a pet is up to the discretion of the driver.

Drivers are allowed to refuse a passenger with a pet if they so choose.

But, they must let Lyft know that is why they canceled the ride – that they abided by the Lyft pet policy but weren’t comfortable taking yours.

Can You Bring Pets in Carriers?

Being in a carrier doesn’t change anything regarding Lyft’s ridesharing rules.

While the driver might appreciate that a pet is in a carrier rather than roaming the vehicle, the driver only has to take the pet if they are a service animal.

Having a towel or blanket for the pet doesn’t help much either.

But be aware that not all drivers for Lyft have vehicles that can accommodate carriers.

Lyft car requirements are somewhat standard, and as long as the driver meets those requirements, they don’t worry too much about space.

If a driver can’t take the carrier, they’ll ask that either you leave the pet behind or find another driver.

This request isn’t the driver trying to be mean.

It’s just them telling you what they can and can’t accommodate.

Lyft Policy for Service Animals

Lyft has a strict “always say yes” policy when it comes to service animals.

Now, the individual will have to provide proof that the animal is a service animal.

But, a combination of both federal law and Lyft’s policies require that their drivers accommodate service animals to the best of their abilities.

There are zero exceptions for this policy listed on their website.

This rule exists because of the ADA.

The law requires that folks with accommodations for their disabilities be attended to as any other individual and not discriminated against.

Mental disability is included in this law, as well.

This law is the reason why you will see things like ramps and lifts for those in wheelchairs.

That same law affects service animals.

Does Lyft Have a Pet Service?

According to its website, Lyft does not have a dedicated pet ridesharing option for its services.

Instead, Lyft leaves it up to the driver to decide if they want to bring a pet along for the ride.

The driver can choose what kinds of pets they allow in their car.

If a driver doesn’t want to deal with a particular breed, such as a German Shepherd, or only prefers driving small animals, they have that choice.

It’s important to remember that Lyft drivers are using their vehicles.

They may not want to risk a pet making a mess in the car when they have to pick up other folks.

It’s easy to forget this because of how convenient Lyft is.

Still, being considerate to the driver it’s an easy way to make your rideshare enjoyable.

Pro Tip:

Most drivers use the best cars for Lyft.

Read up to be aware of what these cars are so you have a good idea of what vehicle to expect to pull up when requesting a Lyft ride level.

How Do I Request a Pet-Friendly Lyft?

Right now, there isn’t a way to make a reservation for a pet-friendly Lyft ride.

The best that you can do for the time being is to let your driver know that you have a pet and let them decide if they want to make the drive or not.

This lack of function in the ride-sharing requests comes down to costs.

Because pets can be messy, there can be an additional charge with other driver services to transport pets.

Lyft hasn’t yet implemented the infrastructure it needs to give these options to passengers.

Until then, restrictions on pets will continue to be set by the driver.

How Do I Let My Lyft Driver Know I Have a Pet?

When bringing your pet along on a Lyft ride, the best practice you can have is to call your driver before pickup.

When you request the ride, you should see a phone number associated with the driver coming to get you.

Call that phone number and let the driver know that you have a pet with you.

Because Lyft drivers are always out on the road, they cannot respond to text messages or emails.

Placing a phone call is the fastest way to contact a driver and let them know what’s going on.

By doing this, you give the driver a heads up and provide them with the chance to decide if they want to pick up you and your pet or not.

If a driver decides not to do the pickup, the Lyft app will go about finding a new driver for you.

Call your drivers as they are assigned to you so you can let them know what’s going on until you find a driver that’ll take your pet along with you.

Tips for Bringing a Pet in a Lyft

While you might go out of your way to be considerate while in someone else’s car, your pet may not do the same.

Lyft vehicle with a clipboard next to it - items are checked off because the vehicle has met lyft car requirements

Here are some tips to help make sure your pet doesn’t interfere with the driver too much:

  • Have your pet sit or lie down for as much of the drive as possible.
  • If you bring a carrier with you, have the pet stay in the carrier as much as possible, so they aren’t tempted to wander around during the ride.
  • Have your pets relieve themselves before you get them to the car, so there are no accidents during the trip.

By doing these three things, you’ll show your driver that you appreciate what they’re doing and that you’re not trying to make their life difficult.

1. No Means No

When you call the driver to let them know that you have a pet, there’s a chance they’ll say no to your pickup.

Whatever reason the driver has doesn’t change the fact that you won’t be getting into their car for that trip.

Lyft’s official policy on nonservice animals is that the driver can refuse to take the pet if they desire.

Don’t make a scene, don’t yell at the driver, and don’t try to report the driver because they told you no.

It’s their right to choose, and unfortunately, that’s something you have to accept.

2. Don’t Lie About Service Animals

Be honest about whether your pet is a service animal or not.

If you get matched with a driver that doesn’t normally take pets, they might want to see proof of service before letting you into the car.

If you don’t have that proof because you lied, you’ll have wasted both your and your driver’s time.

3. Tip Well

When the ride is done, show your driver your appreciation by tipping them as well as you can.

Pets can be a lot to handle, especially for those not used to them.

Plus, they can be a distraction on the road.

A nice tip will show your driver I appreciate what they’ve done for you and possibly motivate them to pick up others with pets in the future.

Suggested Read:

Do you tip Lyft drivers? How much is best practice?

Alternative: Uber Pet

vector graphic showing a woman sitting alongside her dog in an Uber Pet branded vehicle

Uber’s policies on pets are very similar to Lyft’s.

The main difference between the two ride-sharing services is that Uber allows you to select pet-friendly rides as part of its service options.

Just make sure you know that this option increases the overall price of your ride.

This increase in cost is because certain drivers may not be willing to take pets, while others expect a higher compensation for the fuss.

Be prepared to pay a little bit more for your furry friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about pet-friendly lift rides:

Can I bring my dog as a Lyft driver?

According to Lyft’s nonservice animal policy, it is not okay for Lyft drivers to have their pets in the car while working.

Lyft drivers should leave their pets at home or in the care of someone I trust before working with Lyft for the day.

Does Lyft have a Lyft pet option?

Lyft does not have a pet-friendly option as part of its services.

Make sure that a driver will pick up your pet, give them a call when you match with the driver, and see what they think.

Lyft drivers can refuse non-service animals from entering the car.

Wrapping Up

While Lyft does not have any pet-friendly options as part of its main features, you can bring your pet along for a ride.

When you match with the driver, let the driver know that you have a pet with you and see if they will pick it up with you.

Make sure that you make the ride as easy as possible for the driver and tip them well when you reach your destination.

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