- Uber Pet is a service for passengers with pets, offering drivers an increased rate for these rides.
- Drivers can opt in to Uber Pet through the Uber app, allowing them to receive and accept requests from pet owners.
- Drivers must accommodate service animals, follow specific Uber Pet policies, and prepare their vehicle for potential pet-related messes.
- Earnings for Uber Pet rides are slightly higher than regular rides, and pets are not insured by Uber during trips.
- What Is Uber Pet?
- A Guide to Using Uber Pet as a Driver: The Dos and Don’ts
- How to Prepare for an Uber Pet Ride
- How Much Can I Earn as an Uber Pet Driver?
- Must I Allow Pet Passage on Non-Uber Pet Rides?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
What Is Uber Pet?
Uber Pet is a ride-sharing service Uber offers to passengers who want to travel with their furry friends. To accommodate this convenience, Uber offers drivers an increased rate, different from the regular UberX rate.
Uber offers drivers extra protection if a pet makes a mess inside their vehicle.
The owners must pay an extra fee of up to $40 to cover the costs of the cleanup if their pet leaves a foul smell, urine, feces, vomit, or heavy shedding in their car.
Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert
Drivers who consistently offer a high-quality Uber Pet experience can oftentimes carve out a niche with riders that love their pets.
This is a great way to gain repeat customers, referrals, and potentially even higher tips from appreciative pet owners.
My Suggestion: Test the service out and ask riders if they’d be interested in a private transportation service. Then, check out a platform like Empower or UZURV to give rides privately.
How to Become an Uber Pet Driver
The process of becoming an Uber Pet driver is simple.
You can do this by visiting your account through the Uber driver app or the website and navigate your way to “Work Hub” within the “Account” settings.
Once the Work Up appears, simply activate the “Uber Pets” option by selecting it.
Once done, you can receive and accept pet owner requests near you. You can also switch the option off if you’re tired of transporting animals and opt back in whenever you change your mind.
A Guide to Using Uber Pet as a Driver: The Dos and Don’ts
Pay attention to these dos and don’ts when you offer animal transportation service if you’re ready to become a pet-friendly driver.
1. Accommodate Service Animals
All of Uber’s services require drivers to allow service animals to accompany their humans.
There are federal and state laws in effect to ensure drivers accept such requests, all in a bid to protect U.S. citizens with disabilities. This law is also stated in Uber’s assistance animal policy.
In short, the increased Uber Pet fare doesn’t apply to service animals.
Learn the Difference Between Service and Emotional Support Animals
To ensure you’re well compensated for your service, understanding the difference between serving a service animal, an emotional support animal, and other animals is helpful.
While you’re legally required to pick up service animals, you’re not required to transport emotional support animals on Uber Pet requests.
To offer a pet-friendly ride, you can politely ask the passenger, “Do you need to travel with this animal because of a disability?”
If they answer “yes,” you may further inquire what task the animal is trained to perform.
Based on many drivers’ experiences, owners of emotional support animals don’t usually have a clear answer to this question. It’s up to you to choose whether to give them a ride.
Since you’re already offering Uber Pet trips, there’s no harm in transporting the furry friend—whether it’s a service animal or emotional support pet.
Note, though, that you’re eligible for the extra Uber pet fee if you decide to carry the latter.
2. Learn the Uber Pet Rules
Uber Pet has some policies and rules for transporting animals. The main one is to always transport riders with their service animals (to avoid getting a state or federal penalty).
As for the rest:
- Note that not all service animals will wear a harness, vest, or collar for identification.
- You’re not allowed to ask a passenger to prove their pet is a service animal or to prove they truly have a disability.
- Your allergies, fear of animals, or religion cannot exclude you from transporting a service animal.
- The rider is responsible for the animal’s behavior during the trip. Should any mishap occur, the rider is liable for damages.
3. Don’t Allow More than One Pet If You Feel Uncomfortable
Uber limits pet carriage to one pet per trip, so you don’t have to give a passenger a ride if they have more than one animal with them.
If you feel uncomfortable with the number of pets in the ride request, the responsible thing to do is decline it. Otherwise, feel free to proceed as usual.
4. Don’t Allow Pets That Pose Potential Risks
According to Uber, drivers have the right to refuse animals they deem unsafe or uncontrolled.
Uber Pet is typically designed to transport domesticated dogs and cats, but you may occasionally have to carry scaly friends as well.
If you’re transporting non-service animals that fit into any of the above categories, Uber suggests that the owners keep them in a harness, leash, or pet carrier during the trip.
5. Don’t Allow Passengers to Leave their Pets Unattended
If a passenger is running a quick errand during the trip, their pet must accompany them. Never allow a passenger to leave the pet alone in your vehicle at any time during the trip.
Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert
Effective communication with passengers prior to pickup can significantly improve the experience of transporing pets.
By clarifying expectations around pet behavior, size, and type ahead of time, drivers can ensure a smooth ride and avoid potential misunderstandings.
I also suggest discussing the vehicle setup with passengers during the ride.
Getting suggestions and feedback directly from pet owners is a great way to improve your service for future riders.
For example, I once transported a dog with bad hips. The rider suggested I get a pair of collapsible stairs to make getting dogs in and out of the vehicle without having to physically lift them.
I now keep a pair of these plastic stairs in my trunk in case this is an issue again.
How to Prepare for an Uber Pet Ride
Uber requires pet owners to be responsible for their animals, but it helps to always be ready for a furry accident during a trip.
Pets make mistakes from time to time on the road due to travel anxiety, sickness, and other factors.
Always keep a mat, towel, or blanket in your trunk during Uber Pet rides. When you accept a ride request on the app, lay it over the seat or foot areas in your vehicle to contain any pet hair, animal droppings, or mess the animal may make.
If there’s not much cleaning up to do after the trip, don’t forget to remove the spread in preparation for your next ride.
Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert
I cannot stress this enough – prepare for the ride beforehand.
Animals are much different than human riders, so fully expect a different experience while doing Uber Pet.
Human riders have logic, reason, and a good grasp (generally) of emotional control. You get some bad eggs every now and then, but overall, humans know the rules and typically abide by them.
Pets, on the other hand, lack this logic, and pretty much do whatever their emotions and instincts dictate. This could lead to messes, vehicle damage, and a frustrating experience if not properly prepared.
Understanding this beforehand helps you work through issues when they occur.
My Suggestion: I highly suggest getting seat covers or liners if you don’t already have them. Consider your door handles, as pets (especially dogs) like to jump up on them, sometimes scratching them in the process.
I also suggesting developing a quick and efficient routine for cleaning and maintaining your vehicle between Uber Pet and regular rideshare rides.
Pets make a mess, so figuring out how to quickly clean the mess so that other riders get into a clean vehicle is key to providing a good customer experience.
How Much Can I Earn as an Uber Pet Driver?
Uber Pet pays about $3–$5 more than the UberX rate.
While some passengers say there’s about a $6 increase in pay, Uber drivers on Reddit say they don’t see a major price difference. Other drivers say they see about a $1 fare increase.
That could be due to several reasons, such as the time the trip was requested and the demand within the area at that time.
In addition to Uber’s increased rate, you’re also eligible for a $40 cleaning fee if the pet causes a mess in your car.
Must I Allow Pet Passage on Non-Uber Pet Rides?
This decision is solely based on your discretion and personal preferences.
You’re not obligated to allow pet passage on regular Uber rides. But if you do, don’t expect the passenger to pay any extra fee to cover the costs of damages, if any.
Uber will also not ask riders to pay for any mess or damages to your vehicle during non-Uber Pet trips.
If you don’t want to transport an animal in your car, you may cancel the trip or ask the passenger to do so.
But again, remember: drivers are legally required to accept riders with service animals!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Riders Can I Accommodate During an Uber Pet Trip?
According to Uber, you can take a maximum of two riders and one pet on Uber pet trips. If there are any additional riders, the decision to carry them or not lies on you, not the passengers.
Are Pets Insured During Uber Pet Trips?
During Uber Pet trips, pets are not insured by Uber. Owners are responsible for their pets’ safety and any damages or injuries caused by their pets during the ride. Owners should secure their pets in carriers or with other safety equipment.
Riders are willing to offer a higher price if you can safely carry them with their beloved pets on their trips.
If you don’t mind sharing your car with a dog, cat, or even a snake once in a while, this ride-share option can be a great way to earn some extra cash.
Learn all you can about service pets, emotional support animals, and good old regular pet companions before you become an Uber Pet driver.
Also, get familiar with the rules of this service and prepare your car for a pet-friendly ride. Once you’re set, opt-in to Uber Pet via the Uber app and accept your first Uber trip as a pet driver!