Companies like Lyft make going places convenient—until you need to transport a pet! Does Lyft allow pets, and what is the best way to bring a furry friend along for the ride?
We’ll get more into the details as we continue. Join us on the journey as we go over Lyft’s policies, what drivers think, and finally, how to take your pet in a Lyft.
Related Read: Tips for taking an Uber ride with your dog
Table of Contents:
Lyft pet policy
Does Lyft allow pets? Turns out it’s completely the drive decision. Lyft allows its drivers to decide whether or not to allow pets into their vehicles. This is because drivers are using their own cars, and so it’s reasonable if they don’t want the wear and tear that comes with allowing pets.
Lyft also asks that you contact your driver ahead of time to ask if you can bring your furry friend. If they say no, you should be able to cancel the ride without charge and find a different driver. If you are charged, contact Lyft’s customer support for a refund.
However, neither Lyft nor its drivers can legally say no to service animals.
What do Lyft drivers think about picking up pets?
Opinions vary by driver, but it seems plenty of Lyft drivers don’t mind picking up pets—especially if they’re in carriers.
However, some drivers don’t like pets in their vehicles. And, of course, some passengers don’t want to ride with an animal in the car.
That’s why many drivers have problems with people bringing pets along for a shared ride, or Lyft Line. This puts drivers in a difficult place due to the other passengers, especially if your pet takes up space needed for the other riders.
Another common complaint of Lyft drivers is fake service animals. Of course, it’s difficult to actually know if a service animal is “fake,” and they can’t legally turn down your service animal. This is plain discrimination.
However, if you’re thinking about lying about your pet—don’t. It won’t just anger your driver: most importantly, it hurts people who are actually disabled and need their service animals.
Lastly, some Lyft drivers have complaints about big dogs. To avoid problems, tell your driver your dog’s breed so that they aren’t expecting a Chihuahua in a carrier when you have a German Shepherd!
Should pets be kept in carriers?
If it’s at all possible, you should bring your pet in a carrier or crate. Drivers prefer it, and it helps reduce your pet’s chances of making a mess in the car.
Cats should always be brought in carriers, as this is safer for everyone involved. It prevents the cat from climbing near the driver and causing an accident and also keeps your cat safer in the event of a crash.
If you’re able to strap the carrier into a car seat, this is another safety feature we recommend!
The same applies to small animals, such as guinea pigs or rabbits. They need to be contained, without exception.
The only animals that can safely travel without a carrier are dogs—and even then, we strongly recommend it.
But if your dog is too big or simply does better without a carrier, just bring a seat cover instead to prevent mess. For a cheap option, you can bring an old blanket to lay out on the seat.
Also, if your dog isn’t in a carrier, make sure you have both a leash and an alternative way to keep them safe and contained, like a doggy seat belt.
Taking your pet in a Lyft
It can be stressful to take your pet into someone else’s vehicle, especially if you haven’t done so before! Here’s a step by step guide to taking your pet into a Lyft:
1. Pack supplies
Be sure to pack everything you need before requesting a Lyft. This way, you’re prepared when the car comes and aren’t rushing to grab things at the last minute.
Some things you may want to pack for your pet are:
- A carrier, seat cover, or old blanket to keep the seats clean
- A leash, if you’re bringing a dog, along with a puppy seat belt if they’re not crated.
- Wet wipes to clean any small messes, such as mud from your dog’s feet
- Water and a bowl, if you’ll be in the car for a long time
- A bed, blanket, or toys to provide your pet comfort during the ride
- Medications, if your pet needs them for carsickness or anxiety
- Anything you’ll need after you arrive!
2. Request a Lyft
Now you’re all packed, you’re ready to request a Lyft! We recommend completing this step before getting your pet into a carrier, simply because it may take time for your driver to arrive (see also ‘How Do You Train A Dog To Stay In A Carrier? [Everything You Need To Know]‘).
However, you can put your pet in its carrier while you’re packing, if you’d like. You know your situation best!
When requesting a Lyft, make sure not to choose Lyft Line. This is a shared ride and isn’t really suitable for pets. Bringing pets along in a Lyft Line puts the driver in a bad place if your pet takes up too much space, or other riders don’t want to ride with an animal.
The exception to this is service animals, who can, of course, ride along with you even on Lyft Line.
3. Contact your driver
Once you’ve been connected with a driver, the next step is to contact them. Simply ask if it’s alright to bring your pet along.
Give them all the details they need to make the decision, such as the breed if you’re bringing a dog.
No need to overthink this! Send a message like:
“Good afternoon! I’ll be traveling with a German Shepherd today. Is this alright with you?
He won’t fit in a carrier but is very well-behaved during car rides (see also ‘What Is The Safest Way To Transport A Dog In A Car?‘). I’ll also bring a blanket to cover your seats.”
This is polite and gives the driver all the information they need to make their decision. If the driver says no, simply cancel your ride and request another driver. Lyft shouldn’t charge you for this.
4. Get your pet ready
Once you’ve contacted your driver and they’re on their way to pick up you and your pet, get your furry friend ready for the trip!
If you’re bringing them in a carrier, you can prepare it by adding a towel, blanket, or bed inside, depending on how much extra space you have. Then, get your fur baby into their carrier, and they’re ready to go.
If you are bringing a dog on a leash, you’ll want to get out the leash and put on their harness, if they wear one, so they’re all dressed for the journey.
It’s best to complete this before your driver arrives so that you aren’t chasing Fluffy around the house with a carrier in hand and the car waiting outside.
5. Be courteous during the drive
Now your Lyft has shown up—terrific!
Get yourself and your pet situated in the car however you need—lining the seat with your blanket, strapping in your furry friend, etc.
And, of course, be sure to treat both the driver and their car with respect. If your pet makes a mess, clean it up to the best of your abilities.
If you don’t have supplies, ask your driver if they do! Some drivers may carry cleaning supplies with them.
Keep your pet as quiet and well-behaved as possible, and make sure they’re restrained so that they don’t go anywhere near the front seat.
The last thing you want is a distracted driver! You also don’t want your pet to annoy the driver or damage their vehicle in any way.
6. Tip your driver
It’s up to you, but we suggest tipping a bit extra when you bring your fur baby along for the ride.
After all, Lyft doesn’t require drivers to allow pets. It’s something they do to be nice, and it does cause extra wear and tear on their vehicles, especially if you have a large dog.
It’s also an extra risk for them to allow your pet, as they never know when someone’s pet might chew their seats, pee in the carrier, or otherwise make a mess or cause damage to their car.
An extra tip is just a little “thank you” to show your appreciation.
There you have it—our complete guide for taking a Lyft with your pet. We hope it has shown you that Lyft does allow dogs and riding with your pet is entirely possible with just a bit of planning.