If you don’t drive and you own a dog (or are planning to get one) working out how to get around with your dog can be a challenge. Public transport like busses and trains aren’t a good fit for all dogs, although many take such journeys in their stride; but even if your area is well served with such transport links, the chances are at some point they will fall short.
Even for people who do drive, you might not always be able to transport your dog in this way; if your car is out of service, for instance, or you’ve had a drink and the dog suddenly needs to see the vet.
This means that you might be wondering if dogs can travel in taxis, if there is a blanket rule on this, and if black cabs or other alternative services are obliged to take dogs.
This article will answer all of your questions about whether or not you can take a dog in a taxi, including black cabs, private hire cabs, Uber travel, and similar services. Read on to learn more.
When it comes to black cabs that you can hail in the street or find operating from a taxi rank without the need to pre-book your journey, whether or not you can take your dog in the taxi is at the discretion of the driver.
If you’re trying to flag down a cab with your dog, the driver may not stop if they don’t like the look of your dog or don’t want to take dogs in general.
At a taxi rank where you have to take the first taxi in the queue, if they don’t want to carry your dog, it is ok to go down the line asking others.
Many if not most black cabs will carry dogs that are well behaved and when approached politely, but they are not obliged to.
Once more, taking a dog in a private hire vehicle is at the discretion of the company and/or driver.
You must mention that you want to take a dog when you call or book; never just assume that it will be ok. The company might need to send a certain car, or have some drivers who will take dogs and others that won’t.
Whether or not they take you may also depend on the size of the dog, and you may be given directions such as keeping the dog on the lead which you should do anyway!
Most private hire companies that operate a reasonable number of cars will be able to accommodate a dog with notice, but they are not obliged to.
Addison Lee, which serves London and surrounding areas, has an option on their mobile booking app to request a pet-friendly taxi; this enables you to ensure your dog will be transported.
If you call or book by other means, again, you will need to ask for a dog-friendly driver. As with the prior options, Addison Lee isn’t obliged to carry a dog, but as a very large company and with prior notice, you should not have a problem.
Whether or not you can take a dog in an Uber is down to the discretion of your driver, and at present, their booking app doesn’t give you an option to inform or ask about carriage for the dog.
You need to book your journey as normal using the Uber app, then as soon as it is confirmed, call the driver you’re allocated with to check that taking your dog is ok. Not all drivers will say yes, so be prepared to try again if needed.
Lyft has a similar policy to Uber when it comes to whether or not a Lyft will take dogs. This is down to the discretion of the Lyft driver, and again, as soon as your Lyft is confirmed, call the driver directly to ask them.
No taxi, ride share, private hire, or ride hailing app is obliged to carry pet dogs for any reason, even in the case of a veterinary emergency.
However, all such services are obliged to carry registered assistance dogs like Guide Dogs. You’re not obliged to tell the company or driver first in this instance; but doing so can be helpful as they might be able to send a more dog-suitable vehicle.
Some companies may charge a supplement for carrying a dog, although this is not the norm and to make such a charge, you must have this explained to you in full and agreed with you prior to the trip
If your dog makes a mess in the vehicle (such as by toileting, throwing up, or shedding a lot of hair), you will be expected to pay the standard fee for cleaning etc., and should do so without any fuss!