As a dog owner in the UK, you might have thought of this – Are dogs allowed in taxis in the UK? The query is obvious considering the variance in policies in different taxi services. It is difficult to know whether a particular taxi service is pet friendly or not. This article will help you get some answers to the query and provide some clarity on whether dogs in taxis are allowed in the UK or not.
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Are Dogs Allowed In Taxis UK?
The short answer is yes. At present, in the UK, you can travel with dogs in taxis at the driver’s discretion. Also, as per the guidelines from Transport For London, taxi drivers cannot refuse to onboard assistance dogs or guide dogs. However, this doesn’t mean that they will allow a non-guide dog.
Hence, there are many aspects to consider while thinking of travelling with a dog in a taxi. But, firstly it is important to know that why taxi drivers avoid dogs in their taxis.
Here are a couple of reasons why Taxi drivers or private taxi companies refuse to take dogs in,
- Dogs can get violent (unpredictive behaviour)
- They leave hair on the seats or damage them
Now, there is a scenario where the taxi driver may allow your dog into the taxi but, your dog is not mentally prepared for the ride. Such situations can leave you clueless. So, it is important that you train the dog for riding in a car and eventually a taxi.
So, how do you train your dogs to ride in taxis? Let’s find out.
Training Your Dog To Ride In Taxis
You can introduce your dog to the car gradually in short phases.
First Phase: Approach the car
Make them walk towards the car, make sure the engine is turned off and if they are calm, reward them for their behaviour. The reward will help to register a positive response in their minds. And when the time comes, they will replicate this exact behaviour while approaching a taxi with you.
Second Phase: Sitting in the car
Further, when you think the dog is ready to sit in, allow them to sit in the car and again give them a small treat or reward. Doing this will have a mindful effect and provide them with the assurance that the car is a good place to sit.
Third Phase: Short Ride
In the first two phases, you made your dog walk and sit in the car with the engine off. Once you feel the dog is comfortable to take a ride, you can go on a short ride. Observe the behaviour during the ride and see if they show any signs of discomfort, anxiety or radical behaviour.
If there were no major issues while the short ride you can increase the time of the ride and get the dog ready for long drives in cars and taxis. But, if the dog is unhappy with the riding experience how will you know?
Signs That Your Dog Is Unhappy While Travelling In The Car
When your dog shows any of the following behaviour traits then it’s better to put the training on hold. Look for the following signs:
- Travel sickness
- Excessive Panting
- Lip licking
- Ears back
- Sniffing themselves
- Tail tucked between legs
- Scratching themselves
- Paw raise etc…
Getting a Pet Friendly Taxi For Your Dog
You can look for a pet friendly taxi service for the first ride for your dog. Booking in advance will increase the chances of getting a proper pet friendly taxi. You can choose the services of top taxi service companies like Uber or Lyft.
However, it is important to check in which cities the pet friendly services are available. You can call and confirm the details with the company. Once you book a ride and the taxi arrives, there are certain safety measures and courtesy prospects to consider:
- Keep your dog on a leash.
- Check if the taxi cabin has proper ventilation.
- Carry water for the dog.
- Lift your dog before entering the taxi.
- Keep a crater or barrier with you because allowing the dog to hop onto the seat is a bad idea. If you don’t have it ask the driver if they are ok with the dog being on the seat or not.
- Keep towels. Dogs may get excited and their hair will fall covering the seat, so, it’s better to use towels to avoid such instances.
- Tip the driver. With less pet friendly taxi services available it becomes crucial to keep a healthy relationship with the driver as they are allowing your pets to ride along.
Uber allows both cats and dogs into their taxis. But, if the pet owner is riding alongside any exotic or uncommon pet, the driver has the right of refusal. It’s recommended by Uber to check in with the driver before making the trip.
Taxi drivers are may refuse to have dogs in taxis. The decision is either driven by company policy or personal concerns. However, if they refuse assistance or guide dogs they risk facing prosecution and possibly lose their license.
Normally, pet taxis outfit their vehicles in specific ways for the comfort and safety of the pets. Their vehicles are climate controlled and altered as per pets’ requirements.
Are Dogs Allowed In Taxis UK? – Concluding Remarks
Dogs are allowed in Taxis. But, not all the taxi services UK have the same stance regarding the idea of a pet friendly taxi. So, it’s better to double-check with the taxi services in to ride with the dog in taxis. Thus, if you follow the common guidelines set by taxi companies, you can ride along with your dogs without any hassle.