Need to get your dog to the vet but your car is in the shop? You and your pet can soon Uber your way to the animal hospital in about a half dozen cities.

uberPET

The rideshare company launched uberPET this week. The pilot program rolls out first in Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay. All riders in those cities will be eligible to request rides with their pets starting next Wednesday.

What kind of pets can take Ubers?

The company tells Grit Daily the new feature lets you notify the driver you intend to bring your furry, feathered or even slithery pet with you.

Uber’s website says, “All household pets are allowed on UberPET. This includes dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, hamsters, birds in cages and fish in bowls or plastic bags.”

A rider must accompany the animal on the trips, so there’s no sending your dog to the vet on his own.

How much will it cost?

You’ll pay extra for the critter. Uber’s website says it’s a two-dollar per trip surcharge. And if your pet makes a mess, you’ll pay the cleaning tab. Owners won’t be charged for things like shedding. The website says animals are not insured on uberPET rides.

Do drivers have to accept my pet?

Drivers can opt-out of your trip requests, but if they opt-in, the company says they will make more money, “drivers will also receive a significant portion of that surcharge, on top of their standard trip earnings.”

Uber says: “We built this feature to give riders peace of mind so they know they’ll be able to arrive at their destination with their pet, without any interruptions or surprises. From the time you select Uber Pet, to your trip’s arrival, and ending with your dropoff–you and your animal companion(s) can take Uber, together, with ease. Riders will be able to view the Uber Pet surcharge on their receipt, and the surcharge will be added to their upfront price when that option is selected in-app.”

The company says this doesn’t apply to service animals which are welcome, free of charge, on rides.

And yes, we have to say it, “Need a ride with your pet, but don’t have a car? There’s an app for that!”

For more animal news you need to know read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s columns in Grit Daily here.