Back in the day, finding rented transportation services that allowed pets onboard was a lot harder. That’s quickly changing nowadays, though, thanks to developments in the ridesharing industry. To be specific, many pet-loving business owners noted the lack of pet-friendly ridesharing apps and decided to make their own to address the problem. Said ridesharing apps are currently enjoying much success, although there’s still a lot of demand left to fulfill.
Do you currently own a ridesharing business and want to attract the underserved pet parent market? Before you start allowing furred friends into your driver’s cars, you’ll have to make some preparations first. Indeed, you and your drivers need to accomplish a checklist of things to ensure safe and comfortable rides for all of your customers and their fur babies. For instance, you’ll need to invest in some durable pet merchandise to pet-proof your car, not to mention all of the training your drivers will need to undergo.
If you’re feeling a bit lost on how to go about it, don’t worry. Here are some tips and tricks for making your rides more pet-friendly:
Install Dog Harnesses and Barriers in Each Vehicle
First and foremost, you should do everything you can to guarantee that nobody gets hurt during a ride. That said, keeping a pet in place is not an easy task, especially in a moving vehicle. Fortunately, you can help these pups stay put by investing in a sturdy pet harness. These products work well for bigger dogs, as harnesses can restrict their movement without being uncomfortable.
While these products also work for smaller dogs, you can go a step further by installing barriers in a designated “dog spot” in the back of each car. These barriers will prevent tiny pups from squeezing themselves between car seats and getting into the driver’s way.
Train Drivers on How to Handle Pets
Knowing how to deal with a hyperactive, aggressive, or anxious pup can be stressful while your drivers are on the road. That said, it’s on you and your staff to learn how to address such concerns whenever possible. Doing so can help put your drivers, your customers, and your customers’ pups at ease. This will also demonstrate your employees’ expertise and ability to stay calm and collected, which, in turn, will build trust and confidence in your ridesharing services.
To equip your staff with the knowledge and skills, they’ll need to handle stressful pet-related situations, hire a licensed professional to explain the dos and don’ts of driving with a pet in the backseat. This includes a quick primer on pet behavior and how to handle different types of pets that come onboard. For instance, what would be the best thing to do when a dog starts to act aggressively during a ride?
Pet-proof the Car
While pet owners are expected to keep their dogs on good behavior during a ride, it wouldn’t hurt to prep your car so that you’re ready for any unexpected accidents. For instance, you can install waterproof car seat covers to prevent dog hair from getting everywhere and keep any slobber or pee from ruining the vehicle’s interiors.
Establish Cleaning Routines
No customers would willingly bring their pup into a dirty, messy vehicle. So, make sure that you conduct regularly scheduled cleaning sessions to keep your cars’ interiors and exteriors spic and span. You can train your drivers to do this at the beginning and end of their shifts or, preferably, after each ride. Equip each car with a basic cleaning and disinfecting kit so that your drivers can quickly and easily dust off and wipe down their car interiors whenever they have a few minutes to spare.
It’s also a good idea to hire professional cleaners to inspect and deep clean your vehicles once in a while. Checking every nook and cranny of your car after every pet-friendly ride isn’t necessary, but it should be standard protocol to do so at least every two weeks.
Educate Drivers on How to Handle Service Animals
Unlike regular pets, service animals are specially trained to help owners with disabilities. To accommodate these pups and their parents, the law requires all ridesharing businesses to onboard service dogs. That said, service animals must be treated differently from ordinary pets, as these trained canines must remain undisturbed to properly do their jobs. So, make sure to teach your drivers how to properly handle any service animals they may encounter during their shift. For example, your drivers should avoid touching service dogs without the pet parent’s permission, which may distract the animal and potentially put them and their owner in danger.
Ridesharing has always been an inclusive way of letting people access affordable rides without compromising on the quality of service. This is now being extended to pets and their parents to address their needs, whether for emergency visits to the vet or simply for people to enjoy a good ride with their favorite furry companions. Opening your doors to pets isn’t as tricky as it sounds at first, and it can lead to potentially high returns as long as you know what you’re doing.