Pet taxis are here to save the day for you and your furry friend. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Owning a pet is one of the greatest joys of life. This being said, we’d do anything for our pets – whether it’s getting them a bed that they’d never use, or a bunch of toys that would go missing on the first day, etc. While being a pet parent is great, it does come with a lot of responsibilities, especially when it’s during an emergency. Here’s how you can travel across the city by availing the best pet taxis in Dubai.

Pet taxi services in Dubai

Snoopy Pets, Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

These are some of the pet taxi services that you can consider, the next time you need to take your pet to the vet or for a drive.

1. Snoopy Pets

Base Fare: Dh90, within Dubai.

Timings: Sunday to Saturday – 24 hours, subject to availability

2. Pet Station Group

Base Fare: Dh60

Timings: Sunday to Saturday – 24 hours, subject to availability

3. Modern Veterinary Clinic

Base Fare: Dh50

Timings: Sunday to Saturday – 8am to 9pm

4. Happy on Board

Base Fare: Dh150, within Dubai; Dh350, intercity travel

Timings: 24 hours (subject to availability)

Depending on the service you choose, you may have the option to book through a website, through a call or on Whatsapp.

It is important to note that advance bookings are required by most pet taxi services, and last-minute bookings may cost you more and are subject to availability.

Before availing a pet taxi, it is essential to keep note of a few things prior to booking. Fortunately for pet taxis, preparations have been made in advance to ensure the safety and smooth transport of your pet from one destination to another.

Can it get expensive?

As pet travel requires careful planning and care, it is fair to say that a pet taxi cost would be higher than a regular taxi. However, the cost can vary from one service to the other. Often times, the cost can increase or decrease depending on the following factors:

• Whether the pet is travelling with a human companion or not

• Number of human companions accompanying the pet in the vehicle

• Distance and time. For example, the cost would be higher for inter-city travel, or if you have booked the taxi during late hours

• One-way or two-way trip

• The number and size of pets

• Type of vehicle availed

• Waiting time.

How can I book a pet taxi?

Pet Station Group, Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

All services require pet owners to book in advance, which can be done online via the website, or via WhatsApp, depending on the service provider opted for. Payments can be made in advance or at the time of collection via cash or card.

What does a pet taxi look like?

If you have never availed a pet taxi, you may be apprehensive about the facilities that will or won’t be provided. However, professional pet taxi services are well-equipped and get information from pet owners in advance, to ensure that the taxi has the necessary facilities to make the trip comfortable and safe for your pet.

Some vehicles are equipped with travel crates, which have been secured firmly to ensure the safety of your pet. Taxis are subject to the size of the travel crate and number of pets. All pets travel in individual crates, unless they have separation anxiety issues, due to which they will be paired up.

If a pet taxi is availed for just one pet, regular sedan cars are used for transport. In case you hail a pet taxi for more than one pet, a minivan may be used. Certain taxis only limit occupancy to one pet at a time.

Are only dogs and cats allowed?

Pet owners can avail taxi services for their cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and reptiles.

Does my pet need to be vaccinated?

Pet taxi services may require that the animal is vaccinated as per the regular protocol for the breed. However, this is not a mandatory requirement across the board. So, before you book a taxi, check with the provider on what their rules are regarding proof of vaccination.

If they do require your pet to be vaccinated, the pet taxi services may ask you to provide vaccination details as follows:

• For dogs: Vaccinations against rabies, Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Parvovirus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Kennel Cough (Bordetella).

• For cats: Vaccinations against rabies, Feline Panleukopenia (FPV), Feline Rhinotrachitics (FHV-1), and Feline Calicivirus.

A pet owner’s to-do list, before booking a pet taxi

Snoopy Pets, Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

As a pet owner, you should try to follow these best practices and rules:

• State the reason for availing a pet taxi before booking.

• Describe how your pet is usually in a car. This is to keep an eye out for stressed pets.

• Bring copies of up-to-date vaccination book(s).

• If there is no crate provided, or opted for by you, always make sure your pet is securely seated and on a leash. If there is a crate provided, make sure you place your pet safely in the crate and lock it securely. Do not let your pets loose in the car.

• If you are availing a pet taxi for rabbits, birds or reptiles, place them securely in a cage to avoid any mishaps.

• Be on-time for pick-up and drop-off.

• If you are accompanying your pet in the taxi, avoid smoking in the car and ensure you wear your masks properly.

Do pet taxi drivers undergo any special training since they cater to pets and pet owners?

According to the pet taxi services Gulf News spoke with, drivers and handlers are trained to ensure they are able to asses a pet’s needs, handle them and also respond to any emergency situations that may occur.

“All our handlers are independently trained in pet handling and identification of animal behaviour and are all Emergency Pet First Aiders,” Jim Davies, CEO of Snoopy Pets LLC, told Gulf News.

Another pet taxi service in Dubai – Pet Station – spoke about the precautions and protocols that they follow during the pet’s trip.

“During the trip, our drivers ensure the safety of the pets and pay attention to the way different pets need to be transported, while also checking the pet’s health condition and records. They are also trained to always follow speed limits, maintain optimal car temperature and disinfect vehicles as per protocol. We also have a continuous training programme in place for all staff, including drivers,” Tuleen Jundi, Group Manager at Pet Station, told Gulf News.

Can I accompany my pet during the trip?

While most pet taxi services allow pet owners to accompany their pets, a few of them do not allow it in order to maintain COVID-19 regulations. Due to this, it is highly recommended that you check with your pet taxi service prior to booking.

COVID-19 measures and protocols

“Although there has been no evidence of transmission of COVID-19 through pets, we still adhere to strict protocols,” Mansoor Alshiha, CEO of Modern Vet, told Gulf News.

“After arrival and before proceeding to the client’s front door, the pet handler puts on a mask and sanitised latex gloves, minimising hard surface contact with doorknob and other surfaces, wherever possible. After each trip, we disinfect the entire grooming van with a spray used to sanitise veterinary clinics,” he added.

In case a client has tested positive for COVID-19, the pet taxi service is immediately declined. Booking and payments for the services have been made easy through online portals on the taxi services’ websites as well.

- The writer is an intern at Gulf News