All about specifics: Of course, what constitutes a "pet" is still up for debate. Dogs and cats are a given but what about more exotic pets like birds or even things that many people are afraid of, like snakes or lizards? Does a rider have to specify what type of pet they are bringing along?

Uber is reportedly preparing to pilot a new feature designed to reduce friction regarding pet transportation.

Starting on October 16, riders in Austin, Nashville, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay will have access to a new Uber Pet option in the Uber app. Tick this option, and for a surcharge of between $3 and $5, you'll be able to bring your pet along for the ride, no questions asked.

Uber's current pet policy in the US suggests checking with your driver ahead of time to see if it is alright to bring a pet along. Of course, not everyone does this which can lead to surprises on both ends come pick-up time.

Simply put, not everyone is an animal person. Animals shed and can get carsick, too. Plus, not everyone bathes their dog regularly (or at all) and allergies are a very real thing. It's not uncommon for a driver to cancel a ride when they see a dog standing alongside their intended passenger.

With Uber Pet, you'll be matched to drivers that have pre-agreed to transport pets. In exchange for putting up with your pet, the driver will receive a large portion of the pet surcharge.

The new feature doesn't impact Uber's service animal policy. Such animals are still permitted and will ride surcharge-free.

Masthead credit: Yorkshire Terrier by anon_tae