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Uber now lets you tell your driver if you're traveling with a pet

The ride-hailing company's new feature, dubbed Uber Pet, lets riders give drivers a heads up when they're bringing along an animal.

Uber Pet comes with a surcharge of between $3 and $5, depending on the city.

Uber

Uber is adding a new category to its list of ride-hailing options. Along with UberX, Uber Comfort, UberPool and others, the company unveiled Uber Pet on Wednesday. The idea is to let passengers notify drivers when they're traveling with a pet.

"This new feature lets you communicate to a driver that you'll be bringing a furried (or even scaled!) friend onboard your Uber trip," Uber wrote in a blog post. "We built this feature to give riders peace of mind."

Now passengers don't have to worry about canceled rides when traveling with an animal, Uber said. The feature comes with a fee of between $3 and $5, depending on the city. Drivers get the majority of that fee, an Uber spokesman told CNET.

Without Uber Pet, drivers usually don't know if a passenger is bringing along an animal. And this can bring up issues. Some drivers may be allergic and others may not want cat or dog hair in their cars. Drivers can opt out of Uber Pet if they don't want passengers with pets.

Uber Pet is only for pets. Passengers with service animals, such as guide dogs, don't need to select Uber Pet or pay an extra surcharge. Drivers are required by law to give rides to people with service animals.

Uber Pet is first piloting in several US cities, including Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay. Riders in those cities will see the option starting on October 16.