Canine-Friendly Cars: Choosing a Car with Your Dog in Mind
Renae Hamrick, RVT
What do you consider when shopping for a new car? Chances are you consider the vehicle's price, size, gas mileage, appearance.... But do you consider your dog when buying a car? According to DogCars.com, the comfort of the family dog is taken into consideration by about half of all car buyers. What makes a car dog-friendly? Which cars are favored by dogs and their people? Available interior space (Can you fit your toddler, suitcase, and dog inside?)
DogCars.com is a website put together by Dr. Marty Becker (a "Good Morning America" veterinarian), Gina Spadafori (a pet-loving columnist, author, and blogger), and Keith Turner (a journalist famous for his auto reviews in his column, "The Family Car"). DogCars.com reviews vehicles and their dog-friendliness, gives readers the opportunity to comment on the cars, reviews pet travel products, and offers pet travel-safety tips.
DogCars.com Car of the Year 2007
DogCars.com gave kudos to the "best-of" DogCars for 2007. For example, the best sporty car is the Mazda Speed3. The best pickup truck is the Ford F-150. The best caravan is the Dodge Grand Caravan. The best hatchback is the Honda Fit Sport. And the grand prize for the best overall DogCar of 2007 goes to... (drum roll).... the Honda Element!
The Honda Element is a dog hauler's dream! The scratch-resistant, easy-to-clean, non-slip flooring and water resistant seats make the Element friendly for even the dirtiest of dogs! With 64 seat configurations, including the ability to completely remove seats, you can design the perfect seating arrangement for your canine passengers.
Do you have a large dog who rides uncomfortably in the cramped space of the back seat, causing stress to both him and you? Large breed dogs love the Element because of its roominess and its clam shell doors and tailgate. Remove the seats, open the doors wide for comfortable entrance, put a full sized dog bed or crate on the floor, and enjoy a relaxing ride.
Do you and your dog love adventure trips? Climb the tough terrain with the Element's optional all wheel drive. As you make your way through the wilderness, open the cargo area sunroof so your dog can enjoy the glow of the sun!
What Makes a Dog Friendly Car?
When shopping for a car that suites your dog, consider your dog's breed, his interests, and his special needs. The car which is perfect for your neighbor's dog may not be what your dog desires. Listed below are possible criteria to consider when choosing a car for your canine family.
Upholstery and flooring (Is the material easy to clean? Will it show every dog hair?)
Space to secure a crate
Dog safe windows and locks (Will your dog accidentally unlock the door, put the window down, etc.?)
Ease of vehicle entry and exit (Can your arthritic dog get in and out?)
4 wheel drive
Window location (Can the dog see out?)
Location of cup holders (Will the dog spill beverages?)
Because most dealerships don't allow dogs to test-ride a car, go to DogCars.com to read reviews on the car you have in mind. Find out what other four-legged passengers think. Your dog will thank you.