Dogs are man’s best friend – and woman’s as well. And there’s nothing better than taking your buddy with you when it’s time to be out and about.
But not every car is exactly convenient to take your dog in. Some are just not very practical while others would break the bank.
What features should you (and your dog) look for?
So what makes a car something that you’ll want to take friendly fido in?
Let’s take a look at some of the most important features you should look for when looking to purchase a vehicle.
Dogs can be hard on surfaces! From nails puncturing seats and scratching glass to the regular dirt from their morning run.
You want something that will stand up to everything that your dog throws at it.
Based on my experience vinyl is going to be the absolute easiest thing to clean, then leather, then cloth.
The only problem is a lot of people don’t like how vinyl look and opt for leather. No matter what any salesman tells you, leather is not scratch resistant.
In many cases a car seat is going to be a must if you’re concerned with preserving your seats.
Easy to Clean
When you’re looking for a new vehicle, you’re going to want something that is easy to clean. In fact, the easier the better.
Because dogs love to drool, shed and share all their love AND their dirt. The easier that your vehicle is to clean, the more you’ll enjoy driving it around.
The size of the vehicle that will work best for you will depend on you, the size of your family and the size of your dog.
People with three full size fur babies will need a different size vehicle than those with a teacup poodle.
Any vehicle that you consider should be large enough to fit all the members of your family (including your dog) and possibly even a crate or kennel if you plan on long trips where you’ll need to keep your dog confined.
If you are comfortable in the car, then your dog will be comfortable in the car.
Many vehicles offer additional heating and cooling vents for the second or third row of seating as well as the cargo area.
Tinted windows can also be important features to keep your dog cool while driving.
The Best Cars For Dogs
We recently had the opportunity to ask over 300 (342 to be exact) avid dog hikers what cars they preferred for their dogs.
Here’s how they voted:
Now let’s take a closer look…
#10 2014/2015 Nissan Xterra
This is the first of two vehicles on the list that was discontinued, but that dog owners still absolutely love.
#9 2019 Honda CRV
#8 2019 Toyota Rav4
#7 2019 Subaru Crosstrek
#6 2019 Jeep Cherokee
#5 2019 Toyota 4Runner
#4 2010 Honda Element
For a long time now the Honda Element has been a favorite of dog owners everywhere.
Here’s what one person we interviewed had to say:
“You can put the crate on the floor, perfect position in the back. Also both back seats come out if you need more room. The vehicle has unique doors that open outwardly ( think out swinging French doors) so you have tons of room to put gear in from the side not just the back. They stopped making them in 2011 but you can probably get a very good used one. I have read that they are bringing them back in 2019 but not sure how much they will have changed them.”
# 3 2019 Subaru Outback
This is one of the cars we own for traveling with our dogs, and it’s been absolutely great.
It’s low to the ground with plenty of cargo space for dogs and large windows to extra view. This vehicle features a huge array of safety assists with the most unique being the reverse automatic braking system. This feature will brake the vehicle if a dog or child runs behind you while you are backing up in reverse. Great for station wagon lovers as well as dog lovers.
#2 2019 Jeep Wrangler
Your dog will be ready to go on an adventure with you in this! Because Jeep’s are built for adventure, you won’t have to worry about your dog getting the interior dirty. Not only is the interior completely washable, it was designed to get dirty. You can remove the carpet for easy cleaning. It even includes built-in drains in the floor. If you have a dirty dog or will be in the mud, this is an excellent choice. Take the stress out of traveling with your pet when you can clean your easier than ever before.
#1 2019 Subaru Forester
A few more great picks
Here were some of the others mentioned (along with the number of votes they received) that aren’t included in the chart above. We didn’t include any vehicles that only received 1 vote.
|Vehicle||# of Votes|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser||9|
The Best Cars For You
When it comes down to it, the best car for you is the best car for your dog.
A few simple tips to remember, the bigger the dog, the bigger car you’ll need.
If you are unsure if your crate will fit, measure it or take it with you to the dealership. Better to know if advance!
Don’t forget to look for rear climate vents, rear tinting and the height of the rear ceiling.
With a little research, you’ll have a great car for you and your dog for years to come.