To most people a dog is more than a pet, it’s a part of the family. Responsible dog owners, will take their pet’s needs into consideration when buying a new car. Afterall, there’s no point buying a nice little hatchback if your Great Dane can’t comfortably fit in the boot. Here we take you through some of the best cars for dog owners and what you need to think about before making a purchase.
What to consider
Certain elements will depend on the breed and size of the dog you own, but there are various general considerations to make when looking at pet friendly cars:
- Space: The car must have enough boot or back seat room for your dog to comfortably sit, lie down and turn around. Plus, you need to be able to easily lift them in or out.
- Suspension: Many dogs get travel sick, so choosing a car with good suspension is important.
- Safety: Child locks and harnesses can prevent accidents, while vehicles where dog guards and crates can be used provide added safety.
- Windows: Electric windows which can be used from the front are essential to provide air on hot days.
- Water: On long journeys especially, your dog needs access to water, so think about buying a travel bowl and where abouts it will fit in the car.
A seven-seat MPV and one of Ford’s largest vehicles, the S-Max is a great option for both little and large dogs. With all seven seats in use, there’s only room for a terrier or two, but with the option to fold down the back five seats you can get an entire family of dalmations in the back (though maybe not 101). It also handles well, ensuring a comfy ride for non-canine passengers too.
Land Rover Discovery
Due to its large size, the Land Rover Discovery is great for big dogs thanks to the ample boot space and air suspension. A split tailgate makes it easy for your dog to hop in, and Land Rover offer plenty of accessories such as partitions and boot liners to keep it clean. Its off-roading ability makes taking your hound for a long walk in the wilderness and up mountains simple.
Skoda Superb Estate
A low loading sill, 660 litres of boot space and an available dog safety range make the Skoda Superb attractive to many dog owners. For humans, the variety of petrol and diesel engines, quality interior and strong driving performance make it a hit. Excellent as a motorway cruiser or country adventurer (with a four-wheel drive option available) it ensures a relaxing journey for all.
Dacia Logan MCV
Cheap and cheerful, the Dacia Logan MCV is great for anyone on a budget. A good shaped load area and boot that rivals vehicles with three or four times the price tag (573 litres of boot space) provides plenty of room for even two Mastiffs to turn around. Equipment may be fairly basic, but the plastics in the cabin and boot make it easy to clean off any dirt your dog brings in.
Honda Civic Tourer
For those after a bit more style with enough room for your pooch, the Honda Civic Tourer delivers both. It features a sporty exterior for an estate vehicle, with a powerful grille and slicked back appearance, alongside a big boot with underfloor storage for transporting shopping and other gear as well as your pet. Inexpensive dog guards and boot lip protectors can be found for it as well.
A highly practical vehicle, the Volvo V60 is one of the most pet friendly cars. As an estate, there’s plenty of space for one or two dogs along with rear climate control to keep them cool in summer. It also has a great safety track record for passengers of all species, with an optional dog barrier and rear tie-downs to make harnessing any dog easy.
Citroën C4 Cactus
In terms of safety a Citroën C4 Cactus is top dog. Not only does it have the airbump panels which provide extra protection in the event of a crash, but the rear windows are unique in that they hinge outwards rather than slide down. This allows fresh air to flow in without the worry of your pet getting their head stuck out the window.
There are many great cars for dogs on the market both new and used. Decide which best suits you and man’s best friend and feel free to suggest any more.
Image courtesy of iStock.