Best cars for dog owners

by Sarah on August 19, 2010 · 1 comment

AAA recently released it’s top car recommendations for dog owners. They have recommendations in 6 categories (including a “green” category) for dogs and people of all types.

“More than 45 million households in the U.S. have a dog, and many are taking Fido along for the ride on a regular basis,” said John Nielsen, AAA National Director of Auto Repair and Buying Services. “There several vehicles with features that can help keep pets safe, comfortable and easy to clean-up after while also addressing other driver desires such as sportiness, adventure or luxury.”

I’ll be in the market for a new car in the next few years, and I’ve had my eye on a few of these.


BMW 3 Series Wagon

Features: Rubber mats in the cargo area, along with a sturdy divider between the cargo area and the driver, plus additional dividers are available to allow for two dogs to travel in the cargo area separately. Space is limited, so this car is best for small to medium dogs.

Volvo XC60

Features: The Volvo also offers a cargo area with rubber mats and available divider. Additionally, the XC60 is the first car in America equipped with “City Safe,” a new safety feature that compensates for driver inattention and helps prevent rear-end collisions at speeds up to 20 mph.

Active Lifestyle

Subaru Forester

Features: With a cargo capacity of 68 cubic feet, the Forester has room for your pup and then some. It also has several tie down points for kennels, and is significantly lower than many SUVs, making it easier for dogs to get in and out. It’s off-road capabilities make it easier to bring your dog along for a hike.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Features: The Santa Fe has a large cargo space that can accommodate larger dogs, along with available rubber mats in the cargo area and pet divider. It features both off-road capabilities and a smooth ride.

Kids, Dogs, & Everything Else

Honda Element

Features: (Disclosure – I’m kind of in love with this car and have had my eye on one for several years). The Element is dog friendly from top to bottom. It’s interior can be hosed out, and the side doors both open wide to allow easy access for big dogs. The height of the vehicle makes the relatively small car spacious enough for any breed of dog. Honda also offers a pet-friendly package, which includes a pet ramp, second row seat covers made out of a easy-to-clean fabric, and a soft-sided kennel (with spill-resistant water dish and electric ventilation fan) that can be secured to the vehicle.

Toyota Venza

Features: The Venza features a rear pet ramp, waterproof seat covers, an adjustable harness/booster seat pet restraint system, an adjustable pet barrier and a dog tether to keep canines from jumping into the passenger area.

You can read more about AAA’s recommendations here; oh, and if anyone’s got a spare Element sitting around, give me a call!

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August 20, 2010 at 1:36 am

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