Whether you're running errands around town, taking a day trip, or hitting the open road, dogs make the best travel companions. However, finding the best car for your next adventure together can be tough.
Keeping your furry friend safe and comfortable is most important, but you'll also want to consider the other challenges you'll face when sharing your car with a beloved pet. While your travel companion may not be fighting for radio control, you will have pet hair and other messy mishaps you can count on.
Are you planning for your next big purchase? Here is the scoop on the best cars for dog owners.
Best Cars for Dog Owners
Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to best cars for dog owners and the following list is a great resource to begin your search.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the following cars are among the best cars for dog owners:
- 2017 Honda CR-V
- 2018 Subaru Forester
- 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
- 2017 Land Rover Range Rover
- 2018 Ford Flex
- 2017 Kia Soul
- 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
- 2017 GMC Sierra Denali Crew Cab
- 2017 Jeep Renegade
- 2017 Toyota 4Runner
- Used Honda Element
Each one of these makes a great car for a dog owner. As you further your search, you'll want to narrow it down a little more based on the next few things.
3 Things to Consider When Car Shopping
First and foremost, you'll want to consider the safety of your dog. Christina, pet expert and blogger at The Everyday Dog Mom, says, " Whether it's a long trip or just running errands around town, the most important thing to keep in mind is safety."
Just like you would yourself, or a child, you need to keep your dog restrained in case of an accident. Christina uses a Sleepypod carrier for her dog Georgie which keeps her restrained and safe inside the car. The bigger your dog, the more space you'll need to accommodate a bigger carrier.
You'll want to look for adequate climate control to keep your pet comfortable. Tinted windows are also a nice option that can help keep the sun off your dog as well. In extreme heat, not having adequate protection from the heat also becomes a safety issue.
Low ride height is another important feature to select for your comfort and your dog's. At first glance, you might think it's for little dogs to climb in easily, but it's actually more important for big dogs, especially older ones. Imagine having to lift a large dog in and out of your car repeatedly!
With pets, your car is bound to get messy. Opt for leather or vinyl seats which can easily be wiped down when messes inevitably occur. Pet hair will be easily vacuumed away rather than sticking to upholstery. Finally, some vehicles have an option for rubber mats, which you'll definitely want to add on.
Cars to Avoid
One type of vehicle not among the best cars for dog owners is the sports coupe. According to Christina, who has experienced several rentals over the last ten months while her Jeep Liberty was in the shop for repairs, it was a "nightmare" getting Georgie in and out of the carrier in the back seat.
She says, "Sports coupes may be fun, but they're not very practical for dog moms." Of course, the same would hold true for doggie dads.
Although Christina had a good experience with her other two rentals, a Chrysler mini van and a Dodge Journey, the Jeep is clearly at the top of her "Best Cars for Dog Owners" list. She is in the process of purchasing another Jeep, touting it to be "both safe and practical."
Christina and Georgie will soon be ready for their next comfortable and safe adventure. Are you?