Motor Vehicles That Are Dog Friendly
Veterinarian Reviewed on July 11, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
It used to be that the only way to take your dog outside was for a walk around the neighborhood, and going on vacation meant going without your dog. However, with families now opting to travel further and further away from home for vacations and not wanting to leave the dogs behind with a pet sitter, they are now looking to purchase the perfect dog friendly car. And car manufacturers are listening!
Dog owners are now desiring cars in which both their human family members and their furry family members can ride in comfortably and safely. A number of car manufacturers are now offering cars that have been specifically planned with a family’s pet dog in mind. These cars are designed to provide a safe and secure ride for everyone in the family.
Dog Friendly Element
Honda Motor Co. in Japan recently debuted their newest dog friendly Honda Element SUV at the New York International Auto Show.
This sports utility vehicle will keep your dog’s head inside the car rather than hanging outside from the window. Inside you will find a dog sized cushioned pet bed with safety restraints inside the cargo area, a spill resistant water bowl, and a ventilation fan to keep your dog comfortable whilst he’s in the back.
The newest Element includes a folding ramp to help smaller and older dogs climb in and out of the back of the SUV. Honda has even incorporated a pet carrier in the back seat as well as seat covers that can be machine washed; all this to make the SUV a lot more suitable for carrying around smaller pets.
To prove how dog friendly this vehicle is, the manufactures have even included toy bone shaped rubber floor mats and emblems in the shape of doggie paw prints on the side and back of the vehicle.
The new Dog Friendly Element model is scheduled to be released during the fall of 2009.
The 2009 Toyota Venza
The Toyota Venza, a five passenger, dog friendly, crossover vehicle, was tailored specifically for the North American market by being both designed and engineered in the United States of America.
The Venza touts more than a dozen dog friendly features that are available through dealers, such as a pet booster seat with a harness attached, a pet barrier system in the cargo area, pet seat belt buckles, and even waterproof, removable hammock style seat covers.
And just like the new Honda Element, the Venza also features a rear hatch pet ramp to help make loading and unloading of dogs easier and a leash tether to help properly and safely securing roaming dogs inside the vehicle.
Dodge Grand Caravan
The leading automotive review website with dog lovers in mind, DogCars.com, announced that the Dodge Grand Caravan was their 2008 winner of their DogCar of the Year award.
Dodge’s new and improved Grand Caravan offers multiple storage compartments both in the floor and around the cabin that are perfectly sized for storing your dog’s favorite toys. If you prefer having your dog travel by crate then you’ll love the power tailgate. It has been reengineered to offer a better entry way for large, square, dog crates and also includes a sufficient amount of tie downs that can be used to safely secure your dog’s crate.
If a new car is not on the horizon for your dog and family, keep in mind that the majority of these pet travel items such as the booster car seats, car seat covers and pet ramps, can be purchased online from most major pet supply stores. With the help of such items, you can quickly out fit your family’s normal car into a dog friendly dog-mobile!
While it is also nice to know that most major car manufacturers are finally acknowledging the important roles that dogs play in our lives with our want and desire to make sure that our dogs have as safe a ride in our vehicles as we do, it can be somewhat difficult to choose the best dog friendly car.
Start by talking to your friends, neighbors or other dog owners about their likes and dislikes of the vehicle that they drive with their dogs as passengers. You could also go down to your local car dealership and request a test drive. But, since most dealerships won’t allow you to bring your dog along for the ride, you can turn to DogCars.com instead. The site offers dog friendly reviews for a multitude of vehicles that have been deemed pet friendly.
Photo Credit: dsix
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan