Tips for choosing a dog-friendly vehicle

0915dogincarIf you have pets, finding the right vehicle for your family requires a little more thought. How many dogs you have along with their size, age and temperament should be considered when deciding which vehicle to purchase. The following list of dog-friendly vehicle features should help make that decision a little easier:

  • A compact or full-size minivan, SUV or crossover are usually better choices than a car simply because they offer more room and more dog-friendly features.
  • A vehicle with a low-to-the-ground profile will make it easier for dogs of all sizes and ages to get in or out of the vehicle.
  • A rear hatch or barn doors that allow you to fully open up the back will make it easier for your dog to jump in and out. It also makes it way easier for you to load or unload the vehicle.
  • Choosing a vehicle with a large, boxy cargo area rather than one with sloped walls, wheel wells or spare tires, will better accommodate your dog and supplies.
  • Rear cargo attachment devices will help keep a harnessed dog or dog carriers/crates from sliding around in the cargo area.
  • Some vehicles come with a pet barrier (cargo divider) or you can buy one after market. The barrier prevents your dog from jumping into the front seat, which can be unsafe.
  • Seats that fold down or are removable make lots of room for your dog and keep your seats clean for your human passengers.
  • A vehicle with non-carpeted walls and floors will keep dog fur from accumulating and make clean up easy.
  • A removable cargo liner, either built in or purchased after market, can be hosed off, making clean up a breeze.
  • In floor storage bins are a great way to keep your dogs away from anything you’re transporting, especially food.
  • Rear air conditioning is a must to keep everyone comfortable on hot days.
  • Childproof windows and door locks help prevent your dog from accidentally opening or closing the windows or doors.
  • A sunroof will provide maximum ventilation without worrying about your dog falling out of the vehicle.
  • Some other items to consider purchasing after market if they don’t come with the vehicle include waterproof seat covers and a fold out ramp to make it easy for your dog to get in and out of the vehicle.

—Source: The Fun Times Guide, a network of websites that cover a variety of niche topics. Visit www.thefuntimesguide.com for more info.