Man’s (or woman’s) best friend loves to go along for the ride, but choosing the Best Car for Dogs can prove daunting. Don’t let it. There are plenty of great vehicle choices out there that work well for human and canine buddies. The key is to buy the right size vehicle and to select one that has certain standard or optional features such as rubber floor mats or coverings that can be hosed out, durable seating materials that won’t tear due to doggy claws, room for crates and dog gear, and fold-flat seats.
As for size of vehicle, if Fido is a Great Dane, a compact simply won’t do. Likewise, if your pup is of minuscule size, such as a Chihuahua or tiny terrier, you really don’t need a full-size pickup truck or SUV – unless you want it for other reasons. In other words, don’t let your dog (or dogs) overly dictate what you buy, but do keep their needs and yours in mind.
How about these three choices for Best Cars for Dogs? We’ve added comments from some dog-auto experts as well.
- Dodge Grand Caravan – As reported in the Chicago Tribune, Dogcars.com hails the 2008 as the Best in Show for its “larger cargo area and squared-off back…the consummate dog mobile.” Dogcars.com reviews of the Grand Caravan bear this enthusiasm out, since editors gush over the 5-door minivan’s many attributes: redesigned power tailgate providing “more square entry for dog crates,” numerous tie-downs, power flip third-row seats, versatile Stow-N-Go seating, good air circulation, lift-up rear window shades to keep doggies cool, and much more.
- Ford Explorer – Dogcars.com likes the old workhorse 2007 , and so do readers posting comments. It’s easy to see why, since the full-size 4WD SUV has satisfied dog lovers for years with versatile cargo area with “seats that folded into assorted configurations to accommodate two dog crates and all the gear that goes with any kind of dog sport” and cargo anchors well positioned to tie down crates. The Eddie Bauer Edition has a dog-friendly split-rear door with glass panel that flips up separately – good for “keeping the cargo area well ventilated on cool days when it’s safe to leave the dogs in the vehicle for a while.” Note the plural: Explorer handles multiple dogs with ease.
- Nissan Pathfinder SE-V8 – Flexibility counts when the family and dogs need to travel – off-road or around town. Dogcars.com cites the 2008 Pathfinder’s versatile nature, calling it “a city slicker… and it’s perfect for hauling hounds.” With Pathfinder’s 7-passenger seating and up to 64 different seating/cargo considerations, according to Nissan promotional literature, there’s also a squared-off, wide tailgate for stowing crates, 12 utility hooks to secure them, and available easy-clean rear cargo floor on some trims.
Other possibilities for Best Cars for Dogs include, , / / , , , , , , , , , Highlander and Matrix, and .
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