If you are anything like me, you probably travel with your dog often. Rooney actually commutes with me to work once a week, not to mention the occasional road trip. Most pet parents will make a car purchase at some point during their pet parenthood, and it might not seem like a big deal, but some pet parents will want their new car to cater in some way to their pet’s needs.
So today, I would like to share with you a few key things I think pet parents should consider when purchasing a new vehicle.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to seat material with your dog. Does the car seat color match your dog’s fur? While car seat covers do an excellent job of protecting the seats, the amount of dog hair in a Corgi’s car can far exceed most people’s expectations. Meaning, Rooney’s dog fur doesn’t just land on his seat, but everyone’s. Also, if you have a dog that sheds excessively, consider the ability to remove dog fur from the material.
If you decide to go with a car that has leather seats or just want extra protection from dirt, claw marks and fur, 4Knines Car Seat Covers‘ quilted, water-proof material can help protect your seats and your cargo area.
If a van is a vehicle that fits your lifestyle, you might be interested to know that the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica both offer vacuums that help clean up dog fur and any other mess your pet might bring into your car (like dirt or sand!)
Crates & Ramps
Additionally, consider the height of your car and the possible need for a ramp pending the size and age of your dog. For example, right now we have a sedan, but when we had an SUV, Rooney couldn’t jump down on his own because he might hurt his back. While many pet parents have invested in ramps in the past, I think the future of pet-friendly vehicles will include built-in dog ramps.
According to Complex.com, several years ago, Toyota began offering pet ramps, seat-belt like pet harnesses, and leash tethers in their Toyota Venza.
Rear Air Conditioning
While many cars offer an excellent space to secure your dog’s crate, you want to make sure that your dog is comfortable in the back of your car. Rear climate control can be crucial to keeping your dog safe during your long travels and road trips.
According to Autoguide.com, The Volvo XC70 not only offers a pet barrier but also provides a dog-gate that allows you to have your luggage in the back while your dog stays comfortable and easily able to get out of your car.
Brand’s Overall Pet-Friendliness
In 2013, Subaru partnered with the Center for Pet Safety to determine which safety harnesses were most effective for dogs. Additionally, Subaru actively promotes a pet-friendly lifestyle and has also supported homeless animals through their partnership with the ASPCA.
“Subaru is proud to be a long-standing partner of the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the leading animal welfare organization in North America, to help bring pets and people together. Since 2008, Subaru has donated over $20.99 million to the ASPCA and helped support over 1,100 adoption events, resulting in more than 17,000 animals finding loving homes.”
I don’t know about you, but that is a car company I could support. I hope to see more car companies take a pet-friendly initiative in the future.
Luckily, while you have to consider these options while you shop for a car today, you may not have to search very far in the future. Earlier this year, Nissan released a prototype for the Nissan X-Trail for Dogs. Not only does this car offer a pet ramp, built-in leash tethers, water bowls, and pet barriers, but it also provides everything you need to give your dog a bath on the go!
Tell us in the comments below what pet-friendly car features are most important to you when shopping for your next vehicle.
Rachel Sheppard is the author and founder of My Kid Has Paws. She is a Social Media Manager, blogger, corgi mom, animal lover, volunteer, graduate student, and shoe collector.
After graduating from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science & Management, she worked as a Veterinary Assistant for 3 years. Her daily interactions with pet parents inspired her to start her blog focused on pet health, pet rescue, and pet products. She has a true enthusiasm for veterinary medicine and animal science, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with pet parents.