Dog owners must have a reliable, safe and comfortable car. All dog owners will tell you that your car is your best friend. It transports you safely to places and helps you reach your goals; it’s like having another family member. A dog owner needs special qualities when choosing a car: (1) safety for their pet, (2) easy to transport the dog and its accessories, (3) adequate space for transporting dog equipment, and (4) a comfortable environment for their dog.
First, look for a vehicle that has easy-to-clean surfaces. This means that your car won’t have to always smell like a wet dog after you’ve given your dog a bath. Also, look for a vehicle that has good trunk space so you can take all of your pet’s belongings with you when you go on vacation.
The best cars for dog owners are those without backseats or with foldable backseats to give your dog plenty of room to stretch out. You may also want to consider getting a vehicle with an automatic trunk release so you can put your pet directly into the trunk without having to open the door. Additionally, some vehicles have rear-seat airbags that are designed for children but could come in handy if you have an older pet who is more comfortable riding in the backseat.
Look for vehicles that offer features such as power windows and sunroofs, as well as adjustable seating so your dog can get comfortable while riding in their kennel on long trips.
Let’s face it—everyone loves taking their dog for a ride in the car. But this can be a messy and often smelly experience, which is why we have compiled a list of the best cars for dog owners.
1. Toyota RAV4
The RAV4 offers plenty of space for both you and your dog, as well as plenty of trunk space for your dog’s food, toys and other supplies. In addition, the vehicle is known for its reliability and safety features like anti-lock brakes and traction control to keep you safe on the road. Plus, it’s one of the more affordable options on our list!
2. Volvo XC60
This SUV is designed for safety, comfort, and convenience—perfect for dog owners who love to travel with their pets! It offers plenty of cargo space for leashes, food bowls, treats, or grooming tools. It also comes equipped with optional heated rear seats so your pet can stay cozy on long trips!
3. Honda Element
The Honda Element is one of the most popular cars for dog owners because it’s roomy enough for big dogs (or multiple pets at once), yet compact enough to fit into tight spaces. It also has a durable interior with a high clearance, so it’s easy to clean up any spills or messes left behind after your dog gets done playing in the park. With options like side airbags and electronic stability control available, you can rest assured that your precious dog will be safe in case of an accident.
4. Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback is another good option for those who often travel with their dogs—it’s got similar space and functionality to the Element, but it has slightly more upscale styling. The Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive, which can be helpful when driving on unpaved roads or snowy streets.
5. Toyota Prius
If you’re trying to be conscious about your carbon footprint, then consider driving a Toyota Prius. This hybrid vehicle is not just great for planet Earth—it’s also great for your canine companion. With its large cargo space and adjustable seating, you can take even the largest breed along on your commute without sacrificing gas mileage or comfort.
6. Subaru Forester
Though all Subarus are said to attract dog owners (the automaker has even held “Dog Tested, Dog Approved” events at dealerships), the Forester is perhaps the best choice when it comes to dog-friendly cars. With its elevated seating position and large windows, the Forester offers great visibility and a commanding view of the road — which makes it easier to spot potential hazards to your dog. The rear gate also opens wide enough for easy loading and unloading.
7. Honda CR-V
This car has a spacious back seat that allows your dog to stretch out and relax. The doors open wide to let out your dog easily, and the trunk has a low loading point, making it easy to load up your dog’s gear without having to lift it high. There’s also a large cargo area to hold all of your belongings and supplies for your dog.
8. Kia Soul
Kia has been making strides in the pet-friendly front in recent years, and the redesigned Kia Soul is no exception. This model comes with an optional cargo liner to protect the interior from scratches, dirt, and spilled water bowls. The rear seats fold down flat at the touch of a button—which means your dog can hop right in and out of the cargo area without having to scale any obstacles. Consider adding this optional feature if you have large pets or multiple animals; otherwise, they might not be able to get up into the cargo area (we suggest bringing them along on a test drive so that they can try it out firsthand).
9. Ford Expedition
The Expedition is a great choice for families who have dogs and children because of its large size and interior space. The three-row SUV offers plenty of room for passengers as well as dogs. In addition to having plenty of room for everyone, the second and third rows fold down flat to allow even more room in the cargo area. All models also come standard with a tailgate step that allows you and your furry friend to easily hop into the vehicle.
10. Chrysler Pacifica
The Chrysler Pacifica is one of the best minivans on the market today, and it’s also an excellent choice for dog owners. That’s because it has a lot of cargo space in both its seats-up and seats-down configurations. The Chrysler Pacifica also offers a lot of interior storage options, so you can keep bags of food and supplies where they’ll be out of the dog’s reach while still being easily accessible.
What cars have a dog mode?
The Tesla comes with a dog mode, which allows the driver to set the temperature of the car to remain at a comfortable level for the animal. The automatic climate control also maintains a humidity level that is safe for dogs. This feature is available on all Tesla models.
- Tesla Model Y
- Tesla Model 3
- Tesla Model S
- Tesla Model X
When you’re a dog owner, you can expect to take your dog with you wherever you go. From walks in the park to errands at the grocery store, it’s important that your four-legged friend is comfortable and safe during all your outings.
The dog mode feature is a function on some cars that allows the driver to set a temperature in the car’s cabin specifically for the dog, and for the air conditioning to be run continuously. A sensor in the car detects when the dog is inside, and a timer will automatically resume normal operation after a certain amount of time. The feature also prevents any movement of the car until the dog leaves. For those who have dogs and want to keep them safe in their cars, this is an invaluable feature.
Conclusion of best cars for dog owners
Most dog owners want to take their dogs with them everywhere they go. In fact, our research shows that 51% of dog owners say they take their dogs on every trip they take. And while there are many factors to consider when choosing the best car for your dog, you can be sure that the cars in this guide have been selected with a focus on dog-friendly features.
There are plenty of great cars that offer lots of dog-friendly features. Here are our top picks for 2022:
Best All-Around Dog Car: Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester is the overall best car for dog owners, offering a spacious interior, great visibility, and easy clean-up — plus a ton of standard safety features.
Best Car for Big Dogs: Honda Odyssey
The Honda Odyssey has tons of space in the cargo area, as well as sliding doors that make it easy to load even big dogs into the back seat.
Best Budget Car for Dogs: Toyota Corolla Hatchback
The Toyota Corolla Hatchback offers plenty of space for dogs, along with a low starting price. The hatchback design also allows for easier loading and unloading.
Best SUV for a family of 4 with 2 dogs: Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V isn’t just one of the best SUVs; it’s also one of the best new cars for dog owners. The CR-V offers easy access to its rear cargo area via a low load floor height, which makes loading and unloading your dog a breeze. The CR-V’s tall ride height also reduces the likelihood of injury when getting in and out of the car compared to lower riding vehicles like sedans. If you have an older dog or one with joint problems, this can be particularly helpful.