Friday, April 22, 2011

16 Great Automobiles For Dog Owners

Photo: Sirena Designs

SUVs and Trucks

Nowadays, dogs are traveling in the car with their owners more than ever. Dogs love a good car ride. Some of the ideal qualities in a car for dog owners is:
  • Ease for a dog getting in and out
  • Roominess
  • Durability of car seat fabrics
  • Reasonable gas mileage
These 16 automobiles are fantastic choices for dog owners. These best are practical and beautiful for active lifestyles.

  1. Honda Element
    This car first came out in 2006 and has been very popular since. It has moderate gas mileage (20/25mpg) and has a spacious back (74.6 cubic feet) for dogs to ride.  It is one of the few car companies to offer an optional special dog accessory package which includes:
    Photo Credit: Honda

    • Dog Kennel
    • Stowable Dog Ramp
    • Spill-resistant water bowl
    • Dog Friendly Element-pattern seat covers
    • All-season "Dog-Bone" floor mats
    • and other cool accessories that can be bought separately or all together
    The Honda Element starts at $20,425 USD.
  2. Photo Credit: Ford
  3. Ford F150
    Don't like cars? This pickup is ideal for dog fans. While
    pickup trucks get fewer miles than your typical automobile (about 14 miles per gallon), the roominess of the interior and the ease of buckling your dog in is worth it for those who love a good truck. Ford is known for their high safety ratings providing more than adequate front and side airbags. One tip is never to have your dog ride in the back. In many states it's against the law and very dangerous for your dog. The price for the Ford F150 starts around $23,000 USD for the entry-level vehicle. *Note: Ford F150 trucks from 2004 - 2006 have recently been recalled.
  4. Photo Credit: Ford
  5. Ford Escape Hybrid
    Considered one of the most earth-friendly vehicles this is one of the most popular SUVs in the US. Getting 34/31 miles per gallon this gas sipper offers a bounty of aftermarket dog accessories. It has 66.4 cubic feet. The Escape Hybrid moderately priced as well starting at $27,762 USD.
  6. Photo Credit: Range Rover
  7. Range Rover Sport HSE
    The Range Rover Sport is a solid high-end sport utility vehicle. Smaller than the typical Range Rover, it has all the ruggedness and durability of its predecessor. It has 74.2 cubic feet of cargo room and has plenty of space for carriers too. The Range Rover Sport starts at $60,495 and gets about 13/18 miles to the gallon.
  8. Photo Credit: Subaru
  9. Subaru Outback
    The Subaru Outback is a tried and true standby for dog lovers. This vehicle is spacious having 71.3 cubic feet. They have standard all-wheel drive as well. The interior seats are made of durable material that is resistant to dog scratches and pokes. Starting at $23,495 USD, this is a decent gas-sipper for a SUV. The 2.5i gets 19/27 mpg for manual transmission and 22/29 mpg for automatic transmission.
  10. Photo Credit: BMW
  11. BMW X5
    This luxurious SUV is known for its roomy back seats. BMW offers cool accessories to keep your dog safe and secure. It's also one of the few vehicles with an 8-speed automatic transmission. They will be releasing their 2012 version soon and in winter will have a new active-hybrid SUV which is more earth-friendly. The BMW X-5 starts at $47,200USD. It gets reasonable mileage for its class getting 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. It also has 61.8 feet of cargo space.
  12. Crossovers

    Crossover vehicles popularity is booming. Offering the functionality of an SUV yet also the fuel efficiency and handling of a car, these vehicles are finding more drivers each year.
    Photo Credit: Chevy
  13. Chevy Equinox
    The Equinox is a cool crossover. Cargo room is spacious (68 cubic feet). It gets decent miles per gallon (22/32) and is moderately priced. The Equinox starts at $23,360 USD.
  14. Photo: Courtesy of Subaru
  15. Subaru Forester
    Subaru, a very dog-friendly company is known for their easily accessible vehicles. Made for an active lifestyle the Forester. It has a huge cargo area (68.3 cubic feet) and low floor which makes it easy for dogs to get in and out. The Forester starts at $20,495 USD and gets 21/27 miles to the gallon.
  16. Photo Credit: Toyota
  17. Toyota Venza
    Since 2008, the Venza has been the active alternative to the Toyota Camry Solara. Known for a voluminous interior, which contains 70 cubic feet of cargo space, although it's not as sporty as its counterparts, it handles well. It also has a small selection of dog-friendly accessories as an optional purchase. It's moderately prices starting at $26,625 USD and gets sensible gas mileage of 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
  18. Photo Credit: Volvo
  19. Volvo XC60
    Known as "the car that stops itself" Volvos are notorious for their high safety standards. Less costly than a BMW, the Volvo XC60 start at $32,400 USD. It has 67.4 cubic feet of cargo space. They offer cool pet accessories such as pet barriers and cargo mats. It also has respectable mileage for a sport vehicle (18mph/25mph).
  20. Cars

    Cars have come back into favor after SUVs have been under fire for their excessive gas consumption. While crossovers are trendier, there's nothing like when you're trying to find parking and can squeeze in with a smaller-sized car.
    Photo Credit:
  21. Kia Soul
    The Kia Soul is a fairly new automobile for the compact market. It's practical and economical starting at $13,300 USD. The new 2012 will be rolling out shortly. Ideal for those owners with small to medium dogs, this vehicle has a low entry and adequate interior space (53.4 feet of cubic space). It was one of the top picks in 2010 by the IIHS for excellent safety. Gas mileage is stellar (26/31mpg).
  22. Photo Credit: Mazda
  23. Mazda 3 5-Door
    The Mazda 3 5-Door was named the best small car of the year by Motorweek and Known for its sharp handling and high quality interior, this is a great car for those who own smaller dogs. I own this car and have had good luck with it myself. Even a dog as small as Gigi, does not have trouble maneuvering her way through it. The cargo area has 42.8 cubic feet. It starts at $20,045 USD and gets 21 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway.
  24. Photo Credit: Mini
  25. Mini Clubman
    The Mini Clubman is not as well known as the original Mini. It does have more space for cargo though (32.8 cubic feet). The price starts at $21,800 USD. It has excellent fuel economy (28 city/35 hwy mpg). However, space may be tight for some drivers and passengers.
  26. Photo Credit: Nissan
  27. Nissan Cube
    The Nissan Cube is a car that looks like no other. It has been highly commended for its safety and design. Having a modern edge with a wraparound window and low entry, this automobile is fantastic for dog owners. It's an economical car starting at $14,740 USD. It's thrifty with gas consumption getting 27mpg in city driving and 31mph on the highway. It also has 58.1 cubic feet of cargo space.
  28. Photo Credit: Edmund'
  29. Scion TC
    The Scion TC is the one coupe on the list. Want a sporty car for you and your dog? This is the way to go. There is a wide entry point for dogs to jump in and out of the car and up to 35.8 feet of cargo space. It gets efficient mileage too, getting 23 mph in the city and 30 mph on the highway.
  30. Photo Credit: Volkswagen
  31. Volkswagen Golf TDI 4-door
    The Volkwagen Golf TDI is a fab hatchback to pack up and go. It's roomy with seats that can take a beating from your dogs and still look phenomenal. With a turbo diesel engine, this car gets 33 mpg in the city and 43 on the road. Lastly, being a hatchback, it's plentiful in cargo space (46.0 cubic feet). Since it is diesel, the Golf TDI will cost more than the entry-level version starting at $23,885 USD.

In Conclusion

Since buying a new car is a huge purchase for most people, it's essential to do your homework, especially if your dogs are a huge factor in your decision. Just as every dog and their owner are different, so are the many cars out there that are specifically made for this group.

Let's Discuss!

What kind of car do you use for you and your pooch? Did you ever get a lemon?
Which one would you buy again?

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The Perils Of Leaving Your Dog In The Car
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  1. I like the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. The rear seats fold down making a nice flat area for dogs or cat carriers. It has two metal rings in which to fasten dog seat belts and separate back seat air vent controls. I've had mine 12 years with many animals riding in it and it's held up very well even with spilled water bowls and dog vomit.

  2. A key feature for me is a car with a back cargo area that has ventilation. Dogs loves to stick their heads out the window and need to get some fresh air, but unless a person is willing to get their back seats covered in hair, dogs are stuck sweltering and steaming up the windows in the cargo area. Of all the wagons and SUV's out there, the only one I know with a real opening window is the Toyota 4Runner. Unfortunately, the 4Runner doesn't get great gas mileage. Car designers would do well to add this feature and market the car to dog owners. I think it would sell well.

    1. I think that's a great feature. However, now they've come out with some great products that work well at covering back seats. I've heard a lot of good things about Toyotas. Maybe they'll come up with a hybrid for the 4 runner someday.



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