There are a lot of things that you need to take into consideration when you get a new car. Your budget, the type of car, whether you want to lease or buy, and you have to chose a car that suits your current situation.
For example, if you have a dog, you’ll need a dog friendly car. There’s no point getting a two seater sports car only to discover you can’t fit your labrador in it. And, with 8.5million dogs as pets in the UK, there are quite a few dog friendly cars on the market.
So, in this article, we’re going to look at the top cars for dog owners and what to look for in a car when it comes to making a decision.
What are the best cars for dog owners?
The chances are, if you’re reading this article, you have a dog that won’t simply sit on someone’s lap on the front seat. So, you’re looking at a bigger car. However, some bigger cars are better for dogs than others.
The Volkswagen Tiguan is a family favourite and is perfect for dog owners. Volkswagen know that, which is why they are offering a pet package. You read that right.
The pet package has a partition grille between the boot and the cabin, a liner for the load area and a protective film over the rear bumper to stop it getting scratched. It also comes with “App-Connect Cam-Connect” which links up to the infotainment system which uses a GoPro camera so you can see the occupant, or occupants, in the boot.
What more could you ask for?
The Volvo V90 is smaller than some of the other cars, so this car is probably better suited for a medium sized or a smaller dog. However, Volvo offer a dog guard which stops your dog from jumping in the front, and out again when you open the boot. This also helps divide the boot so your dog won’t have to worry about falling luggage!
And, if you’re looking for a car that is as safe as it is good for dogs, then the Volvo is perfect. You can travel knowing that your family and your pet are safe as houses.
You might have overlooked Subaru but there is no reason why you should. The Outback has proven reliability and is a great off-road vehicle. While it is a great off-roader, the ride height is still low enough for dogs to be able to get in and out easily. It’s also big enough for two large dogs to sit quite comfortably in the boot.
Tinted windows also come as standard on quite a few models which means your dogs will stay cooler when driving in the summer. You don’t need us to tell you this but tinted windows do not mean you can leave your dog in your car in the summer without a window open. We know that you know this, but we have to say it.
Skoda is quite the comeback kid (you can read our article on Skoda’s history here) and the Superb is probably the best in the line-up for dogs. The Superb is comfortable and great for motorway driving which means you, and your dogs, will be in for a smooth ride. The boot is 660 litres and has a low lip which means dogs will easily be able to get in and out. With that amount of space and the emphasis on comfort, you can’t go wrong really.
Peugeot 308 SW
This Peugeot matches the Superb for boot space but is taller than the Skoda. This means that if your dog prefers standing to lying flat, then the 308 is the car for you. It does mean that the boot is slightly smaller but should still be roomy enough for two.
It still has a low boot floor and a low lip which means that, even though it’s taller, getting in and out of the boot won’t be a problem. This does mean that it compromises on space in the back seats, but not too much. Also, the Peugeot boasts brilliant running costs which will no doubt be appealing.
Dacia Logan MCV Estate
Dacia have taken the world by storm with their Logan and it’s becoming an increasingly popular sight on British roads. The Logan is perfect if you’re looking for a bigger SUV-type car but don’t want to compromise on price.
It boasts 573-litres of boot space and very low running costs. The cheapest version is £6,995 and while it won’t come with a huge amount of standard equipment, it’s perfect for transporting excitable dogs who love getting muddy…or shaking when wet.
Mercedes E-Class Estate
If you’re looking for something a little bit more luxurious, then the Mercedes E-Class Estate is perfect.
With 670-litres of boot space, your dogs will have no problem getting comfortable. It’s economical and perfect if you want something more luxurious. It’s a Mercedes, so you know it’s going to come with a lot of standard and optional equipment. And, you know you’ll be comfortable.
Land Rover Discovery Sport
Is there a car more perfect for taking your dogs for a walk in the countryside than the Land Rover Discovery?
Land Rover’s were made for these situations and the Discovery Sport is perfect for dog owners. The low ride height means it’s easier to get dogs in and out of the car than it is in its Discovery-sibling. It has excellent off-roading capabilities and the badge to go with it.
Also, they offer equipment for dog owners including partitions and boot liners to stop the interior getting too dirty.
Or, if you want something even more luxurious then you might want to consider a Range Rover. It’s going to cost more than the Land Rover, naturally, but it’s worth it for the luxurious interior and the exclusive badge.
There is plenty of space for dogs and it can also come with partitions and rubber-lined floors to keep your dogs muddy paw prints off that luxury interior.
Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs
We’ve saved the best til last. What better than a car…designed for dogs.
Most of the adaptations are seen in the boot. The faux-leather in the boot is hard-wearing so it will withstand dogs jumping in and out. There’s an infotainment system that comes with a camera in the back so you can keep an eye on your dog while you are driving. They can also see you which is nice because dogs don’t have a fully developed awareness of object permanence.
But the best thing is the in-car shower. Stowed away in a special compartment, the shower means you can wash your muddy dog down before they get in the car. There are also warm air heaters in the back so your dogs won’t be cold and wet but instead be comfortable.
There is also a motion-activated bowl that serves your dog food and a water bowl that is very difficult to spill. There’s even a ramp to help your dogs get in and out of the car. You can watch a video of the X-Trail 4Dogs below.
What should I look for in a dog-friendly car?
So we’ve listed our favourite cars for dog owners but these aren’t the only dog-friendly cars on the market. That means that you need to know what to look for in a dog-friendly car. These are things such as;
- A big boot
- This one is obvious but can be overlooked if you aren’t looking for a dog-friendly car specifically. If you’re simply looking for a car that must also fit your dog, then you will need to make sure that you do have a boot big enough.
- Take it for a test drive
- Make sure it is comfortable to drive and to sit in. If it isn’t comfortable for you, then think about your dog lying down in the boot. If you go off-road a lot, then you will need to make sure that it has good off-roading capabilities.
- Make sure the boot is low enough for your dog to get in and out
- You will need to make sure your dog can get in and out of the car easily. If you have a small dog then it needs to be able to hop up into the boot and if you have a dog such as a Greyhound, they can struggle due to their legs. So make sure that your dog is able to get in and out comfortably otherwise you could find yourself doing a lot of heavy lifting.
We recommend doing some research and narrow it down to a few cars. Also, ask your other dog-owning friends what they drive or what they recommend.
Hopefully this has given you a good idea of the sort of cars you should be looking at. As we said, there are plenty of other cars out there but those are our favourites. You can use our search function below to have a look at the others, we recommend looking under SUV’s.