We love to take our dog with us when we go exploring, visiting family and friends who live miles away, or on a longer road trip. So we want them to be comfortable and enjoy the journey just as much as we do. If you’re thinking of buying or trading for a new or used car, you may want to consider the following factors:-
- Does the car have window locking that can be locked in place from the drivers’ side? (This is so your dog doesn’t accidently press the down button and end up falling out)
- Is there enough space for your double coated dog to lie down and sleep on long trips?
- Is there a center console between the front seats for your dog to rest his or her front paws so they can survey the roads ahead? (Like my Japanese Spitz does – He loves standing with his back paws on the rear seat and propped up on the middle console looking at the traffic, passers-by, and any animals in the paddocks we pass).
- Does it have a sunroof? (These can add extra ventilation – bonus!)
- Does it have tinted windows? (These help when your dog wants a quiet moment to rest his or her eyes and also not be stifled by the harmful rays of the sun)
- How easy would it be to clean? (Go for vinyl or leather seats rather than fabric – especially if you want to de-shed the seats and carpets)
- Is there enough room for a doggie cage or crate? (Make sure you have enough room to transport your dog if you need to go to the vet)
- Are there rear air vents behind the seats or center console?
Body Type is a crucial factor when choosing your next car with doggie in mind.
A 2-door coupe can be a great option as the doors are usually larger making it easier to get in and out, and the passenger seat is easy to help buckle your double coated dog into and out of. Some awesome models include the Audi A5, BMW M2, Mercedes CLK Class or the Infiniti 350GT/Nissan Skyline coupe.
Likewise, an SUV may be more rugged and have all the space you need for the larger double coated dog breeds such as the St Bernard or Samoyed. This is also good if you have more than one dog. Popular models on the market are the Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Outback, Ford Flex, and Mazda CX-7.
People-Movers (Minivans) have plenty of fold-down seating and the rear trunk door is easy to get in and out of. Spacious, reliable models include the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Grand Voyager, and Kia Sedona.
Thinking of an electric vehicle? Then you can’t go past the BMW i3 for your smaller to knee-high breeds as the rear ‘coach-like doors’ are hinged at the rear allowing them to open outwards revealing a larger, easier, and more practical solution for your dog to get in and out.
Things to remember when sharing the car with your dog:-
- Get quality car seat covers that help protect your seats from fur, nail marks, muddy paws, and drool!
- Purchase a safety dog harness that attaches to the seat
- Always carry a water container and a bottle of water ready for any eventuality where your double coated dog gets thirsty
- Take your dog’s comfy bed for reassurance and comfort
Of course you will have to do your own research to find the ideal size and comfort that works for you and your double coated dog. Just make sure, you also do a thorough mechanical and service-history check on the vehicle as well to ensure the safety of you, your dog, and your family.