As a pet parent, you want to provide your canine companion with the best life possible, and that includes taking him on regular car rides. Whether you’re planning on taking big road trips or you’re just driving him to nearby dog parks and his furry friends’ houses, you definitely want to make sure that you have a vehicle that can comfortably and safely accommodate your pooch. You don’t have to have an oversized SUV or van for your pup; there are plenty of smaller sized vehicles that offer the features you and your pup need for a great ride.
Dog-Friendly Car Features to Consider
When you’re shopping for a smaller sized dog-friendly car, you’ll want to look for something that offers the following features:
- Spaciousness. The cabin and/or cargo area should be spacious enough so that your pup can stand, sit, turn around, and lie down while he’s traveling.
Adjustable seats. Whether they can fold down or be removed, adjustable seats are a must.
- Low height. This is an important feature for all dogs, but particularly seniors. The lower the car stands, the easier time your pup will have getting into and out of the vehicle.
Safety features. Child door locks and child safety windows are important, as they’ll prevent those excited paws from accidentally opening the doors or windows.
- Storage. You’ll also want plenty of storage space so that you can easily stow all of your pet’s necessities.
Rear lift gate. If you’re planning on keeping your pooch in the cargo area, opt for a vehicle that has a rear lift gate, as you’ll have an easier time getting him – and his carrier – into and out of the car.
Top 5 Small Cars for Dog Owners
We searched the market for smaller sized cars that can comfortably accommodate dogs and provide them with a safe and secure ride. There were definitely a nice selection of options to choose from, but we think the following five vehicles are the best picks.
The Honda Element is a crossover SUV that has high safety ratings, offers plenty of features that are ideal for canines, and provides lots of leg, standing, and lying room for pups. The boxy design gives it a unique look and a room cabin. A rear lift gate makes it easy for dogs to enter and exit the vehicle, as do large back doors. The seats can be adjusted and there’s plenty of safety features and storage space for all of your furry friend’s necessities.
The Chevy Equinox is another great small vehicle option for dog owners. This compact SUV offers a smooth ride, lots of passenger space, and an oversized cargo area; the rear seats can fold flat, too, allowing for even more space. Lots of safety features and a smooth ride round out the benefits that this smaller sized SUV offers for dog owners.
If you want something smaller than a crossover or mid-sized SUV, consider the Honda Fi. This compact car is surprisingly spacious for canines. The back seat will allow your pup to stand, sit, turn around, and lie down when he’s traveling. There’s a rear lift gate, too, so your furry friend can easily hop in and hop out, and you can put his carrier into the car – and take it out – with ease.
The Crosstrek from Subaru was built with human’s best friend in mind. There’s lots of room in the backseat and the cargo area for your pooch to spread out; the back seats fold down, too, so you can create even more room. Subaru’s are always loaded with safety features (hence why it’s one of the top makes), and they even offer a variety of pet accessories; harnesses, seatbelts, seat covers, steps – and even beds and bowls.
GMC is famous for building ruggedly durable vehicles. The Terrain is a mid-sized SUV that is perfect for canines and their human companions, as it has lots of rear leg room and cargo space. The rear seats can fold down and can be moved backward and forward to create even more space. The rear lift gate makes for easy entry to the cargo area, and it’s relatively low to the ground, so your pup should be able to get into and out of the car with ease. There are tons of safety features and you can easily add pet seat belts and carriers, so you can have complete peace of mind knowing that your pooch will be totally safe, whether he’s driving the back seat or the cargo area.
Summing It Up
Who says you need to have a huge car to transport your canine companion? These five vehicles are proof that there are spacious and safe smaller sized cars that can comfortably accommodate dogs.