• Dog Car Safety: What are the Safest Cars for Dogs

    When driving with your canine pet, dog car safety should be well considered. Dogs are part of the family, and their safety should be taken no more for granted than that of your children. There are a number of safety techniques that should be familiar to you if you drive with your dog.

    • The safest place for a dog is in back in a travel crate
    • A safe second choice is in the back of the wagon or SUV behind a dog gate if possible
    • In sedans and coupes dogs should always be in the back seat fastened in with special harness
    • Dogs should never ride up front as airbags can be lethal

    That being said, knowing which cars and SUVs are the safest for dogs may help sway your decision when it comes time to purchase your next vehicle.

    Best Car Features for Dogs

    Cars and SUVs with roomy interiors, back seats that fold down or can be removed completely and that incorporate wear-resistant fabrics are the best for dogs. Crates are easily stored and precise fitting dog gates are quickly installed. Leather seats are very attractive, but they are probably not the best if you often take your dog in the car. Between drool, hair and scratching or biting, those attractive leather seats may prove to be a tempting dog chew toy. For SUVs, one with a high suspension rate might be a bit uncomfortable for a dog passenger. Choosing a model that can bear loads without being too high is recommended.

    In general, choose a hatchback, wagon or SUV with plastic or rubberized interior, the amplest space and that has plenty of ground clearance but isn’t too high for an old dog’s legs.

    The Safest Cars for Dogs

    According to drivers with dogs, the Honda Element is one of the best SUVs for dogs. They have spacious interiors, tough non-leather seats that fold down and are removable, and they don’t require the dog to leap a great distance to get in the back. This is especially important as your dog ages. In addition, the floors are rubberized which resist scratching. The Element also has interior windows that don’t hold dog nose prints. It is almost as if the SUV was made for dog owners. SUVs that receive an honorable mention are the Ford Escape, Nissan Murano, Chevrolet Suburban and Chevrolet Tahoe.

    Other good cars and SUVs recommended by dog owners include the Subaru Forester, Toyota Highlander, BMW X5 and the Suzuki Equator.

    If you drive often with your dog, you must see to its safety. Ample space is important for a dog, especially if you have a big one or several. Make sure your dog always rides in the back, either in a crate or behind a gate. For car drivers, harness your dog in the back seat with a specialized dog seatbelt. There are a number of cars and SUVs that dog owners recommend. If and when you are in the market, make both the safety and space they provide for dogs weigh upon your decision.