Cars, trucks, and all other automobiles are designed with human passengers in mind. After all, a vehicle must be safe and comfortable for use by the people who pay for them. Interestingly, some car models have unique features and functions that also make them dog-friendly cars more than others.
In this article, we’re going to look at ten of the best cars for dog owners you can find in Australia in 2021. First, we’ll explore what you’ll want to look for in a dog-friendly vehicle so that you’ll understand why some models are more dog-friendly than others.
Then, we’ll look at those ten models before answering two crucial questions: where should a dog sit in a car, and what is ‘Dog Mode’ that everyone seems to be talking about these days.
Let’s get started.
What to Look for in a Dog-Friendly Car
So, what traits do dog-friendly cars have in common? Here are a few.
- Low Height - to make it easier for dogs to enter and exit the vehicle.
- Wide Doors (For Bigger Dogs)
- Comfortable Seating - not just the actual seats, but ample floor space and interior cargo areas will be great for dogs as well.
- Easy-to-Vacuum Materials - pet dander and fur will be a reality for your car, so choose materials that are easy to clean.
- Cooling In All Areas - Dogs require more cooling than humans, so multi-zone climate control is the best for dog-friendly cars.
10 Most Dog-Friendly Cars Available in Australia
Now, let’s get to the ten most dog-friendly cars available in Australia. Instead of going through technical specs, we will focus on each vehicle’s best dog-friendly traits.
The Nissan Navara is a ute that offers you plenty of ways to tether your dog safely. More importantly, it has an electric sliding glass window in the back. Not only is that important so you can keep an eye on your dog, but it also lets them stay calm as they can see you at all times as well.
Skoda Superb Wagon
The Skoda Superb wagon offers plenty of space for your dog to sit comfortably, particularly in the back seat. As mentioned before, low height is essential, and the Superb wagon is low enough for your dog to enter and exit the vehicle comfortably.
There are plenty of dog-friendly traits in the Volkswagen Tiguan, and it is the perfect example of the ‘cooling in all areas’ point in the previous section. The car has climate control in three different zones, so you can give your dog some extra cooling if necessary.
We had to include the Forester on this list for two reasons: lots of space, lots of windows. Having abundant space is already a win, but the Forester is well-known for its panoramic windows that provide you with an excellent view. The best part? Your dog’s going to love those views as well.
The Honda Jazz is already pretty popular in the Australian market, but here’s another reason to love it if you’re a dog owner. The car has Honda’s Magic Seats feature, which allows you to get creative with your seat configuration.
That’s excellent news for dog owners because you’ll be able to reconfigure the interior for your dog’s comfort, no matter what breed you’ve got!
The X-Trail is spacious, it’s comfortable, and you can get a cargo barrier to keep your dog safe in the interior cargo area. Enough said.
Land Rover Discovery
If you’re in the market for something a bit more luxurious, the Land Rover Discovery is an excellent vehicle for dog-owning families. It’s obvious why this car’s on the list: it’s big, and it’s comfortable.
But more important than that, Land Rover offers you the Pet Loadspace Protection Pack. Simply put, it's an accessory pack that’ll make your Land Rover even more dog-friendly than it already is!
Tesla Model X
Tesla cars are well-known for being exceptionally dog-friendly, particularly with its Dog Mode (which we’ll explain later). Sure, the car has plenty of space, good cooling, and all that. But here’s the edge that it has: with no combustion engine, there are no loud engine noises!
Less noise means that your dog will have a much easier time staying calm on car rides.
Luxury, space, comfort, and branded dog accessories. Add all of that onto Volvo's stellar reputation for safety, and you’ve got a car that provides ample comfort and protection for you and your dog (and the rest of your family, of course!). Note: V60 is a state wagon based on the Volvo S60 sedan.
Space and comfort are a given when it comes to the Peugeot 308. But it earns its place on this list because it’s low enough for smaller breeds to climb in and out quickly. Plus, they’ll get a great view of the world once they’re inside.
Where Should a Dog Sit in a Car?
You probably already do this, but if not, here’s a tip: treat your dog as you would a baby.
Firstly, dogs should not be seated in the front at any time. Not only will they risk hitting the dashboard in an accident, but they could get hurt if the airbags deploy.
Second, they should always be secured to their seat in a crate, a specially-designed doggy seat belt (yes, there’s such a thing!) or a harness.
Again, as far as cars are concerned, your dog is just another type of baby, and therefore they require the same level of care to keep safe throughout your journey.
What Is a Dog Mode and What Car Has It?
Dog Mode is a climate-control feature that keeps your car cooled down when you’ve left your dog alone in there.
Sure, you should try to avoid leaving your dog alone in the car at all times. However, Tesla has come up with this feature that not only keeps the dogs cool but also displays a notice on the in-car screen for any concerned people checking on the dog’s well-being.
The notice reads something along the lines of “Don't worry. My owner knows I'm here, and the cabin temperature is set to x degrees” or “My owner will be back soon.”
Currently, you can find the Dog Mode feature in Tesla vehicles. But given how popular it is, there’s no doubt that other carmakers will eventually do the same with their newer models as well.
Get the Latest – from CarPartAU!
For more information on finding the perfect vehicle for your needs, check out our blog over at Carpart.com.au. There you’ll discover plenty of articles discussing cars and their unique features to suit all sorts of needs, just like this article on dog-friendly cars.
By Ray Hasbollah