November 4th, 2020 | Updated on June 27th, 2022
When buying a car, a lot of people have that weird case of tunnel-vision where they focus on the vehicle in a vacuum.
Now, while the majority of them know that they can’t buy a two-seater if they have a family of four, this is as far as their foresight goes.
What about dogs? Even if you don’t intend to take them on a road trip, by having a dog-friendly car, you’ll have an easier job of taking them to a vet.
You’ll also get access to more parks and more walking routes that your pet is sure to appreciate. So, here are six things you need to keep in mind when buying a car if you are a dog owner.
1. Lay-Flat Rear Seating
One of the first things to pay attention to is the lay-flat rear seating. Alongside cargo tie-downs, you’ll place yourself in a scenario where you can keep all the crates, water bowl and litter box.
This will be invaluable if you’re embarking on a longer trip. Also, it’s a good idea to try and access the amount of space available for your dog.
Large dogs don’t feel very comfortable in tight spaces. Sure, you want them to stay in the spot but by merely seeing that they don’t have enough room, they might get a bit anxious.
2. Air Conditioning Vent That Goes Through The Car
Some air conditioners are specifically designed to fit the driver’s seat, thus giving a subjective impression that they’re far more efficient than you are.
Depending on the breed of your dog, they might have a harder time standing extreme heats. So, what you need is an air conditioning vent that goes through the car. One trick that you can try out is to sit in the back and try imagining how your beloved dog would feel.
3. Tinted Windows
Your dog might be easily aggravated by the sun rays piercing through the window. To avoid allowing this to become a problem, you might want to consider a car with some tinted windows.
You can also tint these windows at a later date but keep in mind that there’s a certain level of tint that’s allowed by law in each country or state.
Child-proofing the window will also do the trick but the end result won’t be anywhere near as aesthetically pleasing. Still, it’s an interesting factor to consider.
4. Look For A Pet-Friendly Model
In this day and age where about 40% of all households have a pet, there are some models that design vehicles with pet owners in mind.
For instance, vehicles like the Subaru XV Compact Crossover is deemed as one of the most versatile vehicles for exploring the outdoors.
Other than this, there is also a huge number of Perrin products that one can use in order to further enhance the performance of the vehicle. This way, the ride runs smoother, which makes the pet calmer.
5. Consider Additional Restraining Methods
The next thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that you will probably use a restraining method. For instance, you might want to use transport carriers, seatbelts and harnesses, or even barriers. When it comes to some smaller dogs, even booster seats are an option.
There is also a less commonly used method of front-seat travel. Some people prefer to drive a dog in the open in the trunk. In this scenario, you might have to take other restraining and safety options into consideration.
6. Easy To Clean Interior
This last suggestion is more of a quality of life improvement that needs to be taken into consideration. You see, regardless of how well-trained your pet is, they will still shed some hair and often make a mess out of your car’s back seat.
This is why looking for a car that is easy to clean might save you from a world of trouble in the future. Keeping the interior clean is one of the most important things for the long-term health of both you and your pet. This is why it’s a priority.
At the end of the day, your car and your dog will develop a relationship and a dynamic of their own. This is something that you can’t affect and something that you really can’t predict. Unlike other members of your family, the dog can’t vocalize their disposition towards the new vehicle.
So, you have to go with your instinct and take all of these objective metrics into consideration. Also, bear in mind that you’re buying a car for yourself as well, not just your dog.