Are you shopping for a new vehicle and need one that’s dog friendly? The July 2013 issue of Your Dog featured an article listing the top ten vehicles determined by Edmunds.com to be tops for dog comfort and safety. All the vehicles listed tend to be on the larger side, no sedans, unfortunately. Several of the vehicles on the list have an option for steering-wheel controls, which can really help while traveling with pets. In a survey conducted by AAA, 1 in 3 drivers admits to being distracted by their pet while driving. Here are the vehicles in alphabetical order:
Dodge Journey. This vehicle has a rearview camera so drivers can see what’s behind them, helping prevent accidental backing over pets. The Journey also has an in-dash cooler to store cold drinks, medicine or food. It also comes with steering-wheel mounted controls to minimize driver distraction.
Ford Flex. The Flex has wide door openings that allow pets to enter and exit easily. The interior is roomy enough so larger dogs can be comfortable. It also comes with a refrigerated console.
GMC Acadia. This vehicle has fold down seats in the back to give pets more room, and climate control keeps pets comfortable riding in the back. There’s also a direct link via OnStar to the Poison Control Center in the event your dog ingests something poisonous while you’re traveling.
Hyundai Tucson. The Tucson comes with remote keyless entry, helpful when you’re juggling packages and a dog on leash. It also offers fold down rear seats and privacy glass that keep the temperature comfortable for dogs.
Jeep Liberty. This one offers a wide range of pet-friendly options including: Choice of crates, carriers or ramps for dogs that may have difficulty getting in or out of the vehicle. It also comes with fold down rear seat and keyless entry is available.
Kia Soul. The Soul has optional side curtain airbags to protect human and pet passengers, and rear privacy glass helps pets stay cool and comfortable in the back.
Mazda 5. Comes with sliding rear doors and one-touch walk in feature that makes it easy to load pets into the car. The cargo floor is low to help make pet access easy, and this minivan has side curtain airbags in all three rows for added safety.
Mitsubishi Outlander. Pet-friendly features include fold-flat seating and stowable third row seats allow for plenty of room for transporting even large dogs. An option is available for steering-wheel controls to cut down driver distraction.
Subaru Tribeca. Features include rear back-up camera and steering-wheel controls.
Volvo XC70. This vehicles comes with blind spot warning system in the event driver vision is impeded by a dog. An option is available for a pet barrier to keep pets from flying around the car in the event of a collision. Volvo crash tested the barrier to be sure it stayed put in the event of a collision. It can be installed by the dealer, who bolts it securely into the vehicle.