Best Cars for Dog Owners

Best Cars for Dog Owners

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Responsible dog owners take reasonable steps to ensure their pets' welfare wherever they go, even while on the road. This is why they put the comfort and security of their fur babies into consideration when buying a new car.

Amidst the plethora of cars available in the market, choosing the best dog-friendly vehicles can be quite overwhelming. Our car loan experts at Positive Lending Solutions list down the 10 best cars for dog owners and their canine passengers:

Huge Cargo Space

Drivers in Australia are not allowed to put a dog on their lap while on the wheel so the safest place for the pooch would be in the cargo area. This space needs to have enough room for the dog to stand up, turn around and lie down in comfort.

Cars that are popular for their spacious cargo space include the 2019 Subaru Outback, 2018 Ford Flex and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon.

2019 Subaru Outback Crossover SUV

2019 Subaru Outback Crossover SUV


The Outback features a spacious 35.5 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seats upright and a maximum cargo capacity of 73.3 cubic feet if the 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks are folded. It also has a low load floor, which allows the less agile and small-legged canines to easily jump in or out of the vehicle.

Subaru also prides itself as a dog-friendly brand, completing a Pet Travel Seat Pilot Study in alliance with the Center for Pet Safety. It has dedicated itself to the safety of animals on and off the road after finding out from the study that a pet travel seat is not the safest for dogs because it cannot ensure the dogs’ safety in the event of a collision.

2019 Ford Flex Full-Size SUV

2019 Ford Flex Full-Size SUV


The bigger the dogs are, the more space they need. Ford Flex resolves this issue by providing up to 83.2 cubic feet of spacious cargo space, allowing Great Danes, Dobermans and other giant dog breeds to comfortably lounge in. Aside from making giant furbabies feel comfortable, the big-booted car also comes with a power liftgate, which opens or closes by simply pressing a button on the key fob or inside the cabin to conveniently let the pets pass through.

Flex has a standard seven-passenger seating capacity, which includes the first-row bucket seats, a second-row 60/40 split bench seat and a 50/50 split bench third-row seat, which can be folded flat for more cargo space.

Mercedes-Benz E400

Mercedes-Benz E400Credits:

The E-Class Wagon has a large and versatile cargo area. The wagon’s rear-facing third-row seats fold flat to create up to 64 cubic feet of cargo space. It is also low to the ground, helping small and aging dogs jump in or out of the car with ease.

The car is designed to fit the Travall Guard, a pet barrier that can be installed without special tools or vehicle modifications. There’s also a removable rubberized “deep boot tub”, which prevents messy dogs from soiling the back seat. It’s best paired with the detachable “load still protector”, which is designed to shield the rear of the vehicle from dog scratches.

Rear Liftgate

Vehicles with a liftgate that can be raised or lowered are especially helpful when loading and unloading dogs that need assistance, as well as dog gears and accessories. Cars with this feature include the 2019 Subaru Ascent, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V.

2019 Subaru Ascent SUV

2019 Subaru Ascent SUV


The Ascent has a Power Rear Gate that can be opened or closed in three ways: manually, by pushing a button on the key fob, or through controls on the dashboard. This makes it easier for dog owners to lead their pets into or out of the cargo area. The opening height can also be adjusted for added comfort.

The Ascent also has a spacious 17.8 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in place and 47.5 cubic feet with the third row folded. It comes with a choice of seven- or eight-passenger configurations, which can adapt to almost any combination of people, dogs and cargo. The extra-wide door openings also allow pets to enter and exit the vehicle with ease.

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2019 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV


Santa Fe features a hands-free smart liftgate that automatically unlocks and opens the hatch when car owners stand behind the vehicle with their proximity key. This feature provides convenience for dog owners especially when they are carrying stuff with both hands but have to lead their pets in or out of the cargo area.

The vehicle also has a 60/40 power push-button fold-down rear seats, which allows dog owners to quickly and easily increase the cargo area for their pets.

2018 Mazda CX-5 Compact Crossover

2018 Mazda CX-5 Compact CrossoverCredits:

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 SUV is another car with a Power Rear Liftgate with programmable height adjustment. With a push of a button on the keyless entry transmitter/remote or key fob, it allows hands-free access to the tailgate for loading and unloading dogs and dog paraphernalia in the cargo area.

2019 Honda CR-V

2019 Honda CR-VCredits:

This car’s rear can be opened or closed hands-free when equipped with a power tailgate with a programmable height feature, making it customizable for dogs of all sizes.

Its other dog-friendly features include the easy fold-down 60/40 split rear seatback, dual-zone automatic climate control system to keep humans and dogs comfortable; an all-season floor mat, which acts as a protective layer against muddy feet and dog hair, and a cargo tray that helps protect the floor from dog spills.

Rear Climate Control

Dogs cannot stand in hot environments because they cannot regulate their body temperature through sweating. When put in the cargo of a car that does not have good air circulation for a long period of time, they are likely to pant relentlessly to cool down or pace and bark to release their discomfort—a situation that's also stressful for the driver. Cars with rear air conditioning system, like the Mitsubishi Pajero and Volvo V60, will keep the dogs comfortable and cool, as well as prevent them from overheating and dehydration.

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2019

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2019Credits:

The Pajero Sport has a dual-zone automatic climate control air conditioner and powerful front and rear airflow. The air conditioning system provides a significantly powerful cooling with top-class airflow, keeping all passengers—humans and canines alike—comfortable even in the dog days of summer.

2019 Volvo V60

2019 Volvo V60Credits:

The V60 is as spacious as it is versatile, with 23.2 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are upright or 50.9 cubic feet when the 60/40 split-folding rear seats are folded down. Its most interesting feature, however, is the rear climate control that allows dog owners to adjust the cargo temperature, keeping their canine passengers cool in summer and warm in winter. There are also optional dog barrier and rear tie-downs to easily secure pets while on the road.

Rear Seat Monitor

2018 Honda Odyssey

2018 Honda OdysseyCredits:

Rear conversion mirrors and camera systems can help dog owners keep an eye on their pets as they drive. The CabinWatch rear seat monitor on the 2018 Honda Odyssey Touring and Elite allows the driver and front-seat occupants to monitor passengers in the backseat via a ceiling-mounted camera. It also has a zoom function and infrared LEDs for night viewing.

Have you already decided on your dog-friendly car? Then buy that vehicle now before someone else does! Apply for a car loan at Positive Lending Solutions and get approved fast. Call 1300 722 210 to talk to our car loan experts.

See also:

The Safest Cars You Can Buy

Choosing the Best Family Car in 2018

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