The best cars for dog owners
There is much to consider when choosing your next car. You may be concerned about your new vehicle’s environmental credentials or its fuel economy. A great sound system could be a must-have or perhaps you are feeling the need for speed. If you are a dog owner, you will have even more to think about and the Aston Martin Vantage that you have always dreamt of might have to wait! You will want to meet your pet’s needs to ensure that they can travel in comfort and safety. The right vehicle will also make life easier for you.
What attributes should you look for when choosing a car to suit your pooch?
If you have a large dog or several dogs, the size of your vehicle will be crucial. This means that a hot hatch simply won’t do for your Great Dane! SUVs and estate cars are the obvious choices when size matters and that could mean stretching your budget, perhaps to breaking point. The back seat or the boot of your car must provide sufficient space for your dog or dogs to comfortably sit, lie down and turn around.
Dogs can injure themselves jumping in and out of car boots. It’s crucial to ensure that your boot isn’t too high off the ground or that you can lift your dog in and out of the vehicle without doing yourself an injury in the process! Alternatively, invest in a to help your pet. A ramp could be essential for elderly pooches.
Dogs can get travel sick and will not enjoy a hard ride. You might have to rule out sports cars, even if your diminutive furry friend would easily fit into the vehicle. Your pet will appreciate a steady ride and so decent suspension should be on your wish list.
Sometimes your dog will require ventilation or a nice breeze to keep cool. Electric windows that you can operate from the driver’s seat will make life easier for you.
Tinted windows look suitably cool and, more importantly, will help to keep your pet cool. But they are usually extras that will increase the price tag of your chosen car.
Safety should be your primary concern when choosing a vehicle. Dogs must be retrained while travelling in your car. It is essential that you can fit a pet harness or dog grill to the car. Alternatively, make sure that there’s room in the boot for a of a suitable size for your dog.
Rule 57 of the states "When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A , pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars."
If your dog does prove to be a distraction and you are stopped by the police, you could be fined up to £2,5000 and receive 9 penalty points. Your insurance could be invalidated if you have an accident because your dog was unrestrained and distracted you.
Dreams and budgets
Your dog could restrict your choice of car and if you can’t afford a new car, your existing vehicle will restrict your choice of pet. Before falling in love with a Newfoundland, consider all of the implications of owning a large dog including the car you will require. A beagle might better suit your lifestyle and your budget.
The bigger the dog, the bigger the vehicle you will need and your pets will probably mean that a cool sport car is out of the question. If you can’t live without that Lamborghini, cats could be the way forward!