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Do you spend a lot of time with your canine friend? If you want to take your dog with you during your adventures away from home, you’ll want to choose a dog-friendly vehicle. You might not find everything you need in one car or SUV, but you’ll be on the right track if you find most of them. Here are some of the best car features for dogs to ensure Fido can go with you during your trip to the beach, hike in the woods, or out on the boat.

A separate cargo area is one of the best car features for dogs

2021 Honda CR-V Rear Cargo Area, this spacious area makes the CR-V a dog-friendly vehicle
2021 Honda CR-V Rear Cargo Area | Honda

If your dog is climbing all over you during the drive, they create an unsafe environment without knowing it. Look for a car or SUV where you can create a separate dog zone for them to stay safe and secure during the ride. This might require a luggage rack for your camping gear, but a flat load floor and high roof make for a wonderful place for your pet’s crate or to put up a barrier for your canine to be comfortable.

Note: Look for ways to add climate comfort to the pet area. If you have rear air vents, this might be all your dog needs to stay comfortable.

Easy access can create a dog-friendly vehicle

How easily can your dog get into and out of your current car or SUV? If you have a puppy with lots of energy, getting in and out might be pretty simple. Your furry friend will get older and might need a ramp or other way to easily access the vehicle. If you choose an SUV with a low floorboard, it could be much easier for your dog to enter and exit the vehicle as they age.

Foldable rear seats are one of the best car features for dogs

Chewie, Echo, Dixie, three of my dogs going through a car wash in my 2023 Nissan Murano, the folding rear seats give them lots of room
Chewie (top left), Echo(top right), Dixie (lower center) – Three of My Dogs | Nathaniel Ehinger

When it’s just you and your pup out for an adventure, folding the rear seats offers your pet more room to relax and enjoy the ride. Almost all modern SUVs have flat seats, giving your furry friend more room in the rear.

Another benefit to these folding seats is cleaning after your time with your dog. You’ll probably need to clean up dog hair, and the seatbacks are often much easier to clean than cloth seats. Look for easy folding rear seats in your next SUV to enjoy a dog-friendly vehicle.

Security items help keep your dog safe

Dogs can get curious as to what’s happening outside the windows. Most vehicles have window locks, which will come in handy when your pup accidentally pushes the window button. This feature lets you control the windows to help keep your dog safe during a car ride.

Child locks for the rear doors are excellent for keeping your canine secure in the rear. Engage these locks whenever you take your pup for a ride to avoid them accidentally opening the door and falling out of your car or SUV at high speeds.

Tie-down hooks are necessary in the cargo area of your next ride. This feature makes that vehicle much more dog-friendly than most others. Use tie-down hooks to secure the dog travel harness or car crate. Some harnesses also come with a safety belt that latches into your car’s seatbelts, which can also be useful.

Search for these items when you want to drive a dog-friendly vehicle. These features are necessary to ensure you and your furry friend have the best time together.

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