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If you’re a dog owner, you’ve likely transported your dog somewhere, even if it’s just the vet. And if you’re more adventurous, you may take your dog hiking or on trips pretty regularly. Those who put their dog in their car all the time may want to take into consideration the best cars for dog owners the next time they’re car shopping. Let’s look at what makes a car a good option for dog owners.

A blue 2021 Subaru Outback parked on a mountain with a couple and their dog standing nearby.
2021 Subaru Outback | Subaru

What makes a vehicle one of the best cars for dog owners?

Obviously, you want something rugged that can handle the wear and tear of a Labradoodle or Bull Mastiff shaking off lake water in the interior. While leather seats are easy to clean, a dog’s nails can tear the delicate material, unless you put a pad underneath them. Cloth seats may be safer for your furry friend since they’re less likely to slip on them, and they are cooler in the summer (though never leave your dog in the car when it’s even remotely warm).

You should also consider storage space, especially rear cargo space if you’ll need to also transport a dog crate. Depending on the size of your dog or dogs, those things can be massive, and rear seats that fold down are a huge plus. Even if you’re just buckling your dog in (and you should always buckle them in), you’ll want enough space for humans dogs to sit comfortably. 

Here are five of the best cars for dog owners out there in 2021:

The 2021 Audi Q5 is a great option for dog owners

A blue 2021 Audi Q5 parked outside of a building.
2021 Audi Q5 | Audi

The 2021 Audi Q5 is a great option because it’s a smaller SUV, which means your dog won’t have to jump or stretch as much to get in and out. Of course, if your dog is older or it’s too far of a jump, you can always add a ramp.

Audi offers some pet accessories like harnesses, as well as mats and cargo mats. The Q5 comes standard with leather seats, so it’s easier to clean as well. 

The 2021 Subaru Forester is another great option for people with dogs

The 2021 Subaru Forester is the epitome of rugged. When people think of Subaru, they think of trips to the mountains, a trusty Golden Retriever smiling (dogs smile, right?) from the back seat. The actual Forester delivers, with removable mats, easy-to-clean seats, and plenty of space. 

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler is  a good choice for dog owners

A gray 2021 Jeep Wrangler parked on a hillside.
2021 Jeep Wrangler | Jeep

Jeep owners tend to be enormous fans of their compact SUVs, and if you do decide to get a 2021 Jeep Wrangler, you’ll have plenty of people to ask for help. The Jeep Wrangler is a great choice for dog owners because you can wash everything inside. This is perfect for dogs who love to run through rivers and roll around in mud puddles. 

Jeep Wranglers are also a great choice because of the accessories available. Not only does Jeep offer its own accessories, but there are tons of other companies with great options like ramps and harnesses. 

The Subaru Outback is as great as its Forester sibling for dogs

It’s no surprise that there are two Subarus on this list. The Outback is another vehicle that is up for anything. It’s easy to get dogs in and out of the Outback, and it’s also simple to clean. Like the other cars on this list, the Outback has loads of accessories, and you can also get Outback-compatible accessories from other companies, too. 

The 2021 Tesla Model Y is the best electric vehicle for dog owners


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The Tesla Model Y has more head space than other Teslas, which is good if you have a taller dog. The Model Y has seats that feel like leather and are easy to clean, but are actually animal-friendly. The Model Y is easy for dogs to get in and out of, and it’s great for the environment, too. 

Yet the best part is Tesla’s Dog Mode, which allows dog owners to lock their Tesla and leave the air conditioning or heat on. The Tesla Model Y even has a screen which showcases the temperature and the message, “My owner will be back soon,” so worried people walking by know that your dog is safe. 

If you want to take your dog with you wherever you go, you have plenty options. Your dog will be happy in any of these vehicles, though dogs are usually pretty happy in general. Just make sure you can properly secure your dog, and you’re good to go.

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