Dog’s Best Friend
By Michael Schlee
It’s a fact, people love their pets. No pet is more popular, or loved around the world then dogs. There is a reason they are called man’s best friend.
Lucky for us, most dogs share our love affair with the automobile. So this leads to the question, what is the best way to drive around our furry four legged companions?
Any SUV, Wagon or Van will do really. In fact, in this day and age of increased safety awareness, any car with a place to belt in a dogs safety harness will do. However, travelling with dogs usually means travelling with dog accessories, especially if it is an overnight trip. This means you need to bring along your dog’s cage, dog bed, toys, food, bowls, etc. And being from a dog, none of it is probably clean and/or dry. So I present to you 9 of the best vehicles to chauffeur around your dog.
Small – Medium Sized Dog:
1) Subaru Outback – This wagon has it all. There is a lot of space for you, your dog and all of your dogs gear. It has all the capabilities of an SUV with car like handling, size and gas mileage. It is not overly expensive (but not cheap either). Best of all? It has an optional removable rubber trunk insert for easy cleaning.
2) Toyota Matrix – The Matrix has a deceivingly large cargo space that could accommodate a lot of dog paraphernalia. But, since it is a car, it gets good gas mileage while also being easy to drive and park. The floor of the hatch is a nice hard plastic which makes cleaning it simple.
3) Jeep Patriot – Although it does not posses as much cargo space as some other vehicles, it is still more than adequate. The Jeep features all the usual SUV capabilities as well as not being large, or hard on gas. With its boxy tough guy looks, this SUV is the perfect image vehicle for transporting a boxer or a bull dog.
1) Honda Element – This is perhaps the best animal transporting vehicle out there. The entire interior can be hosed down to clean up any ‘accidents’ that may occur. With both of the rear seats flipping up into the wall independently, the cargo possibilities are endless. Also, it is not very expensive, drives like a car, gets good gas mileage, and has the option of 4WD.
2) Toyota FJ Cruiser – Is your dog over weight? Do you own a Mastiff? Then this could be your vehicle. With a tourquey 4.0L V6, this SUV is capable of hauling a lot of weight. It may not be the cheapest, or get the best gas mileage, but the combination of 4WD and unique styling make up for it. Also, a side swing rear door and hard plastic floor are nice touches for the dog owner.
3) Nissan Xterra – This is another vehicle with a huge amount of space inside. It really offers most of the same advantages as the F J Cruiser, just in a less flashy package. With its proven 4WD, this is the best vehicle to take your pointer out for a day of hunting.
Did your dog just win the Westminster Dog Show? Did he/she get a role in the new Pedigree commercial? Well then, your Malibu Maxx just won’t do anymore. You need to step up to a more prestigious luxury wagon like the BMW 328xi, Audi A4 Avant or Volvo V50. These wagons offer AWD, top of the line safety, and most important of all, image. No need to worry about the carpeted rear flooring in these hatches; your dog wouldn’t dream of getting it dirty…….right?