When buying a new car, there are many things to think about, but for dedicated dog owners there is an extra concern; whether the dog can come along for the ride. Luckily, many manufacturers recognize the need of man’s best friend and even offer pet-minded equipment to make your vehicle safer for both dog and passengers.
Below is a selection in no particular order of what we think could be the best cars for dog owners, with many brands, prices and sizes included.
The iconic family hatchback proves once again that a car doesn’t need massive dimensions to be practical. Available with a wide range of trims, engines and transmissions, there is sure to be a Volkswagen Golf to suit any driver. All trims come with excellent rear space, with a generous boot capacity of 380 litres, making the Golf one of the best hatchbacks for dogs. The Golf is also available as an Estate, featuring an SUV-rivaling boot capacity of 605 litres.
Equipment: Volkswagen offers some useful accessories to make life easier for those looking to bring their dog along for the ride. We recommend the Partition Grille (Dog guard) to make the journey more secure for both pet and owner.
Audi provides buyers with a premium option in the competitive compact SUV section. These vehicles are renowned for their fantastic interior space for relatively small dimensions, makes them ideal cars for dogs. The Audi Q2 features a 405 litre boot with a spacious rear bench, if your dog likes to ride in the cabin. Furthermore, there is no boot lip for your dog to struggle over, making getting in and out of the boot easier.
Equipment: Audi has a great selection of car accessories for dog owners. If your dog is going to make use of the Q2's roomy cabin, we recommend the Audi In-Car Dog Harness (available in a variety of sizes) to keep your pet and passengers safe. Additionally, Audi’s Q2 protection pack helps safeguard your interior from pets as well as luggage and other items.
One of the smaller full-sized SUVs, the F-PACE very much punches above its weight when it comes to practicality, which in turn means space for your furry friend. The boot boasts a handy 650 litre capacity, which matches vehicles above its size class such as the BMW X5. The boot opening is also surprisingly large and well-shaped for an SUV with such a sporty shape.
Equipment: Jaguar has a fantastic selection of accessories aimed directly at dog owners. A range of items are available including a luggage partition, rubber loadspace mat or liner trays. Jaguar has also handily grouped selections of these into handy ‘Pet Packs’, making equipping a car for your pet easier than ever.
Next we have Land Rover’s excellent contribution to the smaller end of the SUV segment. As one would expect from a brand famous for SUV production, the Discovery Sport offers owners an exciting and versatile driving experience. If the 3rd row of seats are down, the Discovery Sport can offer a whopping 1,179 litre boot capacity, making this one of the best cars for large dogs while still seating 5 adults. With no boot lip either, Discovery Sport promises to be a rather comfortable prospect for any dog lucky enough to ride in it.
Equipment: Like Jaguar, Land Rover offers a whole section of accessories aimed at making life easier for dog owners. There are two available pet packs which each feature a selection from the Pet Accessories range. These accessories include a luggage partition, rubber loadspace mat and loadspace liner which are also available separately. Watch the video below to check out some of these paw-fect accessories:
Mercedes' mid-size SUV offers everything you would expect from a premium German vehicle. The exterior is commanding, yet also graceful for a sizeable vehicle. The interior is much the same story with some fantastic finishes and a layout drawn from the C-Class, resulting in a very compelling driving position. While many dog owners may look at the GLC and wince at the thought of their pet touching the fine materials, the GLC may be one of the more useful vehicles for a dog owner. The boot features 550 litres of space, on par with German rivals the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, and has no boot lip for easy access. Rear seats can also be dropped with a single lever pull, making the task of expanding rear space far slicker than other vehicles.
Equipment: Mercedes-Benz offers a wide range of vehicle accessories and those in the loadspace category are ideal for a dog owner. Boot tubs, available in both deep and shallow variations, are perfect for protecting the rear loadspace while also allowing for quick and easy cleaning. The concertina load sill protector is a great touch for those looking to protect the exterior from scratches.
With Toyota being a byword for practical and hard-wearing vehicles, the RAV4 with it’s striking exterior looks to be a great SUV for a dog owner. Yet, some might be put off by it’s hybrid powertrain, expecting the batteries to intrude onto valuable interior space. However, this is not the case; Toyota’s expertise in hybrid systems mean the batteries are discreetly mounted providing an impressive 580-litre bootspace. The Toyota RAV4 thus offers owners a unique blend of practical, reliable SUV and an efficient low-emission engine.
Equipment: Helpfully, Toyota has a range of accessories built especially for dog owners. The dog guard divider helps keep luggage and your pet separated, while the Half height dog guard prevents your dog jumping on the seats. There is also a boot liner available, which helps protect the boot and makes cleaning even easier.