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Five Best SUV’s for Dog Owners

Subaru is a pet-friendly SUV

Packing your car up with your dog and everything you, and they, need is an Olympic sport in our book. We are all familiar with the sensation of a wet nose snuffling the back of your arm while driving, or fighting off your rambunctious friend who seems determined to get into the passenger seat every single trip. It can be tough, and a hazard; getting from point A to point B. So let’s look at the top SUV options and find the best one to fit you, your pup, and the adventures you go on.

The Adventurer – Subaru Outback

Subaru is a pet-friendly SUV

You need a car that can handle more than just flat terrain. Whether it’s camping or hiking, you don’t mind getting down and dirty. With that sweet, sweet all wheel drive an SUV like the Subaru Outback will handle anything you throw at it. While not quite as off-road capable as a Jeep, it can easily handle getting out into nature to start whatever journey the day will bring. Equipped with space to pack up everything you need for you and your dog with a rack up top, prepping for your next trip can be a breeze. The outback features an interior that’s easy to clean, so you never have to worry about the post-trip mess from your dog’s paws that seems to haunt your car long after it’s been unpacked.

Tip: Look into other weather/water/dirt proofing options for your vehicle to keep the cleaning process to a minimum.

The Family Protector – Chevrolet Equinox

Our pets are our children and we care deeply for them. Get a car like the Chevrolet Equinox that has space for you and your family, including a spot for your furrier member of the clan. With adjustable two row seating to accommodate a trip to the vet or the beach paired with cargo hooks, it’s perfect for securing your pups harness for that extra safety. It also hopefully keeps some sense of order in the back seat. There will be much less “are we there yet?” and more enjoying the journey. The best feature seems to be the panoramic sunroof, which can upgrade any night ride with the joy of stargazing with your pup and family, in the comfort of the family car.

Pet-friendly SUV: Chevrolet Equinox

Tip: Draw constellations in window safe markers to create a fun car game for the family. Your pup wins a treat for every right answer from the passengers.

The Road Tripper – Toyota Sienna

Pet-friendly SUV: Toyota Sienna

Ideally we can take our dogs everywhere with us. Even on those long haul trips, the Toyota Sienna is a great pick just for that. With rear climate control and sunshades, your pet can stay cool and comfy for the entire trip. Not to mention the amount of space that can be created when laying down the seats. Not necessarily an SUV, this minivan feel can be a great alternative to the sport vehicles. Smooth sailing can be almost guaranteed with quiet running cars. As an added bonus, the Toyota Sienna sits lower to the ground which is an underrated blessing when getting out to stretch car cramped legs. Which is great for older (or shorter) dogs.

Tip: With cars low to the ground or high off of it, a ramp is a great resource for quick pit stops. PetStep offers a ramp as well as a side entry strap to stabilize side doors as opposed to the trunk. Car and pet safe.

The Errand Runner – Ford Explorer

Space is a big deal for any car that is expected to handle the everyday life for a family and their dog. The Ford Explorer accepted the challenge and maximized on space so whether the seats are up or down, 2 and 4 legged creatures won’t be fighting for leg room. For large dogs, small dogs, or any dog, this is a great normal everyday life option. The Explorer can fit a medium-sized dog crate, which is great news for many families. Not to mention keyless entry is great for anyone who constantly has their hands full. There’s a reason this type of car is preferred by law enforcement. It’s versatile and comfortable for any trip. If the German Shepherds employed by the police force are happy with the Explorer, then so are we.

Pet-friendly SUV: Ford Explorer

Tip: Utilize all hand free options on the go. Like keyless entry, automatic start, and motion sensor trunk lift.

The Casual Traveler – Nissan Rogue

Pet-friendly SUV: Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue has doors that open up to 90 degrees. This means no wrestling against the door while helping your pup up and in. Some of the coolest amenities of this SUV include the rear door alert and outside sensors. These safety features increase ease of mind and set the tone for any car trip. Get alerted to an open door, or when you get too close to a curb and get on your way with the tools the Rogue offers. Let a car like the Nissan be the eyes in the back of your head. The Nissan Rogue boasts one of the smoothest rides out there, the definition of safety and comfort. Perfect for a pup that doesn’t love the jostle of a trip or the dogs that take the car ride as the perfect opportunity to take a nap.

Tip: Pets enjoy soothing sounds for drives too. Create the perfect environment to chill out and enjoy the ride with your pup. Just don’t ever drive tired!

Honorable Mention

Buying a new car just for your dog would be ridiculous (or would it…), but that’s why the perfect excuse is finding one that not only works for your dogs, but your lifestyle too. Now buying a brand new SUV may be out of the question, but looking for a vehicle that includes some of the features these SUVs have can lead you to a more accessible option:

  • Weather/pet proofing product options 
  • Space
  • Seats that fold down
  • Noise reduced vehicles
  • Cargo clips (great for seatbelts and leash hookups)
  • Rear Climate control/airflow

Taking the stress out of getting out the door can make everyone’s day better. Having a car that works for you and your everyday life is an unmatched luxury. There’s a perfect car out there for everyone, and it seems like these cars sport some of the most sought after features that can be offered to dog loving shoppers. So, get out into the world with your favorite furry friend and a new car with features you both love.

All the pups at the dog park agree–the PetStep ramp is the perfect accessory for any SUV!
Pito the PetStep Dog
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