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What Are The Most Dog-Friendly Cars?  

Whether you’re heading out for a walk in the park, jumping in the car to run some quick errands, or starting out on a much-anticipated road trip, chances are there’ll be some times when you want to bring your beloved dog with you. Truth is, many dogs love going along for the ride, but not all cars are equal when it comes to a design that fits Fido comfortably – and safely.

Regardless of what type of car you drive, remember that it can be dangerous to take your dog with you and leave him or her in a closed-up car if the weather is warm. The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes, and almost 30º F in 20 minutes, even if the windows are cracked. At one hour, your vehicle’s inside temperature can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature, which means that on a 70-degree day, the inside of your car could reach 110 degrees. The interior of your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death

Here are five of the best dog-friendly cars, listed from lowest to highest price, that offer safety, plenty of room, and great styling. We recommend using a seatbelt harness when traveling with your dog in any type of vehicle.

Photo: Shutterstock/Jaromir Chalaba

2021 Kia Rio5 | Priced from $16,990

Priced just under $17,000, the 2021 Kia Rio5 is great for dog owners on a budget. It’s equipped with a front-wheel-drive (FWD) compact hatchback that offers a single trim level, S, which is fitted with air conditioning with rear vents, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and cruise control. You’ll find there’s plenty of room for you and your canine companion to breathe easy: In addition to a low cargo floor, fold-down rear seats create nearly 33 cubic feet of cargo space. The Rio5 offers great gas mileage, averaging 41 mpg on the highway, which is great for your wallet but don’t forget that your dog might a bathroom break before it’s time to stop for gas.

Photo: Shutterstock/Michal – MPstud

2021 Subaru Outback | Priced from $26,795

Pet parents love the AWD 2021 Outback for many reasons, including the fact that its rear seats fold down to create a surprisingly spacious 75.7 cubic-foot cargo area. Planning on keeping your beloved pet in the rear seats? Subaru and aftermarket companies offer gates that are simple to install, and you can also select window shades or leather upholstery that will help keep your dog cool.

An added bonus to buying a Subaru: The company’s Share the Love campaign. As part of this sales promotion, the company donates $250 on a buyer’s behalf to one of a select group of charities, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). More than 64,000 animals have been rescued as a result of Subaru’s contributions. An affiliate program provides service and therapy dogs to veterans and first responders.

Photo: Shutterstock/Kev Gregory

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited | Priced from $31,975

Make no mistake: Four-season fun is on the agenda when you choose the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Fold the rear seats down to extend the cargo area, remove the top, and get ready to enjoy off-road capability that can take you everywhere from the mountains to wooded trails to the sparkling sands of your favorite beach. Hard to say who’ll enjoy the ride more – you with the wind in your hair or your dog who’s letting the fur fly.

Photo: Shutterstock/TonyV3112

2021 Volvo V60 | Priced from $40,950

Volvo is credited with being one of the first automakers to understand the unique needs of dog owners and their vehicles, and the 2021 V60 is proof positive. A family wagon ideal for carrying precious canine cargo, the V60 features standard leather seats (for easy cleaning) and available AWD. You can purchase a range of related accessories directly from Volvo, including a rear gate, integrated crate, seatbelt harness, and a case for carrying small dogs once you’ve reached your destination. With every purchase, Volvo donates $10 to The Petfinder Foundation, an online searchable database of animals available for adoption.

Photo: Shutterstock/FranciscoMarqu

2021 Land Rover Discovery | Priced from $41,900

Land Rover offers a great selection of pet-specific accessories for models such as the seven-passenger Discovery, which features not only plenty of interior space but also a flat cargo floor. This ride is perfect for dog owners who want to pamper their pets with some custom accessories. Add-ons that you’ll lap up include a spill-resistant water bowl, a folding ramp so that your dog can safely and comfortably exit the vehicle, and a quilted, washable cargo liner that extends over the rear bumper (no more scratches from paws big or small). A portable dog shower system includes a hose and nozzle that delivers two minutes of pressurized water for keeping your pooch sand and dirt free after a romp on the beach or a stroll in the woods.