The best car for dogs: A dog’s view

If it were up to me, dogs would drive. We’d hitch a trailer full of Frisbees to the back, hang a sausage from the rear view mirror, pull up to that grassy meadow with all the gopher holes, and bury the key. Literally. But let’s face it–pigs will fly before dogs will drive, so the best thing we can hope for is to help choose the type of car you drive. And that boils down to four things:

Comfort

Leg room’s important, right? To me, it’s doubly important–I’ve got four. But a spacious interior is desirable on many other levels as well. For example, I like plenty of space to sit, stand, or lie down comfortably, depending on whether I feel like sniffing or snoozing. In extreme cases, I’ll need room to barrel across the back seat should a whiff of the neighbor cat waft in through the opposite window. While we’re at it, a wide stance is essential too; it ensures I don’t get tossed around–or toss my kibbles–as you take those turns.

Fresh air

Now most humans think, Oh I’ll just roll down the window and Fido will be thrilled to simply stick his head out. Am I right? It’s actually a little more complicated than that. While we love to feel the wind whipping against our gums and smell the intoxicating exhaust of the cars around us, a window seat doesn’t compare to the dizzying joy a sizable sunroof elicits. I mean, a 360-degree view accessible from both the back and front seats? Bow WOW.

Handling

If your dog’s anything like me, she’ll want a car you can drive to the mountains for her favorite hikes–or load up with tennis balls for a day at the beach. Something with an all-wheel drive option that can handle severe weather and all kinds of terrain. Power and versatility are key.

Design

It never hurts to look great. I don’t care if you’re a sixty-pound Bulldog with a forbidding underbite or a six-pound Chihuahua in a pink sweater and tiara. We’re dogs, and we all like to take pride in our ride. I’m not saying Sparky will be shunned if he shows up to the dog park in a beater, we’ll just be more inclined to approach the Spaniel who rolls up in something sleek and sporty.

My pick? The Venza, from Toyota. Not only do you get everything I’ve been barking about, it offers plenty of features you humans find so attractive. Like the available Smart Key System (no more fumbling for keys with one hand while holding the leash with the other) and that legendary Toyota safety (after all, you’re transporting precious cargo).

If you’re still not sold, consider those cool 19- or available 20-inch wheels and the steering wheel mounted Bluetooth┬« controls. And then there’s the available JBL┬« audio system with 13 speakers. Did I mention the Venza’s got surround sound? Oh, and not that it matters, but you’ve got your own little subwoofer right here.