As seen on the Examiner.com...
With more and more American homes including a furry family member, families are looking for cars that are comfortable and safe for our four-footed friends. Some car makers are now (or will in the future) offering vehicles specially designed to be a safe, secure ride for you and your dog. If you're shopping for a new car, check out these pet friendly autos.
A new offering from Honda Motor Co. may get dogs more interested in checking out the inside of their ride rather than hanging their heads out the window. The Japanese automaker showed off a "Dog Friendly" version of the Honda Element SUV at the New York International Auto Show. The new Dog Friendly™ Element concept is coming in the fall of 2009.
Now you can get your dog a cushy ride.
The vehicle features a cushioned pet bed with safety restraints in the cargo area, a spill-resistant water bowl, and even a ventilation fan to keep canines comfortable.
A folding ramp gives animals an easy way to get in and out. In the back seat, there's an integrated pet carrier and machine-washable seat covers to make it convenient and safe to carry smaller pets. The rubber floor mats feature a toy-bone pattern, and paw-print emblems on the side and back of the vehicle draw attention to its pet-friendly status.
The 2009 Toyota Venza.
The 2009 Toyota Venza offers canine-friendly options in its new five-passenger crossover, which was designed and engineered in the U.S. exclusively for the North American market.
The Venza is available with roughly a dozen pet features, including a rear hatch pet ramp for easier loading and unloading, a leash tether for securing pets in the vehicle, a pet booster seat with harness, a cargo area pet barrier, pet seat-belt buckles, and waterproof, removable hammock-style seat covers. All of these options are available through dealers.
Of course, you can buy many of these pet travel items like ramps and car booster seats from pet supply stores if you decide to get a "plain old car," but it's nice to know that car makers are finally recognizing the importance of pets in our lives and our need to provide safe transport for our pooches.
For more info: If you're looking for a comfortable car for you and your dog, check out the new website dogcars.com. They review dog-friendly vehicles and pet products designed for traveling. Nearly every week they get a wagon, crossover, truck, minivan, SUV, or other dog-friendly vehicle to drive and write about from a dog-lover's point of view.