Traveling with Pets: What to Look for in a Pet-Friendly Vehicle

According to a survey, less than one percent of pet owners never take their animal companions with them in a car. If you are a pet owner who travels with your companion frequently, an automobile that makes pet travel safer and more convenient is a must-have for your driving needs.

When shopping for your next pre-owned vehicle, keep your furry companions in mind. Here are factors to look for in a pet-friendly vehicle.

Roominess

When it comes to roominess, there are multiple things to consider in a pet-friendly car.

Cargo Space

The safest way for your pet to travel with you is inside a carrier. You want a carrier to be on a flat surface, so make sure there’s enough cargo room in the back of your pre-owned vehicle to safely hold a crate as well as pet necessities like blankets, food and water dishes, and leashes.

Floor Space

Some pets panic inside a crate or don’t like to be restrained. If you want to travel with your pet loose in your vehicle, then buy a used car that has roomy floor space between the front and back seats. There should be enough room on the floor that your pet does not have to partially rest underneath the driver seat or take up all the space by the doors. A van is a wise choice for traveling with multiple pets.

Seat Space

Seats should be long and not bucket-style so you can easily house a carrier or crate on a single seat. Seats should also be large enough that your carrier has enough balance to not tip when the car brakes or slant at uneven angles when the car is moving. Straps can be installed on the interior of any pre-owned vehicle you buy to make securing carriers easier.

Where available space is a concern, particularly if you have larger dogs, stick to purchasing pre-owned SUVs or trucks. Your auto dealer specialist will compare different makes, models, and design specifications with you so you can make the best choice for your pet travel needs.

Cleanliness/Maintenance

Pets vomit, leave hair and debris in their wake, and scratch seats. Choose a vehicle that has durable interior upholstery that will be easy to clean and maintain.

Faux Leather

Get the appeal of luxury without paying the price when you choose a car with faux leather seats. Easy to wipe down and keep clean, faux leather is a wise choice when traveling with loose pets. Crates can scratch or tear the surface, so place a rug or blanket on top of seats—or invest in a pet-friendly car seat cover—if placing crates on leather or faux-leather seats.

Broadcloth

Broadcloth is a fabric-style material that is a wool blend. This material is easy to keep clean with regular vacuuming and is best for if you travel with your pet in a carrier or with a seat belt. Broadcloth shows stains, however, so keep a fabric-cleaning solution handy for pet accidents.

Another benefit of broadcloth is this: the material doesn’t get overly hot in the sun as vinyl, leather, and faux leather can, allowing your pet to remain comfortably seated without worrying about burning or overheating.

Note that you should never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, especially when the car is not running. Pets can overheat in minutes, leading to heat stroke or even death. A parked vehicle can reach high temperatures rapidly, so always leave someone in the car with your pet and provide ventilation in the form of cracked windows and air conditioning for quick stops while traveling.

If you are like most pet parents, you travel frequently with your animal companions. The right vehicle will have the features you desire to keep your pet safe and happy on any ride. Our auto experts at Roseville Automall will help you pick the best truck, SUV, van, or sedan for your pet-friendly travels. Stop by and view our inventory today.