As a nation of dog lovers, with around 24% of UK homes having four-legged friends living in them. With so many dogs sharing our lives, it makes sense that our cars would be reflective of this.
Some cars are geared up better for the job of dog transportation than others, and we've created our list of the top 5 best cars for dogs in the UK.
1. Ford Kuga
If it's a spacious SUV suitable for carrying a larger dog, then look no further than the Ford Kuga. The vast 456-litre boot offers plenty of space enabling for a comfortable journey, and there's even the ability to fold down the back seats and extend the boot to an incredible 1,603-litre's.
What makes the Kuga perfect is the optional hands-free electric tailgate, which can be activated by remote. While you may not think that's all that special, the hands free element on the second generation Kuga really is. The Kuga's boot can actually be operated by waving your foot underneath the rear bumper, so if you have your arms full you can still open the tailgate. The large, flat load space with no discernible boot lip also makes getting in and out easier for the dog.
You might want to get a boot liner for your Kuga. The ones made by Ford are designed specifically for the Kuga, and fit perfectly, providing protection for your boot floor and protecting your investment. Dog guards are also available to stop your mutt from jumping through into the load compartment.
Used Ford Kuga
2. Nissan Qashqai
The award-winning Nissan Qashqai has been a revelation since it was launched back in 2007. Its space, practicality, low running costs and excellent safety tech has earned it multiple rave reviews from a wide range of motoring journalists and owners alike, with excellent levels of equipment, refinement and safety.
In terms of dog-carrying capability, the Qashqai has a 430-litre boot, and the luggage-board system allows the boot floor to be raised or lowered, removing the boot lip entirely to making getting in and out easier and safer for your dog. These boards can be flipped upside to provide an easy-wipe surface, making it one of the best cars for dog owners.
For the Qashqai, you can add a number of accessories to make your vehicle even more dog-friendly. A trunk mat or soft trunk liner will keep your boot surface from getting damaged and dirty, and cross bars for the roof railings will enable you to carry things on the roof of your car whilst having your dog safely in the boot. There's also a dog guard to separate the boot from the rest of the car.
Used Nissan Qashqai
3. Citroen C4 Picasso
For the dog owner who favours a bit of style as well as space, you can't beat the Citroen C4 Picasso with its chic Parisian stylings. With its futuristic looks and unique headlights this is a family vehicle that doesn't disappoint.
The boots space is an impressive 537 litres and the boot floor is adjustable to suit different height requirements for luggage etc. For dogs, the space is perfect, with plenty of room for moving around throughout the journey and space for lying down.
Some extra handy features for dog owners include a storage basket built into the boot, perfect for storing water bowls and grooming tools, and a built in removable torch.
Used Citroen C4 Picasso
4. Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer
If it's not an SUV or MPV you're after, but you're still looking for substantial boot space for your four-legged friend then the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer could be one of the best estate cars for dogs. The estate version of Vauxhall's large family hatchback adds even more practicality and space to an already very capable package.
The boot is a gigantic 540 litres, and like the previous cars in this list, has a large, completely flat loading by with no boot lip, so access for your dog is made easy. A very clever feature on the SE and Elite models is the three-quarter opening boot, so that if you're in a multi-storey car park with a very low roof, you can set the boot to open to just three-quarters of its potential height. So, you can still load all your luggage without having to worry about banging the tailgate on the roof.
A cargo liner for the boot floor will help protect your Insignia against the damage and dirt that inevitably occurs when transporting a dog - particularly after a long walk! A Thule Roof Box enables you to transport cargo on the roof of the vehicle safely while your dog is in the boot.
Used Vauxhall Insignia
5. Peugeot 3008
The Peugeot 3008 combines the best of both a hatchback and a compact people carrier, offering family car with some stylish and practical features.
As a family friendly car, it comes as no surprise that great care has been taken when making sure there's lots of space for both drivers and passengers and this is reflected in the boot space. The car bodes a 354 litre boot with a handy split tailgate making it easy to load both luggage and dogs into the space, and can even be used as a handy seat perfect for changing muddy boots.
The boot also has a moveable floor with 3 different configurations available, enabling the parcel shelf to be stored underneath and out of the way, rear seats to be split 60/40 or folded down completely to utilise a flat loading area of 2.5 metres. Excellent space for larger or numerous dogs.
Used Peugeot 3008
Bonus Car - Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs
Recognising the need for more dog friendly cars built for the sole purpose of transporting our canine companions, Nissan created the seemingly crazy, albeit 'pawfect' car for dogs. Complete with dog wash, plush built in bedding, food and water dispenser and 2-way communication system including camera, it is made to be the best car for dogs. While the car is just a concept, it's already had tongues wagging with it's potential to be a seriously popular car with dog owners.
Some of the stand out features include a built in 360° pull out shower for cleaning your dog after a particularly muddy walk, with a built-in hair dryer attachment for an almost full grooming facility. For the slightly older and less agile dog there's a built in pull-out ramp to aid getting into the boot, and avoid letting any muddy paws coming in.
Once in the 445 litre boot, dogs can enjoy luxury bedding, water from a non-spill bowl, food from an automatic treat dispenser and even warm air from the integrated drying system.
It seems that Nissan have thought of everything a canine could need in this concept, even including a safety harness for added security.
Practical, compact and somewhat luxurious the Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs even has a 10-inch LCD screen in the boot, which is connected to the 7-inch Nissan Infotainment centre, allowing both dog and driver to see and hear each other throughout the journey.
Unfortunately, as it's just a concept, the dream of a such a well-equipped car is still not a reality. We'll let you know if this concept ever makes it to market, but in the meantime why not have a look at the current Nissan X-Trail as it's still a fantastically practical SUV for you and your dog.
Used Nissan X-Trail
Article Updated on: 28/03/2017