Two-thirds of Dog Owners Consider Their Pets When Buying a Car

August 29, 2016
Jared Kaltwasser

A new survey of pet owners finds dogs are becoming a significant consideration for pet owners buying a car.

As more and more Americans travel with their pets, officials at a top car-selling website say pet-friendliness should be a major consideration when buying a car.

“Car shoppers need to take every aspect of their lifestyle into account when searching for their perfect ride,” said Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader. “If you enjoy driving around with your pet in tow, it’s important to have the right car to keep you and your companion safe and comfortable.”

Autotrader published a report last week based on a survey of American pet owners. It found that more than half of dog owners take their dog on a car trip at least weekly and 77% of respondents said their dog enjoys riding in the car.

How many people consider their dog when buying a car? Autotrader found about two-thirds place “at least a little” emphasis on their animal’s needs when shopping. One-quarter of respondents chose a different body style of car on account of their dog.

Autotrader found SUVs and crossovers are the favorites of dog-owners who travel with their pets. Other popular pet-friendly features were easy-clean fabric, all-weather floor mats, and pet-friendly seatbelts and restraints.

“Dogs have their own unique needs on the road, just like humans, so take those into account if you find yourself chauffeuring your pup often,” Moody said.

If you’re not sure how well a car model will work for your dog, ask to take your pet on a test-drive, Moody said.

“Some dealerships allow dogs on test drives, so don’t be afraid to ask if you can take your pet along to see how easy it is for your dog to get in and out of the vehicle and ride safely,” he added.

Autotrader found 87% of dog owners haven’t taken their dog on a test drive, but nearly half (45%) said they would consider doing so. Dog owners also said they’d be more likely to do business with a dealership if the dealership offered pet-friendly features and policies.