A car for growing family with dogs and kids

We have two dogs of our own and foster for a local rescue, our own dogs are a rottweiler and a dachsund and we always foster large dogs. My husband and I are looking to change his Kia Spectra 5 and want more space not only for the dogs but also because next year we want to have a baby! We want everyone including dogs and babies to be comfy. Any recommendations?

3 words: Min. E. Van.

Yep, minivan would meet all your needs.

Do you want to keep the dogs physically separated from your child? If so, you might consider an SUV where you can put a wire barrier behind the back seat. I’m sure that you can find a barrier that can be placed in the vehicle when needed. If allowing the dogs access to the passenger area doesn’t bother you or you restrain the dogs in seat belts, then a minivan would work. I don’t think that you could safely belt in 3 dogs and your child in a small SUV. It would need 3 rows of seating.

I think the best way of restraining the dogs is to use a cage available at pet stores. I use one when I take my dog in my minivan. I open the sliding door and he goes right for his cage. Put your child in a child restraint seat and have a cage for each of your dogs. The minivan will have room for all.

A minivan with a 2nd row Captain’s chairs instead of a bench make for easier access to baby seats and the third row. Third row seats that fold flat into the floor make it easier to put a crate in the back of the van. My wife’s 06 Sienna has these features, as do most minivans these days.

Her 98 Windstar had a bench for the second and third rows and getting the kids in there when they were young (4 and 1) was awkward at times. The third row could be removed in a pinch, but it weighed over 100 lbs. I like the fold down seats much better

Ed B.

Mazda 5

Though in general, I really like vans for families and perhaps a small dog, for safety purposes, I would keep big dogs more separate from a child’s seat as dogs are unrestrained. A crew cab pick up with a rear bed cap and cage would work best for me for the purpose you described. You are talking about several dogs perhaps at one time ? The health of the child would take president and I wouldn’t have that many dogs in the same cabin, caged or not.