Car for my dog to ride in

I’m thinking about a new vehicle . . . this Summer or Fall. I have a big German Shepherd and she sheds, I’m looking for a vehicle with vinyl seats and a rubber floor so I can clean it easily. Suggestions? Mini-pickup? Actually this is a little tough to find for me. Rocketman

Good luck. Vinyl is out, at least as a primary seating surface. Its mostly leather or cloth, even on pickups. There is a seat cover made for dogs and rubber floor mats can still be bought.

You could look to a crossover vehicle and get the all weather package that has the rubber floor mats and a rubber mat for the cargo area, or get the mats aftermarket, i.e. Weather Tech. Does the dog mind riding in the back?

I sometimes see pet seat covers in customers vehicles. They come in different types to cover just the seat or seat, floor and the back of the front seat. Very thick material to protect the seats from paws and nails.

Nevada, that is what I was thinking about when I mentioned seat cover for dogs. Great pic.

Something else to consider would be a safety harness for the dog. I have heard of them but don’t know where to get one or even a picture of one, maybe a pet store?

When I Was Pre -Teen Aged We Did Lots Of Pheasant Hunting In My Family And Many Others We Knew Did, Too.

We’d probably be arrested or stoned by PETA now, (I might even catch flak here.) but it was normal to transport dogs in car trunks. True Story - Our Irish Setter was always quite comfortable riding in a car trunk for a couple of hours traveling to and from corn country. The animal would jump right in and was happy to exchange a ride for the hunting adventure.

I suppose that option is now “out,” as are so many things that made sense just a few (Ha-ha, I guess it’s been quite a few.) years ago.

CSA :wink:

csa ; right in keeping with that joke about the difference in dogs and wives.
Lock each one in the trunk…THEN see which one is happy to see you !

New or used? If used, the Element meets the vinyl/rubber floor mat criteria.

I imagine the only significant problem with a dog riding in the car trunk for a short trip would be if there is an unknown exhaust leak. Before trying that, you’d want to make sure the exhaust system was in good shape.

I really like that blanket shown in the photo. It has the added plus of making it difficult for the dog to squeeze between the two front seats and move to the front.

4 door sedans are probably the best method to transport dogs. They are easier for the dog to get in, and the back seat provides a relatively safe place for them to ride. With the specialized dog blanket idea, no need to worry about shedding getting on the upholstery. Making it easy for the dog to get in becomes increasing important as the dog ages, to avoid hip injuries.

I agree with @GeorgeSanJose; about testing to be sure the dog is safe.

I’ll send my wife out and you can lock her in the trunk for a couple hour trip. When you’re finished just walk back and knock on the trunk. If she knocks back…keep driving.

I’ll send along some gas money.


I think a mini pick up would be close quarters with a shepherd.

my jeep Cherokee is great for my dog. I open the back hatch and she hops in. she either stays in the back seat or the back area. I can fold the back seat down too, but usually don t

Seats and windows need cleaning, but one option I would look for is the ability to disable controls on passenger windows. Our dog and I love to cruise down the road with our head out the window (ha ha) but the ability for the dog not to activate the window control has been of great comfort to my wife and I (or is it me)

Honda Element comes to mind, though if you need vinyl seats that’d probably have to be an aftermarket thing.

Can you imagine how this reads in a Third World Country where dog is a menu item?

The XL trim Ford Transit Connect wagon can be had with vinyl seats and the rubber floors but might have to be special ordered. Much easier to find a XLT with either cloth or leather from what I’ve found so far. Might be others out there but would be fleet spec. The only XL wagon in captivity that I’ve found so far in my area has Cloth seats.

Petco and others have options for a harness for riding in the vehicle which uses the factory seat belt. One option found online

yes, check and make sure the window opening is ok to hang your head out of, whatever car you choose…

Mini pickup…exactly !! Or at least an intermediate…
A crew cab Tacoma or Colorado with a cap and a slider in both the cap and the cab allows Fido to “think” he is still riding with you. A Leer cap is insulated, has screens on the sides and has interior lights so your dog can read. The Tacomas have composite beds from 2005 on with an optional AC outlet in the back for music or heat. Heck…I would ride back there. Throw in a doggy matress and he is better off then the driver. If you ride around with dogs, the resale value drops IMho. In the back of an enclosed PU, you can clean it out and no one knows the difference resale time. Why everyone doesn’t have a composite rear bed for uses like this like Toyota has had for ten years, I will never know. The bed comes with adjustable cargo rings that slide the length of the truck bed that could be used to limit the dogs movement to just the front ( or back) with a leash and a snap.

I’ve looked at the Ford Transit Connect Wolyrobb and it might work for me, it has vinyl floors but cloth seats. I would only have to get one vinyl seat cover. The problem is that I hate minivans. I’m looking for something like a fleet application. Thanks folks, I’ll keep looking. Rocketman

The base Chevy Colorado has vinyl (GMC Canyon has cloth). You could buy the extended cab model and sit the dog in the back. Full coverage car mats like Weathertech might work for you if the floors are carpeted.

Survey sez-Honda Element(if you can get somebody to turn loose of one) Hi Dag,how come everybody doesnt have a composite bed?

Hi Kev.
You got me. A friend just bought a new Colorado and spent nearly $40k for the darn thing. Nice “looking” truck…leather, sun roof etc. but still short on the practical side with low ground clearance and It still has a metal bed. Now, he has to pay extra to have it sprayed. The composite beds on Toyota trucks are absolutly bullet proof and impervious to denting when throwing wood in the back. And people wonder why truckers pay extra for these things. I Looked at a Colorado before I bought my old generation 2015 Tacoma which is still a better truck for doing things trucks are meant to do. They have a much friendlier bed surface for dogs and cargo though they are slippery. I put a rubber mat on the bottom. Tie downs everywhere and it will never rust or show a scratch.

The market is just handing over another ten years of leading sales to the newer Tacoma in the intermediate class. 10 years ahead and counting in a practical truck bed and the new dual injection Atkinson cycle motor will be just as much ahead of the Colorado as the old one was ten years ago. All they did was play catch up to a ten year old model. Heck, Toyota offers a factory Supercharger for the old one if you are speed crazy and want to go 0 to 100 faster then any other intermediate on the market.