Good vehicle for 3 dogs

I am in the market for a vehicle that is reliable, good mileage, in the price range of $20,000 or under. It would be my sole vehicle, mostly local driving, in an area with not much snow.

I have three dogs, 45 pounds each. The youngest doesn’t get along with the oldest, and needs separation. Therefore, I would like a vehicle that could accompany this trio.

I have looked at small SUVs, e.g. RAV4 and Forester, and touring wagons, e.g. Outback and Elantra. I could consider a full-sized SUV, used at a good price if the mileage was okay, or a minivan. At this point I am flummoxed. Any suggestions? Any experience with a particular model for hauling dogs around?

Just get a few more dogs and one of these:

What you’re looking for is the Honda Element. It has great cargo space and a rubberized rear floor. Dog owners love these things, and they’re very reliable. You should easily be able to find a used one with low miles in excellent condition for $20k or less.

Nothing Says, “Perfect Vehicle,” Like A Rubberized Rear Floor !

Let’s see. 3 dogs. Two of them don’t get along and must be kept apart. Owner needs to buy a special vehicle for under 20 grand. Owner is “flummoxed” over the whole thing.

"Any suggestions?
This is a question for Mr. Obvious. What am I missing, here ? Is it just me ? The answer has to be so obvious, right ?


The state police in our state uses the Honda Element for it’s “canine corps”. It looks funny with the SP markings and a light bar, but from what I’ve been told, both the handlers and the dogs love it. Dogs like the security of awd in snow too you know. Should be plenty of room to put a partition of sorts in there.
If we commend them for choosing the Crown Victoria as a cruiser, they must know what they are doing choosing the Element too.

Yes, CSA, for normal people, the answer IS obvious…This thread should have been locked after your first post…

What you really need to do is teach the dogs to get along. It will make taking all three of them in a vehicle much easier, regardless of the vehicle you select.

My girlfriend has three Great Danes. They weigh between 135 and 170 pounds. Each. She drives a 2007 Subaru Forester.

Three dogs at 45 pounds apiece shouldn’t be that much of a problem.

I’ve met other Dane owners who swear by the Honda Element, but don’t waste your money on the “Dog Package.”

On the other hand, I know a couple who have two Danes (100 lbs and 175 lbs), and they transport their dogs, happily, in the back seat of a Pontiac Grand Am.

It’s all about the dogs getting along.

Is that a Ford Ranger or an F-150? I was going to recommend a Toyota Tacoma.

The animal control vehicle does look the best! And yes, I almost have enough dogs for a sled team. That would save on gas.

I’ll look at the Element, hadn’t thought of that. I agree that it would be terrific if I could get the dogs to get along. The troublemaker is a stray dog I picked up off the side of the road who, based on her behavior, probably was a chained outside dog her all life and not socialized with other dogs. She seems to be an alpha, which makes her clash with the original alpha in the household. After three trips to the doggy E/R and a canine root canal for the 12 year old, I have decided that keeping the two alphas separated is the safest bet. A dog trainer who came to my house said that was the best option. Now if anyone wants to adopt the rescued stray dog, let me know. On her own she’s a fun dog.

Thanks for the vehicle suggestions!