I have 2 full grown German shepherds which I find my self hauling all over the place in my Taurus Wagon. Unfortunately the wagon is reaching 150,000 miles and I don’t think it will go much further. I would like to get something that has better gas mileage. Anyone have any ideas? Currently they ride without crates, but that makes summer trips “stop Restricted”. In winter they would stay in my car all day if I let them. They get along well with eachother.
Take a peek at the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix. Also a Honda FIT with seats down in the rear will accomodate them and deliver MPG.
I would ask the SPCA how a vehicle should be equipped to carry dogs. Use these specs. to guide yourself in regards to what vehicle to purchase. They may give you some good advice in properly transporting dogs in cars. They may even suggest to you a vehicle that works for them.
My freind has 2 greyhounds and she has the Toyota Scion and it is the boxy type. They get along just fine.
RAV4…28-30 mpg in summer/24 winter…lots of rear cargo space.
PetSmart carries harnesses for dogs that fit around the dog and attach to the shoulder harness in the car. This gives the dog protection in case of a sudden stop. The dog I presently have is an 8 month old pup and weighs about 20 pounds. I have a crate and I can fold a bucket seat in the second row of the Chevrolet Uplander that I own and put the crate right in through the sliding door. I am going to buy the harness I described above so that he can sit up and ride in a seat. My previous dog, that I lost to kidney failure in January was about the same size and she would sit in the front seat like a person for the entire trip and never run around in the van.
You could get a Smart car and just have the dogs run along side. You get good gas mileage and they get good exercise. Win-win.
A small P/U with a topper…
Police departments use their Crown Victorias with the back seats taken out. There are lots of attachments that can be fitted to keep the dogs cool and safe.
Any small SUV will do the trick, like the aforementioned RAV4, an Escape (hybrid?) or a CR-V. Small wagons or hatchbacks would work, too.
Maybe a Mazda 3 5door(22/29), 5(21/27) or the CX-7(17/23) would do just as well. The 5 is just a larger version of the 3 5door
I think a Honda element would do the job. It has a nice flat floor when you fold the seats and its easy to clean.
Mr. Meehan, I am humbled. Your idea is certainly much better than my idea of just having the dogs run along side a tiny gas miser. In retrospect, the OP asked what the best dog hauling car was. Running along side is decidedly not hauling. In my zeal to give an answer, I failed to offer a solution that actually answered the question. You, however, did. My hat’s off!
Our local sheriff’s department Animal Control Officer uses a white GMC pickup with some sort of commercial looking fiberglass pet hauler in the bed. Maybe you can check locally.
You should probably consider adding a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy to your homeowner’s insurance, if you haven’t already!
Here’s a link to click on: How Your Dog’s Bite Could Bankrupt You!
A topper? What have these dogs ever done to you? They don’t want a topper! They want an open pick-up truck. Dogs love trucks!
Something with rear air would be nice for the dogs.
Harness the smart car to the dogs…use no fuel at all.
Just for anyone whose interested, I settled on the Honda CR-V. 2006 model becuase it was the last year with a rear window that opens. much nicer to be able to leave open if the dogs have to stay in the vehicle. However… it isn’t as nice as the Ford Taurus wagon… I’ll miss that model…I’ve had 3 of them for the last 400,000 miles. Also, I’m actually still using the Taurus for hauling as it hasn’t died yet !! AND I get free car washes and interior cleaning becuase my son just got his drivers license !!!