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Best cars for dogs, Auto Trader reports

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In honor of National Dog Day, Auto Trader reported it's top picks in dog friendly rides. The Chicago Tribune shared the list on August 26, 2014. Safety, convenience for owners, as well as overall "pet friendliness" we factored into the nominations. Features such as sunroofs, containment barriers, fold-flat seats, and low load floors helped to place cars like Subaru Outback and Volvo V60 near the top of the list.

The Honda Odyssey certainly might draw the attention of dog lovers with its built in vacuum for quick cleanups. Worthy of even the most obnoxious shed monsters, what dog parent wouldn't want a vacuum in their car?

Although if luxury is your focus, the BMW X3 boasts an ultra soft and heated leather interior, sunroof, and even rear climate control. The cargo area of this luxury ride is best suited for small to medium sized dogs.

Here are the top vehicles for dog owners:

  • Volkswagen Tiguan
  • BMW X3
  • Volvo V60
  • Kia Soul
  • Subaru Outback
  • Nissan Juke
  • Honda Odyssey

Despite the convenience factors, Auto Trader cautioned on their website about the overall safety concerns of traveling with pets, "Because driving around with your dog has its risks, safe transport should be at the top of your mind. Some states require owners to crate or tether animals while in motion; other states, such as Connecticut, have general distracted-driving laws that can be applied to animal-related incidents. New Jersey categorizes an improperly restrained pet as a disorderly-conduct offense. Penalties for violations vary by state, but ultimately, common sense should prevail. In other words, it may be fun for your dog to ride on your lap on the highway, but it's clearly not the best idea."

According to the American Automobile Association, pets moving about in cars are the third worst distraction while driving. They claim, "A recent survey by the Royal Auto Club found that nearly all drivers who traveled with their pets had been distracted by them at least once, and about 11 percent of those drivers admitted the distraction almost caused a crash. A tiny lapse in focus on the road is all it takes." For the sake of safety, pets should not ride in the driver's lap or in the passenger seat as a sudden need to brake in any vehicle could throw a four legged family member into or through the windshield.

Looking for the full list and all the reviews? Check it out on the Auto Trader website here.

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