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5 Best SUVs For Dogs - Subaru Outback Is Best For Active Furry Friends

Autotrader says the 2022 Subaru Outback is one of the best new vehicles for dogs. See why the Outback midsize SUV gets picked over other Subaru models.

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Why are Subaru vehicles best for dogs? According to Autotrader, the Subaru brand is recognized again for being dog friendly, and the 2022 Outback midsize SUV gets the nod as one of the 2022 10 Best Cars for Dog Lovers. This award is no surprise as the Subaru brand is involved with pet safety and has been for years.

Subaru and the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) have been in partnership since 2013 when the automaker began funding research to test pet car safety restraints. Recently they supported more testing that will go into keeping the structural integrity of pet crates and carriers.

2022 Subaru Outback best for dogs
photo credit: Autotrader

The five best SUVs for dogs

Autotraders top SUV picks for dog lovers are the Ford Bronco Sport, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Wrangler, Subaru Outback, and the Volvo XC60.

Why did the Outback get picked?

Autotrader says five things make some cars better for dogs. The list includes durable seats, a low cargo floor, a low cargo load height, a rugged interior, dog accessories, and cargo area tie-downs. They also say safety is a primary concern. The 2022 Subaru Outback meets all the criteria.

2022 Subaru Outback best for dogs

If you and your dog are into over-landing, hiking through the wilderness, or any adventure travel, you've probably encountered tons of Subaru dog cars along the way. Autotrader says, "Subaru loves dogs and shows it through their corporate giving. Dogs love Subaru, too, especially the 2022 Subaru Outback. Because dogs and adventure go together well, Subaru has many pet accessories for the Outback and has designed the cargo area for safe and comfortable dog travel."

Subaru loves dogs

Subaru of America recently kicked off its "Subaru Loves Pets" initiative as part of the brand's Love Promise platform. Who doesn't love pets, right? Subaru knows more than half of the drivers are also pet owners. It's a cause Subaru knows is close to many driver's hearts. Last year, Subaru of America provided a fleet of Outback vehicles with drivers to take shelter dogs in New York City outdoors for a day.

Subaru doggie accessories

Many Subaru Outback owners take their furry friends along, and a Compartment Separator/Dog Guard works excellent to keep your furry friends safely behind the second seat. ($191.71).

When you lower your second-row seats, the cloth seatbacks are exposed and can get dirty or torn. Rear Seat Back Protectors ($129.95) provide additional protection to the seatbacks when transporting a furry friend.

A rear Cargo Net is a perfect way to tuck away your dog's toys securely. ($54.95 for two side cargo nets, $49.99 for seat back cargo net.

Autotrader conducted a survey of 600 dog owners over the age of 18 and discovered: that sixty-eight percent of dog owners take their dogs on a car trip at least once per week. Sixty-six percent believe their dog enjoys car trips. Twenty-five percent have brought their dogs on road trips over 250 miles.

Another recent Autotrader survey found more than 85 percent of dog owners think about transporting their dog when considering what vehicle to buy.

Autotrader says the 2022 Subaru Outback is one of the best new vehicles for dogs. We aren't sure why Outback gets picked over other Subaru models because Forester, Crosstrek, and Ascent also meet the criteria.

You Might Also Like: 11 Best Camping Accessories For Your Dog And 2022 Subaru Crosstrek

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: main image Subaru of America via Liz O

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Cool Cat (not verified)    August 29, 2022 - 2:28AM

"Dog culture" vehicles are a dime a dozen. Let me know when Autotrader releases a list of the "Five Best SUVs for Cats."

Now that would be an article worth reading!

Butch (not verified)    November 20, 2022 - 5:15PM

Come real...I've had an Outback for 10 years/250,000 miles and three GSP's in the back for 90% of that mileage. I always laugh at the "dog friendly" or "dog approved" commercials and emotional propaganda because it's ridiculous. Subaru isn't any more or less "dog friendly" then any other vehicle. If it was, it would have air vents in the rear, a real operationally functional cargo area separator/screen/fence and the interior would be such that dog hair doesn't stick like everything...because it does. Subaru has a lot going for it because mine goes more places by accident then most go on purpose. However, being dog friendly isn't one of them and the same group of people selling that ridiculousness would pitch a fit about an unrestrained child while their dog roams freely or has its head out the window.

Anne Marsh (not verified)    September 26, 2023 - 5:55PM

Had a dog guard installed in my 2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness at a cost of more than $800. The two dogs seemed happy to be contained in the cargo area. Today, I was amazed and dismayed to find my 49 lb. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier had squeezed through the gap between the guard and the wall of the car and the back headrest and was perched in the front seat. Took her back to "her" area and tied her up to the guard, Still no good. She only managed to get to the back seats this time. Is there a guard which goes right across the car to stop this happening? I feel as if I have paid out $800 for nothing.