The saying, “Mans’s best friend” goes a long way. When we look at a new car that we want to buy, especially an SUV, we make sure that it’s comfortable for all our needs. Whether the car can comfortably fit your family, is fast enough for you, or for some people, whether it can accommodate your dog or cat.
I don’t have any pets and frankly, the thought of having a dog or cat in my car doesn’t really sit right with me. Maybe if it’s a little puppy or a gerbil in a cage but having a dog in your car leaves such a bad smell. I don’t know how dog owners do it.
One of my favorite Toyota forums, Toyotnation.com hosts a lot of interesting discussions. One that really picked my brain was a question a user by the name of “Seanly” asked, “Does anyone have experience with the Highlander as a dog car?”
You know when I think of a typical car for dogs, I either imagine a big burly guy in a pickup with his dog in the passenger seat or a little granny in her Cadillac with a poodle. One car that comes to mind as the ultimate dog car has got to be the late Subaru Outback from the early 2000s. Let’s see what others think about this question.
User “CC_HH,” said, “It's been great for my wife's 100lb lump.” I don’t know about you but 100lbs is pretty heavy. I think if the 2022 Highlander (which is already pretty big in size) can accommodate a 100lbs dog, I think that it’ll probably fit your dog too.
User “2VZ-FE” who uploaded a picture of his trunk said, “the cargo cover is from Amazon. And my 12-year-old golden retriever can jump up without trouble.” I think the little cover would be an easy clean-up if the dog either sheds hair or does something worse. That is honestly my biggest fear, a dog either throwing up in the car, which I, unfortunately, have been in the way of, or a dog using in the bathroom in the trunk or cabin and having to clean it up.
Speaking of clean-up, how well does the 2022 Highlander clean-up? Luckily it's not a Rolls Royce where you’ll see stains forever. Most of it is plastic so it should be easy. Here’s what user “dklanecky” said, “The best cleaning tools for us (and our dog's hair) have been disposable Baby Wipes.”
I think this forum discussion has shed light on a topic not a lot of people really talk about… dog-friendly cars. Most just make do with their cars but I think automakers should start slipping in features in cars that would mutually benefit pet and non-pet owners.
What do you think? If you have a dog or pet, are they comfortable in your current vehicle? Let us know in the comments below.
Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.