The Mazda CX-5 has been named the best car for dog owners after a panel voted it the best out of six shortlisted vehicles including cars made by Mercedes and Land Rover.
The panel put together by What Car? consisted of dog owners and staff from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, who were given the opportunity to test six different vehicles put forwards by What Car?.
The cars were the Suzuki Vitara, Skoda Octavia, Mercedes E-Class Estate, Skoda Superb Estate, Land Rover Discovery and the eventual winner the Mazda CX-5.
The vehicles were tested on one day at a hotel in Hitchin, where the panel then voted for the winner.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car? said: “There are more than 8.5 million dog owners in the UK, and 99.9 percent of them consider their dog to be a member of their family. It therefore seems only right that we should be taking our four-legged friends into consideration when choosing our cars. To find the best car for dogs, we carried out real-world testing with real dogs and real owners.
“Our panel of readers found the Mazda CX-5’s practical features, stylish yet solid interior and affordable pricing to be a winning combination. Not only can owners have a great-looking, great-driving car, they can also have one which gives everyone inside a safe and comfortable ride.”
Nathalie Ingham, canine behaviourist and training manager at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, said: “Road trips with your dog are part of the fun, whether that’s going cross-country on a weekend break or a short trip to the park. However, you need to make sure your dog is safe and feels secure in the car, so we would always recommend ensuring any new vehicle has the appropriate features to give your furry friend a pleasant travelling experience.
“Not all dogs enjoy travelling – just like humans, some can get frightened or even car sick, so it’s worth taking time to make sure your car is a familiar and cosy place for them to take a safe and enjoyable ride with you. You should always make sure there’s plenty of ventilation and never leave a dog in a hot car – the temperature inside can rise very quickly, even when it’s overcast.”
“Remember you also need to comply with the Highway Code, which says that dogs need to be suitably restrained while driving so they don’t distract you or cause injury to you or themselves if you stop too quickly.”