How to tote Fido around for the holidays

■ By Richard Perry / Contributed

File Photo
Richard Perry.

Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy!

I’ve come to realize that some people just love their dogs.

For example, when my wife and I are sitting on the couch she finds it perfectly acceptable for the dog, a labrador/pitbull mix named Andy that weighs upwards of 100 pounds, to jump up and carve out a nest for himself between the two of us.
I’ve seen thousands of dog pictures via Facebook and plenty of texts that say “OMG look what Drew just did!”
When my wife is talking to the dog, I’m referred to as “daddy.” Oh brother! However, nothing is cuter than catching the two of them taking a nap together.
So according to Mrs. Hemet Car Guy, I needed to write about vehicles for dogs.
Also, this holiday season plenty of people will be traveling with their dogs.
When it comes to cars for dog owners, there’s no question that some vehicles are simply better than others. Whether you’re setting out on a long road trip or running out for a quick in-town errand, you want to be able to transport your furry friend as safely, conveniently and comfortably as possible.
When shopping for a new set of wheels, you may have many considerations, but carting your canine properly should be one of them. There are a number of desired features that can help make your vehicle choice a more pet-friendly one:

Richard Perry
Mrs. Hemet Car Guy with our pup Andy.

– A rear lift gate allows your dog to jump in and out of the car easily; it also makes for more convenient loading in/loading out of pet carriers, crates and kennels.
– Fold-flat seats create a spacious area for your dog to sit while keeping the actual surface of the seats clean from hair or scratches.
– An airy cabin is especially beneficial for large dogs to stretch out.
– Rear cargo-attachment ringlets help keep carriers and crates from sliding around.
– A containment barrier/divider keeps your dog from jumping up to the front seat while the car is in motion.
– A low ride height helps dogs — especially older ones — get in and out with ease.
– Rear climate control keeps your dog cool and comfortable in transit no matter what the weather is like.
– A sunroof brings fresh air and sunlight so you can keep your dog from hanging its head out of the window.
– Underfloor storage gets your things out of the way so your dog can ride more comfortably.

These features will enhance comfort and convenience while driving around with Fido. Because it 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 have general distracted-driving laws that can be applied to animal-related incidents. 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.
From crossovers to minivans to wagons, there are many well-suited cars for dog owners.

Happy Driving!

Richard Perry is The Hemet Car Guy and owner of VIP Autos in Hemet. For more information, visit

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