If you are a dog lover, your car is more than getting yourself from point A to point B, it is also transportation for you pet. Whether you are going to take your dog to the dog park, a trip to the groomers, or for just a ride in the car there are things to remember when choosing a car that meets your needs and the needs of your dog.

The first step is to narrow down your search for the right Ford car, SUV, mini-van or truck.
The primary considerations are Comfort, Safety and Dog Durability.

  • A low ride height helps dogs get in and out as easily as possible no matter their age. As dogs age so does the flexibility of their hips.
  • Rear lift gate is helpful for loading your dog, your dog's crate or in general all dog accessories. The available hands-free rear lift gate on the EcoSport, Escape, Edge, Explorer, and Expedition makes loading your dog effortless.
  • The airy cabin of a Ford SUV gives larger dogs a sense of space and roominess.
  • Rear Climate Control, available on Ford SUVs will provide your dog with cool air or the heat they need to remain comfortable. Window tinting is an option to keep the sun off your dog as well. Keeping in. mind that dogs are "air cooled" and they need flowing air to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
  • The Ford SUV lineup have flat folding seats allowing your dog to stretch out and lie down comfortably, just make sure you have the dog harnessed to the car. Ford cargo areas have flat sides and no spare tire or anything else intruding on your dog's space. Also, by folding the seats you won't have to worry about what human passengers are going to sit in when transporting the family or less tolerant friends.
  • Ramps or Steps are available for loading small or large dogs. Ramps can be found in telescoping or fold-able models to provide the length your dog needs and still fit inside your cargo area. Just because your dog routinely jumps on and off the couch, and in and out of a car, SUV or truck doesn't mean it is not without endangerment to their joints. Buy a cargo step for F-150 from Ford Accessories.com.
Ford Protects Your Pets with Advanced Safety Features
We often think of the importance of safety features for our friends and family, but they are also important for our pets. While crates and seat belts are designed for pet travel, they are still not as safe as seat belts for humans, which means advanced safety technologies like those included in Ford Co-Pilot360™ are crucial. These technologies include the Lane Keeping System, the Blind Spot Information System, Automatic Emergency Braking, and a Rear view Camera.

In addition consider what you can provide for your pet's safety:

* Dog harness car restraints are recommended for small to medium sized dogs, but can also work well for larger breeds. A quality pet harness, works in tandem with your Ford's car seat anchors tethering your dog to the seat. Make sure to find a harness that lets your pet sit or lie down which keeps them restrained in an accident.
* Most dog harness systems consists of two parts: the harness itself, and the tether that connects the harness to the seatbelt or anchor. According to Barkbuckleup.com a 60lb dog traveling at 35mph can turn into a 2700lb projectile in an accident.
* To secure your pet in the backseat of your Ford, use the same system you would to secure a childseat. Called the Ford child tether latch system, also known as LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), provides a safe way to connect a dog harness to the anchor.
* Get your dog accustomed to his harness on short trips first, be vigilant and never use in the front seat of your car. Check out the Center for Pet Safety how to select a harness. https://www.centerforpetsafety.org/pet-parents/how-to-select-a-harness/
* Pet Carriers are typically for smaller pets and secured on the rear seat of the vehicle with the latch anchors or seatbelt.

Cargo Area
* A crate or kennel is another way to restrain a dog in the car. It significantly reduces driver distraction and is effective at containing the dog after a crash. Its safety and effectiveness depend on more than just the crate itself. Look for sturdy construction and buy the right size: a correctly fitted crate reduces how much your dog is thrown around inside it in an accident.
Crates are typically anchored in the cargo area of an SUV or van. Some dog crates are designed to secure with straps, particularly when placed in the flatbed of a Ford Truck.
* The cargo area is fitted with some sort of attachment source so you can secure your pet's carrier, crate or harness. Rear cargo attachment rings hold pet crates in place, especially important during braking. Check out crashworthy study results from the Center for Pet Safety  https://www.centerforpetsafety.org/test-results/crates/
* A containment barrier prevents your dog from jumping around the vehicle while it is in motion. Pet Barriers give your pet room to move but keeps them safely contained behind the rear seat and a further bonus it keeps them off the car upholstery. It is important to remember that a pet Barrier serves only to keep the dog from the passenger area, kit does not restrain the dog by any means. The dog barrier is most effective when used with along with a crate or kennel and can help minimize injury to passengers in the car's backseat when in an accident.  
* A crate should rest lengthwise in the back seat of the car if it will fit there, or on the floor in front of the back seat if the crate is small enough. Remove your dog's collar before he climbs into his crate to let give freedom to your pet to turn around and not get tangled.
* Keeping a crate set up in your car makes routine travel with your dog much more convenient. Print out relevant information-including medical details and emergency contacts-and attach it to the crate in an easy-to-spot location in case of an accident.

Ford LATCH Restraint System


Dog Durability
  • Dogs love to drool, share their dog park dirt, and in most cases shed.
  • While vinyl seats are the most forgiving most people do not like the way they look.
  • Opt for leather which can be wiped down when messes occur.
  • Cloth upholstery is a last resort as pet hair is difficult to vacuum because it sticks to upholstery.
  • In general dogs can be hard on surfaces and leather is not scratch resistant so if you want to preserve your seats you will need to invest in a pet mat car seat cover. Buy a Ford Protective Seat Cover for rear bench seat.
  • Rubber mats and liners protect carpets and make clean up easier. Look for one with a 2-3" lip around the edge to keep a spill contained.