The Ultimate Dog Car - Honda Element
A couple of years ago my two Labrador retrievers started getting older and a little arthritic, as big dogs do sometimes. The trips to the vets were increasing and it was getting harder for the oldest one to get in and out of my sedan. I decided I needed to go buy a car for the dogs. I needed something that would be easy for them to get in and out of while being a fun vehicle for me. A brief search put me at the Honda Element as my dog car of choice.
My old dogs are gone now but we have two young Labrador pups that are starting to travel with us. We all love the Element as it is very roomy with some very nice, dog friendly features. Just this past year Honda has come out with an dog friendly package that adds dog emblems to the outside, dog upholstery, rubber dog bone mats for the floor, a dog fan in the back, a water bowl, a ramp and a small crate with dog bed, leash and collar.
First the Element is a lot bigger than I initially imagined it would be by just looking at photos. Probably one of the selling features for me is the back two seats fold up and out of the way so the dogs can have the entire back end of the car. Actually the back two seats will come completely out of the vehicle with very little effort which, for us, is the ideal setup for the dogs. The floor is molded plastic which is very easy to clean (we've had plenty of trials there).
Like I said the flooring on my 2007 is a slick plastic that does not provide a good surface for dog claws. Much too slick so I purchased a custom cut mat that fits perfectly in the back of the car where the dogs are. Throw out a blanket and/or a couple of dog beds and we are ready to go. I also added a roof rack and a roof travel box to put luggage in so the pups can stretch out. The only other problem is the dogs are too low in the car to be able to see out the windows. There are plans for building platforms that allow the dogs to be elevated while providing storage underneath. I will be building one of these soon as my two present puppies are much more animated than my last two at the point when I purchased.
The additional dog package is nice and has some items that you should have when traveling with your dogs. The no spill dog bowl is essential and the fan is great (gotta get one of those). A ramp is good if your dogs are older but you will need to train your dog to get used to it. The soft crate and bed are very nice and the whole package is a great addition to an already sweet dog ride. Most dogs love to ride and travel. The Honda Element is made for all kinds of dogs and is the Ultimate Dog Car.