Do you take your dog in the car with you? You might find these dog owner driving habits fascinating, thanks to Ross Wild from All Car Leasing…

Dog owner driving habits revealed in UK study

Many of us must transport our dogs in our cars from time to time to get them to the vets or if you don’t live near anywhere walking friendly to a park. Some dogs take to cars swimmingly and others not so much. How do you travel with your dog in the car? Do you put them in the boot, rear passenger seat or even in the front?

A 2019 study labelled ‘Homeward Hound’ by UK car leasing company All Car Leasing surveyed over 1,200 UK residents who are dog owners to see what people’s habits and techniques really are. We’ve looked at these and here’s their report.

Dog owner driving habits revealed in UK study

Interestingly, 21% of dog owners surveyed by All Car Leasing did not let them into their cars at all, citing bad smells and annoying hairs on the upholstery as their reasons why. These reasons are pretty understandable as dog smells do linger quite a bit which can be annoying for those who use their cars on the school run or as a work’s carpool. Everyone knows how annoying pet hairs can be and no one wants to turn up to work with hairs all over their freshly pressed suit.

Dog owner driving habits revealed in UK study

Next, we took a look at where dog owns (who put their dogs in the car) put them. Small dogs tended to go in the front, medium dogs in the back and larger breeds in the boot. These weren’t surprising findings, but they did lead to the startling discovery that 1 in 3 dog owners who travelled with their dogs did not keep them restrained which could lead to your dog being at a greater risk of being hurt in an accident.

Our next area of investigation was the owner’s individual buying habits and how much their dog’s needs plays a part on decision making. 62% of those who allowed their dog in the car acknowledged their dog’s needs in the buying cycle – this means that they would consider the shape, space and practicality of the car and whether it would be suitable for their furry friend. This is a pleasing statistic as many of us dog owners see them as family as oppose to pets. Do you find yourself thinking of your dog when sat down in a car dealer office putting pen to paper on a new deal?

Dog owner driving habits revealed in UK study


Lastly, we quizzed UK dog owner drivers on features of their cars which are or were desirable when considering a new purchase – the top 3 features were large boot, easy boot access and quality seats. This is in line with the previous statistics on the location the dog would be during a car journey, but it also reaffirms ACL’s findings that dog owners really do care about their dogs during car journeys. A few of us in the office expected air conditioning to be there but perhaps air conditioning is now so common that it comes ‘as standard’.

When it comes to after-market purchases, a mesh guard to separate the boot from the car, a clip in harness which would restrain the dog in transit and seat/boot liners to improve the comfort levels came up trumps.

Dog owner driving habits revealed in UK study

Although Homeward Hound did not provide us with anything completely ground-breaking it did confirm our suspicions that dog owners really do care about their canine friend’s needs even when making major purchases such as a car. We would believe that if this study looked at their habits at home the findings would probably be very similar.

About the author:
Ross Wild, 20, lives in Cheshire and was the person responsible for the survey and this article. He drives a Mazda 3 and owns a Cockapoo called Lottie who regularly joins him on drives (restrained of course!). He is the Digital Marketing Assistant at All Car Leasing.

Note from Dr Jo: Remember that airbags could severely injure or even kill your dog. Place your dog in the rear of the car for better safety.


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