Did you know that Car Talk has a blog dedicated to pets and travel? Resident dog trainer, Melissa, and our favorite veterinarian, Dr. Siperstein, our in-house, house-trained pet experts, answer questions about pets and cars on Car Talk's FIDO blog.
We asked the FIDO bloggers to give us a list of their dream features for any doggie dream car. Here's what they came up with:
1. Nose-print resistant glass.
2. A built-in, crash-tested dog seatbelt or crate, to keep dogs (and human occupants) safe in the car.
3. Automatic bark-canceling feature.
4. GPS add-on showing all shops that have free biscuits.
5. Have Honda can combine its hose-offable interior (a la the Honda Element) with its built-in vacuums (Honda Minivan)!
6. Wagging tail rear bumper attachment (to show the world how happy you are to be on your way to a dog-friendly destination).
7. Windows that bubble out ever so slightly so dogs can look out. Fans that blow are a bonus feature to simulate the “head out the window” experience without the danger of the head out the window.
8. Mandatory F.I.D.O bumper stickers. (Sorry...bumpAH stickAHs. We are still in Our Fair City.)
9. Mud removal entry system -- as dog leaps in car, mud is squeegeed away
10. Lastly, in the last few years there has been (sadly) a lot of media coverage regarding children mistakenly left in vehicles and dogs who were left in the car for "just a few minutes" who have met their demise in the back seat of hot vehicles.
We (both) seriously are asking for automatic warning signals in cars that indicate to drivers before they leave the car that there is life in the back seat. It could sense weight in the back seat and alert a driver to check the back seat before closing the doors, similar to the *DingDingDing* if someone accidentally leaves the lights on.
This would prevent your child or pet from suffering alone in a car, and also your briefcase from getting left behind on the rear seat. There are apps that help with this, but many require the app to be actively running. It would be much better if this feature was built directly into vehicles.
One last thing . . .
We need a name for this ride. We humbly suggest the "Honda P.E.T." (Puppies Enjoying Travel!) or the "Subaru Sport D.O.G." (D.O.G. for Dogs On the Go. Obviously.) Got a better suggestion? Post it in the comments!
If you have a question for Dr. Sip and Melissa, write them at Car Talk Plaza. The weirder, the better. More about Melissa (who wrote 'Considerations for the City Dog') and Dr. Sip (who is a practicing veterinarian in Berkeley, CA) can be found here.