best small suv for dogs

Choosing the right vehicle for your furry companion is crucial for any dog owner. Whether it’s a trip to the park, a weekend adventure, or a routine vet visit, having a small SUV that caters to your dog’s needs can make all the difference. In the vast landscape of SUVs, finding the perfect one for your canine friend can be overwhelming. However, fear not! We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best small SUVs for dogs in the USA to simplify your search.

SUV ModelCargo Volume (cu ft)Rear Legroom (inches)Notable Dog-Friendly FeaturesEstimated Price Range
Subaru Outback32.539.5Low load floor, wide opening, ruggedized cargo area, roof rails$28,000 – $40,000
Honda CR-V39.240.4Flat-folding seats, pet accessory packages, top safety ratings$26,000 – $36,000
Toyota RAV437.637.8Rear pet ramp, composite cargo liner, top reliability$27,000 – $38,000
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited31.735.7Removable tops, washable interior, cargo divider, off-road capability$31,000 – $50,000
Chevrolet Equinox63.939.9Hands-free liftgate, pet accessory packages, teen driver tech$25,000 – $35,000

Please note that pricing can vary based on trim levels, options, and location. This table provides a general estimate to compare the models.

1. Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback with a dog

The Subaru Outback reigns supreme when it comes to canine-friendly SUVs. Renowned for its spacious interiors and durable materials, the Outback offers ample room for your furry friend to stretch out and relax during long journeys. With a low 26-inch load floor and wide rear opening, getting in and out is a breeze for dogs of all sizes. The hands-free power liftgate adds an extra layer of convenience, especially when your hands are full of dog supplies.

Pros: -Ruggedized plastic cargo area protector available

  • Roof rails for top carriers or storage
  • Above-average ground clearance for off-road adventures


  • Sloping roofline may limit headroom for very large breeds
  • Higher pricing than some competitors

“My golden retriever fits perfectly in the back of my Outback with room to spare. The low floor makes it easy for her to hop in and out.”

– Jane D. Portland

2. Honda CR-V

 Honda CR-V with a dog

For dog owners prioritizing space and comfort, the Honda CR-V is an excellent choice. Boasting a roomy interior, excellent visibility, and a low-load floor, the CR-V makes it effortless for dogs to hop in and out. Whether it’s a quick trip to the dog park or a cross-country road trip, your canine companion will appreciate the comfort and accessibility offered by the CR-V.


  • Configurable rear seats fold completely flat
  • Top safety ratings from NHTSA and IIHS
  • Fuel-efficient hybrid option available


  • Sloping rear window may limit visibility for very large breeds
  • Limited ground clearance for light off-roading

“The CR-V has been perfect for my two active border collies. The flat load floor and wide opening make it easy to load them up for hiking trips.”

– Miguel R. Denver, CO

3. Toyota RAV4

  Toyota RAV4 with a dog

Reliability meets spaciousness in the Toyota RAV4, making it a popular pick among dog owners. With its generous cargo space and durable build, the RAV4 is equipped to handle all your canine-related adventures with ease. From transporting dog crates to storing their favorite toys, the RAV4 ensures that your furry friend travels in style and comfort.


  • Available rear pet ramp for easier entry/exit
  • Rugged composite cargo area liner
  • Toyota’s top reliability ratings


  • Smaller rear doors can make loading large dogs trickier
  • Limited rear headroom for very tall breeds

“I love my RAV4 for road-tripping with my German shepherd. The spacious cargo area holds his crate perfectly, and Toyota’s durability gives me peace of mind.”

– Alex M. Chicago, IL

4. Jeep Wrangler:

Jeep Wrangler with a dog

For the adventurous dog owner, the Jeep Wrangler is a top contender. With its rugged interior and removable top options, the Wrangler is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who love exploring with their furry companions. Whether it’s tackling off-road trails or enjoying a scenic drive, the Wrangler provides a one-of-a-kind experience for both you and your dog.


  • Removable door, roof, and window options for maximum airflow
  • Hose-down interior with removable carpets for easy cleaning
  • Available pet cargo area divider and ramp


  • Limited rear cargo space compared to larger SUVs
  • Gas mileage suffers, especially with larger engines

“My active huskies love exploring with the top off in my Wrangler. The pet divider keeps them secure while letting them take in the sights and sounds.”

– Ryan T. Phoenix, AZ

5. Chevrolet Equinox:

Chevrolet Equinox with a dog

Combining comfort and convenience, the Chevrolet Equinox offers a spacious interior with optional features tailored to dog owners’ needs. From a hands-free liftgate to a flat-folding rear seat, the Equinox ensures that loading and unloading your furry friend is hassle-free. With its comfortable ride and ample cargo space, the Equinox is a reliable choice for dog owners seeking practicality without compromising on style.


  • Best-in-class rear seat legroom
  • Chevrolet’s pet accessory package with cargo cover, mat, and more
  • Teen Driver tech can help monitor new drivers with pets


  • Limited advanced safety tech on lower trims
  • Interior materials could be more premium

“My large goldendoodle has plenty of space to sprawl out in the back of my Equinox. The low load height makes it easy for her to jump in at her age too.”

– Karen P. Tampa, FL


When it comes to choosing the best small SUV for your canine companion, prioritizing space, safety, comfort, and convenience is key.

Whether you opt for the rugged versatility of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the spacious interiors of the Subaru Outback or Honda CR-V, or the pet-friendly features of the Toyota RAV4 and Chevrolet Equinox – each SUV on this list offers unique strengths tailored to the needs of dog owners.

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Consider your specific dog’s size, temperament, and lifestyle demands when making your decision. No matter which you choose, you’ll be ready to buckle up, hit the road, and embark on unforgettable adventures with your four-legged friend by your side.

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