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Is the Toyota 4Runner a Great Car for Dogs?

  • August 14, 2019
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Is the Toyota 4Runner a Great Car for Dogs?

This is a sponsored post by Autotrader.  All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

Everyone needs a car to get around and if we weren’t particular we’d buy the cheapest car with the efficient mileage and reliable wheels. Well it’s not quite that simple because the car we ultimately pick has to fit both our personality and our lifestyle.

So if you’re car shopping and now narrowed it down to a handful of options and you’re wondering if the Toyota 4Runner is a great car for dogs?  The answer is; Yes.  It’s the perfect match for an active family that has high energy dogs who seek daily adventures both in the city and surrounding areas.

Let’s take a dear friend of mine who has a lap dog. She and her lap dog like to go to the mall for their social activities or spend it with family and friends. They don’t “hang out” in their car or do anything involving off-roading or driving on unpaved roads. She has a four door that always somehow manages to stay clean. She doesn’t need a 4Runner. Her life is quite peaceful and cozy and so is her dog.

High Energy Dogs Living an Active Life

I on the other hand have two 17 pound dogs who act like they are 125 pounds of muscle.

They like to jump and bound off things, my car included. Actually since we’re talking about my car I’ll introduce you to her.

This is Ella. She’s a 2008 Toyota 4Runner and she has two names. Ella the Adventure Mobile when she’s clean and Ella the Sandbucket when she’s full of sand. Which is about 70% of the time.

Are toyota 4runners a good car for dogs?

I work from home so walking around the neighborhood is ultra boring for all of us. Twice a day we get into the car and find a place to walk. More than half our walks involve going to the beach while the rest might be to the park or some new neighborhood we’re exploring.

I’m not the biggest “car geek”. But I did want a car that fit our lifestyle. I didn’t make my car selection based on specifications, I made it based on the things I like to do with our dogs. So without further ado, here are five reasons I think the Toyota 4Runner is the best car for active dog families.

The Rear Door aka the Doggy Door

My two dogs Maggie and Orbit get in and out of the 4Runner via the rear door. I’ve read some people say the best thing for them is the sliding rear window (which is cool don’t get me wrong) but for me we use the rear door as much as I use the regular doors.

I leave the rear bed pretty clear of things. It’s the dog staging area now. When they jump in, I get a chance to spot check how they look? If their tags are on. This is because they only have one set but they have probably more collars and harnesses than most people have jeans and leggings; so I’m constantly moving their tags to whatever they are wearing that day.

And when we’re done the walk the rear bed is where they get brushed down and sand removed, a drink of water and a treat.

Is the toyota 4runners a good car for dogs?

An airy interior cabin

I love how roomy the 4Runner is. I’m able to store a large booster double dog seat inside and still have plenty of space should we decide to pack for a weekend adventure visiting family up in LA or camping nearby.

Rear air-conditioning vents

Maggie and Orbit tend to get hot faster than dogs with long muzzles. The rear ac vents are always pointed towards their car seat during the warmer summer months.

Three quarter fold flat seats

Having the ability to fold the seats flat down have been useful when I had to pack our pop up tent. I simply fold down the smaller seat so that Maggie and Orbit could still be in their car seat which practically takes up three quarters of the back seat area.

A Sense of Safety

As a dog mom often exploring town during work hours feeling safe is of utmost importance to me. It’s often just me and the girls out and about while their dog dad is at work.

The height of the Toyota 4Runner gives me a great vantage point as to what’s around me. Prior to this truck/suv I had a two door that was low to the ground.

I will say that now I’ve experienced driving a 4Runner I can’t imagine driving anything lower and actually so happy with my vehicle I can’t imagine owning anything else.

Low and Simple Technology

Don’t find this weird but cars that have too much going on with buttons, and dials, and lights are not the right fit for me and the dogs. Those things would just get sand in it, distract me from driving and honestly I don’t need all of those features.

My 4Runner doesn’t have a rear camera. My phone doesn’t pair with it via blue-tooth. And it doesn’t have a touch screen. I have dials and lever style buttons. I really like how rugged it feels.

Often times we go camping and we’re hauling stuff in and out of the car that the last thing I want to worry about is scratching something or bumping into something I wasn’t supposed to.

I know it might be weird to some. Hey I still like paper calendars. I still like notebooks. I haven’t converted fully digital in my out of the car life so that’s probably why I don’t seek those things when I’m in the car with the dogs.

My car is old. But she’s solid. She’s got just a little bit over 123,000 miles and I hope with care and maintenance she’ll double that.

Find your own Toyota 4Runner for you and your dogs

If you’re ready to consider the 4Runner for you and your dog family then the best place to start will be on Autotrader.

That’s where we found Ella. I remember I told my other half I wanted a 4Runner and the only thing I wanted was that she was white.

Autotrader simplifies the search for you.   They have the largest selection of vehicles to browse and help you find the perfect car for you and your dog.

If you don’t have a dog or are looking for another one, they have teamed up with to help you find an adoptable dog that matches your lifestyle!  And it will help you locate the best car for you and your Dog.

It will show the car’s features, prices, car fax, mileage, location and photos from all the angles. You even have an option to message the dealer through auto trader itself.  It made locating the car we wanted a breeze and I’m confident it will do the same for you.

Is the toyota 4runners a good car for dogs?


Hannah Zulueta and her two dogs Maggie and Orbit

Hello my name is Hannah and I dance with my dogs.  A self proclaimed Boston Terrier addict, (aka breed advocate) I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to write on our Instagram.  Maggie is my socially awkward one; which I find highly relatable because I am completely out of place in large groups myself.  And Orbit is my sensitive flower.  Blow on her skin wrong (ok I might be exaggerating) and she breaks out in a rash.

You won’t read about cats here… but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to the Boston Terrier.    Read more about us. 

By, August 14, 2019
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