COULD this be the perfect car for dealing with muddy dogs after a day of traipsing through the woods? The Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs features a shower, a pull-out fur dryer and even a television screen to keep pets occupied while their driver takes them home.
The car, which may also appeal to those with children, is just a concept, but Nissan said it has been impressed by the public response.
The Japanese manufacturer said the 4Dogs’s main feature was a wipe-clean leather-upholstered boot, with a ramp for access, big enough for two pets.
Ryan Gains, chief marketing manager for the X-Trail, said that for dog owners “ensuring their pet’s needs are catered for is often just as important as making sure the children are comfortable and happy”.
Refreshments are served in a “no-spill” water bowl and a smart treat dispenser, which dogs can activate by pressing a pad. Side compartments have storage space for leads, treats and waste bags. A two-way camera and audio link on the dashboard allows drivers to keep their pets calm if they are nervous passengers.
The idea came after a survey carried out among Kennel Club members revealed that 90% wanted a vehicle with added dog-friendly space. Rachel Homeny, a vet, said the features were perfect for taking dogs out in all weathers.
“In particular, the wash and dry functionality allows dogs to be dogs, so owners don’t need to worry about messing up the car interior,” she said.
The X-Trail starts at £22,800; if the concept ever becomes a reality, pet owners could expect to pay at least a further £1,000 to snap up the 4Dogs version.
The only part of the concept that can be bought now is the grille that keeps dogs in the no-frills boot.
This article first appeared in The Times
Dogs and cars: what the Kennel Club research found
- Almost all dog owners (99.9%) consider their pet to be part of the family
- A similar proportion (98.7%) of owners use their car to transport their dog
- Almost 90% (88.9%) would buy a car that boasts dog-friendly features
- Nearly 90% (88.7%) of owners transport their dog in a car at least once a week
- Over 90% (90.5%) transport their dogs in the car for journeys that last 10 minutes or more
- Over half (54.7%) would like their vehicle to be more easily accessible for their dog
- Nearly three-quarters (71.5%) transport their dog in the boot space or back seat
- Over half (50.9%) said that a large boot space made them believe their car was the right one for transporting their dog