Cars chasing dogs: Pet lovers getting attention from auto manufacturers

April 28, 2009

Every dog has his day… and now, every dog has his car, too. From Gina Spadafori and’s Keith Turner in this week’s Pet Connection newspaper feature:

Toyota rolled out the pet-friendly Venza in February at the massive pet industry trade show, Global Pet Expo. Not content to be the underdog, Honda showed up at the New York International Auto Show with a special edition of its already dog-friendly Elementwith a built-in pet ramp, better ventilation and a showy badge with a dog on it.

The Honda development is especially interesting. Our Web site picked the Element as the first-ever “Best in Show” after reviewing dozens of SUVs, wagons and hatchbacks. Honda, which had been marketing the boxy vehicle to young, outdoorsy men, responded with an ad campaign touting the award. And now, a special Element will be for sale in the fall.,

Saab and Volvo were first to cater to pet lovers, offering optional restraint systems in a couple of their models. But the new models from Toyota and Honda show just how anxious companies are these days to track down sales like a bloodhound.

More about dogs and cars here.

Dr. Marty Becker and Mikkel Becker Shannon on Portuguese Water Dogs like Bo Obama:

When the Obamas welcomed a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog into the White House, that dog — whom the Obama daughters named Bo — became arguably the most famous of his breed ever. But the dogs, long used as helpers by Portguese fisherman, have had other spins in the spotlight. In addition to the Porties owned by Sen. Edward Kennedy, a team of the dogs delighted fans of the San Francisco Giants by retrieving baseballs from McCovey Cove, the body of water behind the right-field wall.

Gina on training your dog:

If your dog doesn’t seem to be paying attention, you need to lay the foundation for good behavior by showing your dog with every interaction that he has to earn what he wants.

This “learning by earning” starts with the basics of dog obedience — sit and stay. Chances are your dog already knows these commands. If not, check out a class, book or video to help you teach him. Once your dog understands and performs these behaviors more or less on command, you’re going to use them to reinforce your authority, gently but persistently.

Get the rest here.

Plus: Pet spending is still strong; the benefits of teeth cleaning for pets; how fences and patios for cats keep them safe. All this and more, in our Pet Connection newspaper feature, which you can read right here.

You can also see it exactly the way we send it to our client newspapers here. (PDF)

Filed under: pets, connected — Pet Connection Staff @ 5:00 am

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