Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New Category: Helpful Hints!

Posted: February 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

After some great suggestions by friends and fellow competitors online, at events, and during classes, I’ve decided to add a new category to the blog: Helpful Hints!

This will be a category devoted to those little tips and tricks that dog people come up with to make traveling with their animals easier. I don’t anticipate that it’ll be a huge part of Four Paw Drive, but perhaps it will be useful nonetheless.

Stay tuned for the first post on DIY cargo liners!

2008 Volvo XC90 3.2

Posted: August 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Volvo is usually synonymous with “fancy station wagon” but they do offer the XC90, which is more SUV than station wagon. Volvo is also known for some nifty features for humans, so what about canines?

I do really wish the XC90 was in my personal price range – it’s a great small SUV with lots of fun features and surprisingly well designed when it comes to keeping crated dogs comfortable!

Width between wheel wells (narrowest part of the vehicle): 44.5″

Cargo depth with all rows up: negligible

Cargo depth with the third row down: 45″ on the floor, 38″ deep at the narrowest point (seat back 17.5″ above floor level)

Cargo depth with all rows down: 74.5″

Interior height (min): 32″ at hatch and for 4″

Interior height (max): 34.5″ at the base of the second row

Hatch dimensions: 32″ tall, 29″ to 42″ wide

(right seat in second row would not fold down for me, but it *is* designed to do so)

MPG city: 14 mpg (AWD)

MPG highway: 20 mpg (AWD)

The Volvo has additional vents on the pillars behind each row of seats, providing a lot of extra ventilation in the back, which is quite handy. While there aren’t any additional outlets or lights in the rear cargo area, this Volvo has a unique split hatch that provides a nice “tailgate” for loading and unloading from the rear of the vehicle and allows the bottom section to be locked while leaving the top 2/3 open for air circulation.

I was amazed when I started measuring the XC90 – it appears sized similarly to the Edge/Equinox/Nitro on the outside, but on the inside you find expansive space! The wheel wells and the folding of the seats, as with most vehicles, are the two biggest barriers to cargo capacity, but the XC90 performs admirably, providing enough space for 2 SUV-style 36″ crates side-by-side behind the second row, something I haven’t seen very frequently!

The one MAJOR drawback, other than the purchase price, is the extremely low gas mileage – 14/20 is much lower than I anticipated for a vehicle that is considered a higher end model!  If gas mileage isn’t a concern, the XC90 would be a top pick for those who travel with multiple medium to large dogs!


Other Resources

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Four Paw Drive has a very specific goal: provide information that is rarely found on standard vehicle review sites for dog owners, hobbyists, and professionals.

With limited resources and time, it’s just not feasible for us to be all things to all people, so we do not attempt to provide readers with information that can be found on other review sites. 

For more information on how a vehicle drives, safety ratings, and basic specs and vehicle comparisons, there are a number of sites you might find useful in addition to manufacturer websites.  Here at Four Paw Drive, we use the following: – comprehensive information on all vehicles, comparison tools, even a search of local inventory. – the online version of Kelley Blue Book – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing results – road tests conducted by Motortrend

Have you found other useful sites? Feel free to share them on our facebook page at!

Welcome to Four Paw Drive!

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Four Paw Drive grew out of my own search for the perfect dog vehicle. Numerous web searches returned no current websites that reviewed cars from a serious dog hobbyist’s perspective.  There were a few “dog car” sites, yes, but I needed information on rear cargo area dimensions, the ease of fitting side by side crates behind the second row of seats, the presence of a independently opening rear hatch window, tie down locations, etc., not how many dogs would fit loose behind the last seat!

As I struggled to find a resource, I found that I was not alone – other people with multiple dogs who travel thousands of miles per year, trial in various venues, or those whose businesses include transporting other peoples’ animals were running into the same challenges.

Enter Four Paw Drive! This blog aims to be a clearinghouse for the detailed information active dog owners and animal professionals need but can’t find anywhere else. If I miss a detail you want to see, ask! If you think your vehicle is the perfect dogmobile, let me know and you could see your review on the front page!  Stay tuned for reviews of vehicle small and large, pet transport options and considerations, and much more as Four Paw Drive grows!