BMW 3 Series Touring with a dog in the back

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best BMW for Dog Owners

If you’re reading this, chances are you are a dog lover and a BMW enthusiast!

And let’s face it – if there’s a perfect co-pilot for journeys, it’s got to be our loyal canine companions.

So, how do we ensure our four-legged pals enjoy the ride as much as we do?

That’s where this guide comes into play!

In this article, we’ll dive into what makes a BMW dog-friendly and explore some excellent BMW models for dog owners.

Not just that, we will also share some super practical tips for making road trips with your dog safer and more enjoyable. We know how much your dog means to you (they’re family, after all!), and keeping them happy on the road is priority number one.

Let’s get started, shall we?

What to consider when transporting a dog in your BMW?

Before checking out some BMWs ideal for carrying dogs, let’s check out some essential considerations for transporting pets!

Space and comfort

Let’s start with the basics.

Imagine being cooped up in a tight space for hours; it doesn’t sound fun, does it?

Our furry pals think the same. Dogs need room to move around, stretch their legs, and maybe even play with their favorite toy.

Ample space is essential to keep your dog happy and stress-free during car rides!

The BMW X series, for instance, is a clear winner when it comes to space.

With models like the X3, X5, and X7, you’ve got spacious backseats and an expansive trunk area perfect for a dog bed or crate.

And while discussing comfort, here’s a pro tip: Keep a portable water bowl handy to ensure your pup stays hydrated. It’s compact and super practical.


Easy entry and exit are the next things to think about.

You don’t want your dog to feel like they’re tackling an obstacle course to get in and out of the car, right?

A simple way in and out is essential, especially for the little ones or older dogs.

Models like the BMW 3 Series Touring come with a relatively low ride height, which makes it easier to hop in and out.

Also, for those times you want to keep your dogs from jumping around too much, a dog barrier is fantastic.

Climate control

Imagine wearing a fur coat all year round. Phew, right?

Well, that’s what it’s like for our dogs.

It’s important to ensure the car stays cool and well-ventilated, especially during those hot summer days, to keep your dogs from overheating.

Luckily, all BMWs have excellent climate control features. With dual-zone automatic climate control and rear air vents, models like the BMW X5 keep the whole car cool.

Upholstery and leather materials

Here’s the thing – BMW interiors are plush, but dogs will be dogs!

They might come with muddy paws or shed fur. Leather is easy to clean but can be a bit slippery for them. Cloth upholstery offers more grip but is harder to clean.

Regular vacuuming and using seat covers can save your BMW’s interior from looking like a dog’s playground.

7 Top BMW models for dog owners

Let’s check out some of the best BMWs for dog owners!

1. BMW X3 (Best for small dogs)

BMW X3 G01 backside grey

The BMW X3 is a gem for small dog owners!

Here are some of its unique benefits:

  • Spacious yet compact. While the X3 is categorized as a compact SUV, don’t let the term ‘compact’ fool you. It offers a generous amount of cargo space (19.4 cubic feet) with a spacious backseat. So if you’ve got a Shih Tzu, Pug, or French Bulldog, they’ll have plenty of room to sprawl out or play with their favorite toy.
  • Foldable rear seats. Need more space for your pup’s stuff or a bigger dog crate? No problem! The X3’s rear seats fold down, giving you all the room you need.
  • Climate control. We’ve already discussed how important this is, and the X3 doesn’t disappoint. With its tri-zone automatic climate control, your small dog can chill in the backseat with air vents specifically for them.
  • All-wheel drive (AWD). Planning some off-road adventures? The X3’s xDrive AWD system ensures you and your Papillon or Miniature Pinscher can explore with confidence, no matter the terrain.

In a nutshell, if you have a small breed like a Yorkshire Terrier, Beagle, or any of the ones mentioned earlier, the BMW X3 is your go-to for safe travels!

2. BMW 3 Series Touring (Best for medium-sized dogs)

BMW 3 Series Touring G21 white backside

Next up on our list is the BMW 3 Series Touring.

With a perfect blend of performance and practicality, this model is the dream car for owners of medium-sized dogs.

Let’s dive into the specifics:

  • Generous cargo space. The 3 Series Touring boasts an impressive cargo space (17.7 cubic feet) perfect for medium-sized dogs like Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, or Shetland Sheepdogs. There’s enough room for them to move around or lie down comfortably.
  • Versatile boot space. Need to carry some extra luggage along with your furry pal? The boot space in the 3 Series Touring is not just roomy; it’s versatile. The 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats allow you to configure the space according to your needs.
  • Low load lip and wide tailgate. This makes it easy for your dog to hop in and out of the boot area. Breeds like the Whippet or the Australian Shepherd will find this super convenient.
  • Smooth ride quality. Known for its driving dynamics, the 3 Series Touring ensures your dog experiences a smooth ride. This is a huge plus for dogs prone to motion sickness, like Beagles.
  • Panoramic sunroof option. Some dogs love to watch the world go by. A panoramic sunroof is an excellent option for dogs that like a view, bringing in the fresh air and making the space feel even more open. Imagine your Siberian Husky enjoying the breeze!

In summary, the BMW 3 Series Touring is a fantastic choice for medium-sized dog owners. Your dog will give this model two paws up!

Learn more: BMW 3 Series: Which Years To Avoid & To Buy? (2024 Guide)

3. BMW X5 (Best for large dogs)

BMW X5 G05 blue backside

And now, for the big boys and girls – there’s the BMW X5.

A true luxury SUV, this model combines space, comfort, and safety features, making it the ultimate choice for owners of large breeds like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, or Rottweilers.

Here’s why:

  • Massive cargo space. The X5 comes with a giant cargo area of 23 cubic feet. It’s slightly smaller than a Porsche Cayenne but still large. This means your Labrador or Boxer will have ample space to stretch out, and you can easily fit in a large dog crate or bed for those longer journeys.
  • Air suspension. The X5’s optional air suspension can lower the vehicle to make it easier for your dog to get in and out. This is super helpful for large breeds, especially as they age and may struggle with joint issues.
  • Split tailgate. The X5 has a split tailgate that not only makes loading and unloading easier but also acts as a convenient spot for your dog to sit and take in the surroundings during breaks.
  • Climate control. With quad-zone automatic climate control, the X5 ensures your dog has the perfect temperature setting in the back. This is crucial for large breeds like the Saint Bernard that are sensitive to heat.

With its roomy interior, stellar comfort features, and robust safety offerings, the BMW X5 is undoubtedly the top pick for large dog owners. Your Great Dane will feel like royalty!

Tip: Before you buy a BMW X5, make sure it doesn’t have any hidden timing chain issues!

4. BMW X7 (Best for very large dogs)

BMW X7 G07 grey backside

If you have very large dogs like Mastiffs, Irish Wolfhounds, or Great Pyrenees, then the BMW X7 will be a mansion on wheels for them.

Here’s why this model is a fantastic choice:

  • Enormous cargo and passenger space. The X7 is BMW’s largest SUV, and the interior space is humongous. With an enormous cargo area of 26.5 cubic feet, even the largest breeds will have room to stretch.
  • Air suspension. Just like the X5, the X7 also features an air suspension that can lower the vehicle, making it easier for your dog to hop in and out. Plus, it ensures a supremely smooth ride, so your Newfoundland or Leonberger will ride in comfort.
  • Five-zone climate control. Yes, you read that right – five zones! Your dog will feel like they’re in climate heaven. The back area can be set to the ideal temperature to keep your dog cool and comfortable.
  • Active driving assistant. Safety is a priority, especially with your large furry friend on board. The X7’s Active Driving Assistant includes features like Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning, ensuring a safer journey for you and your dog.

In conclusion, the BMW X7 is the ultimate BMW for very large dogs and their owners who desire unmatched luxury, space, and safety.

Honorable mentions

Let’s not forget that BMW has a diverse range of models, and while we’ve covered the top picks for different sizes of dogs, there are a few more models that deserve a shoutout for being pretty dog-friendly.

Let’s take a quick look:

5. BMW 5 Series Touring

BMW 5 Series G30 touring white
  • Why it’s great: This model is like the 3 Series Touring’s big sibling. With a bit more space, it’s a great middle-ground option for those with medium to large dogs. It features ample cargo space, a comfortable ride, and optional dog barriers.
  • Perfect for breeds like: Springer Spaniels, Dalmatians, and Standard Poodles.

6. BMW X2

BMW X2 M35i
  • Why it’s great: If you’re looking for something sporty and compact but still practical for your dog, the X2 is an excellent choice. It offers a spacious cabin, good ride height for easy access, and a stylish design.
  • Perfect for breeds like: French Bulldogs, Beagles, and Miniature Schnauzers.

7. BMW X1

BMW X1 orange
  • Why it’s great: As the smallest member of the BMW’s X series, the X1 is perfect for those who want the SUV experience without the large size. It has a surprisingly spacious interior, a low loading sill for easy access, and is perfect for city dwellers with dogs.
  • Perfect for breeds like: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Shiba Inus, and Corgis.

Tips for traveling with dogs in your BMW

Taking a road trip with your dog in your sleek BMW? Sounds like a dream come true! But before you hit the road, let’s talk about a few essential tips to make the journey enjoyable and safe for both you and your four-legged friend.

Securing your dog

While it might be tempting to let your dog roam freely, securing them for their safety and yours is vital. An unrestrained dog can be a distraction and, in case of sudden braking, could get injured.

Consider using a dog seatbelt harness, a pet carrier, or a dog car seat to keep your pet secure.

Regular breaks and hydration

Just like humans, dogs need breaks too. Stop every couple of hours to let your dog stretch its legs, relieve itself, and get some fresh air.

Pack plenty of water and a portable dog bowl to keep your dog hydrated. Just like you’d grab a water bottle for yourself, don’t forget one for your pup!

Is BMW dog friendly?

After various BMW models and discussing tips for traveling with dogs, you might be wondering: Is BMW as a brand dog-friendly?

The answer is a resounding yes!

BMW has consistently shown consideration for dog owners through the design and features of their cars.

Here’s why:

  • Space and comfort. As we’ve seen, several BMW models come with generous interior space and cargo areas, making the journey more comfortable for your dog.
  • Accessibility. Features like air suspension and split tailgates in some models make it easy for dogs of all sizes to enter and exit the vehicles.
  • Climate control. Advanced climate control features ensure your dog remains cool throughout the journey.
  • Customizable options for dogs. BMW offers a range of accessories, such as dog barriers, specifically designed to make their cars more dog-friendly.
  • Smooth and stable ride. BMW’s focus on driving dynamics and stability ensures a comfortable ride for your dog, minimizing the risk of motion sickness.

FAQs about carrying a dog in your BMW

If you have any more questions about carrying a dog in your BMW, check out these FAQs!

Can a dog fit in a BMW 1 Series?

A dog can fit in a BMW 1 Series, but it’s essential to consider the size of your dog. The BMW 1 Series is a compact car, so if you have a small to medium-sized dog like a Beagle, Pug, or French Bulldog, it should fit comfortably. However, for larger breeds, the 1 Series might feel a tad snug.

Is a BMW X1 good for dogs?

The BMW X1 is quite good for dog owners! It’s a small SUV, which means it offers more space than a compact car like the 1 Series. It offers a roomy cargo area and spacious rear seats for your dog to lounge comfortably.

Can a dog fit in a 4 Series Gran Coupe?

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is a decent option for dog owners. With its four-door design, getting your dog in and out is a breeze. The rear seats also offer ample space for medium-sized dogs, while the cargo area is pretty generous for a car of its class.


Whether you’re the proud owner of a petite Pomeranian or a Great Dane, there’s a BMW that’s just the right fit.

But remember, no matter how dog-friendly your car is, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Keep your dog secure, take regular breaks, and stay prepared for emergencies.

Happy driving, and woof-woof!

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