Aside from metal partitions for station wagon interiors, booster seats and rubber floor mats, automakers seldom try to make their vehicles more dog-friendly. Nissan’s Rogue Dogue concept that debuted at the New York auto show this week aims to explore and showcase a few custom “dog luxury” features that a midsize SUV could offer to dog lovers who bring their pets with them on road trips long and short.
The Rogue Dogue comes with a custom dog bed for the rear cargo area in addition to a slide-away ramp for getting in and out of the high-sitting SUV. The Dogue also has air vents for the rear compartment, as well built-in dispensers for food and water.
Bowls with food and water deploy out of the wall.
This sounds like all a dog could possibly hope for in a vehicle (aside from the ability to control the food dispenser by pressing a button), but Nissan went well beyond these features: The Rogue Dogue also has a 360-degree dog shower with a 10-gallon water tank, as well as an integrated dog drying system with a compressed heated air dryer. After a bath that isn’t too messy, the owner’s pooch can also relax in the hammock located in the second row of the Rogue Dogue.
“More than 75 percent of dog owners in the survey said that having optional features specifically designed for their dog’s safety and comfort would impact their decision on which vehicle to purchase,” said Michael Bunce, vice president of product planning for Nissan North America. “So potentially, every dog might have its day — and their custom-equipped Nissan Rogue, too.”
A storage bin and a ladder roll out of the floor.
Just how feasible is this dog pack?
“Everything that we built into the Rogue Dogue project is actually very possible to add to a production Rogue, though you do compromise the available rear cargo area slightly for the ramp, storage compartments and the food and water dispensers,” said Dennis McCarthy, owner of Vehicle Effects of Sun Valley, California. “But really, next to your family, your dog is your most important cargo, so why not?”
We know more than a few dog owners who would love to order a dog-friendly vehicle straight from the dealer by just checking a box on the order form, and given the fact that the Rogue was recently revealed to be the best-selling non-pickup in America, the potential audience for such a dog package should be out there. It’s all up to Nissan now to decide if they want to make this happen.