Home » Honda Once Made A Crossover Customized Specifically For Dog Owners

Honda Once Made A Crossover Customized Specifically For Dog Owners

Dog Element Ts
ADVERTISEMENT

There’s joy in sharing the experience of a special car, especially with four-legged friends. After all, many dogs love the wind in their ears, and a car lets you crack the sunroof and catch a crisp breeze without the threat of sudden squirrel-driven egress. However, how do you keep your furry friends safe when they’re in the car with you? Well, it turns out that Honda was ahead of the curve with a dealer-installed dog-focused option package that launched right around peak recession.

Back in 2009, a year that’s disgusting to think of as fifteen years ago, Honda revealed an accessory package for the exceedingly blocky Element crossover. The name? Does what it says on the tin, the Dog Friendly package. In it came just about everything the average dog owner needed to keep their pooch safe and cared for on car trips.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

It started with a ramp for access into the cargo hold, which is especially important with certain breeds and ages of dogs. For example, dachshunds are vulnerable to intervertebral disc disease due to their long spines, and older dogs, especially of larger breeds, may be at an increased risk of hip dysplasia, so a folding ramp is a great idea to mitigate risk.

2010 Dog Friendly Honda Element

Once inside, a dog weighing up to 80 pounds could lie down in a nifty deployable rear kennel with a padded dog bed. While possibly not quite as safe as a Center for Pet Safety-certified crash-tested harness, it certainly beats an old-school dog grate, and it doesn’t have the same risk of moving around during emergency maneuvers as just placing a standard kennel in the cargo hold. Oh, and if you want an amusing look at how things have changed in the past 15 years or so, there’s a line in the press release that states “The car kennel was designed and is being constructed by Takata Corporation, one of the world’s leading automotive safety systems suppliers.” While Takata’s airbag track record is iffy, its safety harnesses are used by racers all over the globe, so this kennel likely isn’t all bad news.

ADVERTISEMENT

Screenshot 2024 04 19 At 11.53.41 am

A spill-resistant water bowl, a kennel organizer, and a dedicated cargo compartment electric fan round out the list of canine-focused components for the car, but that certainly isn’t where the Dog Friendly package stops. Human passengers get treated to dog bone-themed seat covers and rubber floor mats, while three Dog Friendly badges signal to the world that you are a pet owner. Honda even threw in a grab bag of extras including a bag dispenser, a leash and collar, a dog tag, and even a tote bag itself, although I’d hazard a guess that most dog owners already have all those things.

Honda Element Dog Friendly Ad

Admittedly, the Dog Friendly package wasn’t cheap, retailing for $995, but it was certainly comprehensive. Plus, it’s the sort of thing I could see doing better today, with thirty-something millennial couples having dogs in the home and often showing greater levels of consideration than what perhaps would’ve been the norm in the past. Still, it’s cool that Honda offered this package on the Element, and it’s the sort of thing that brings joy to a cursory used car classified ad search.

(Photo credits: Honda)

ADVERTISEMENT

Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.

Relatedbar

Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
28 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago

I would love a revived Element especially as a PHEV.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago

So if Autopian gets 100 new members in May will Jason buy one of these and live in it for a month?

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

Heh, those ads remind me of the crab. “I pinch.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxPg7CwtG2w

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
1 month ago

We have three small dogs, and one has a gimpy rear leg, I have made a minor adjustment to my AWD Prius. I carry the two boxes of snow chains on the floor behind the front passenger. To make the surface less slippery, I have a carpeted floor mat on top. The pup can jump onto it without having to also make it to the floor in the same jump. Minor, but useful.

Here4thecars
Here4thecars
1 month ago

Honda should bring the Element back as a hybrid! The battery might eat up some space, but I’m sure some smart design choices should mitigate that.

John Riley
John Riley
1 month ago

Honda is still way into it in Japan. They have a site specifically designed to match a car to your dog.

https://www.honda.co.jp/dog/

John Riley
John Riley
1 month ago
Reply to  John Riley

I see that site is linked below.

Eric W
Eric W
1 month ago

Never saw it when I bought my 2009, my dogs report the airplane like rear seats are perfect for looking for things to bark at.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
1 month ago

Ahh. The sweet, sweet Element. I wonder if Honda would ever think about making a PHEV version for today’s public.

Davey
Davey
1 month ago

Wish my CRV (and more vehicles) had a split tailgate.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 month ago

I miss the Element badly. I’ve always wanted one, but by the time I began my search a few years back, the pricing for beaten to death Elements was outrageous. It truly is a car that people would buy, and use it up till there’s nothing left. Practically every single one around here has well over 200k on the clock.

I only wish Honda would bring something this cool to the US again.

Greensoul
Greensoul
1 month ago

Amen! Bring the Element back now! Actually yesterday Honda. My 2008 orange Element was totaled in 2012 and a replacement was too much. I replaced it with a Soul. Have been a Soul fan ever since. I’m on my 3rd one, Souls don’t have the same room inside as an Element though. Got over 200k miles after my first two. Hopefully my 3rd Soul will last as long. My Souls have been trouble free. One thing I hated about my Element was how it ate windshields. Went through 4 when I had it, and that was with me having the chips filled in right away.

Anders
Anders
1 month ago

Honda offers some fantastic dog accessories for the brilliant N-BOX, so some of the ideas trickled down. How about a shifter with a dog paw pattern (a 5-speed box.??)

Last edited 1 month ago by Anders
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
1 month ago

Holy Grrrrrrrail.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
1 month ago

Right now would be the perfect time to release an electrified Element into the market but alas Honda won’t even if they have all the tools and buyers for it.

Mark Jacob
Mark Jacob
1 month ago

Man, this makes me really miss my Element.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
1 month ago

What dog owner would consider putting their dog in the back?

All the ones I see ride shotgun, some on the drivers laps. They would cringe at the thought of their sweet Farfle riding in the boot.

Óscar Morales Vivó
Óscar Morales Vivó
1 month ago

In many countries it’s illegal (and enforced) to have a dog in the front seats. They are also expected to have a barrier that prevents them from going to the front.

There’s some laws like that in the US but enforcement is rare.

Parsko
Parsko
1 month ago

Is that Honda ad real or did you guys make that up? Roller skating dog does not seem like a Honda thing.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Parsko

All the Element advertising was in this goofy quirky style.

Sklooner
Sklooner
1 month ago

I remember one van or suv had a dog package that had a little shower for washing paws and bits

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
1 month ago

Didn’t Volvo and Land Rover do this as well?

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

So, no Takata doggy bags, then?

Uberscrub
Uberscrub
1 month ago

Hey Subaru. Wanna print money? Make it a dealer option available on all trims starting with Crosstrek and Forester, advertise it on the Wilderness versions.

Adam Smith
Adam Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Uberscrub

Subaru actually does have pet-friendly accessories available on what looks like all of their models, but I don’t know how much dealers push them, and they don’t seem to offer a dog-friendly package like the Element had. They absolutely should, especially with those Wilderness trims!

https://parts.subaru.com/accessories/Subaru__/Pet-Friendly.html

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 month ago

Car companies should do more if this.
here is some from LR https://store.landrover.com/land-rover-accessories/pet-accessories.html

Library of Context
Library of Context
1 month ago

David Tracy declares this a holy grail and buys one of these, leaves it parked in Gossin’s lot for 6 months, only to discover a newly born litter of golden retriever puppies in the back when he finally decides to make it roadworthy.

28
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x