Major components of the new concept include a a cushioned pet bed in the cargo area with an elevated platform; second row and cargo area pet restraint systems and an extendable cargo area load-in ramp. Other components include a 12V DC rear ventilation fan, seat covers, rubber floor mats and a spill-resistant water bowl.
The equipment has been engineered specifically for the Element and the restraint was designed by one of the world’s leading automotive safety systems suppliers. Honda says that the restraint concepts are intended to complement the potential of the vehicle’s existing restraint systems by helping to protect the dog and helping to prevent injuries to other vehicle occupants due to an unrestrained dog impacting them in a collision.
"In-vehicle pet restraints should be part of every dog owner’s safe travel practices," said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "The expanded availability of manufacturer-based restraints and features can help elevate pet comfort and convenience for owners. Good ventilation and access to water on longer trips should also be primary concerns."
While many of the components of the "Dog Friendly&trade" Element could be added to any SUV – for example a non-spill bowl – Honda is probably setting the pace for American car manufacturers by fitting restraints specifically designed for dogs.