Do Dogs Prefer Electric Vehicles?

Well, yes! It seems that no matter what your opinion of electric vehicles is, your dog would prefer you to drive an electric car. The University of Lincoln, in conjunction with CarGurus, have carried out a survey which suggests that dogs are more prone to car sickness when travelling in a diesel vehicle as opposed to an electric vehicle. If you are a dog owner, you will be aware that travelling by car with your pet can be something of a nightmare; it's estimated that 44% get car sick while 48% find car rides anxiety-inducing, and 58% get rather overexcited all of which make travelling a headache for the owner.

The Study

In order to determine whether dogs preferred travelling in an electric vehicle or a diesel vehicle, 20 dogs were signed up for the study. They took every dog on two journeys. They were driving around for 10 minutes, once in a diesel car and once in an electric vehicle. They used a range of scientific analyses to determine how the dog was coping. As well as looking at things like sickness they were interested in the behaviour and welfare of the animals. The lead professor on the study was Daniel Mills, who is a professor of veterinary behavioural medicine at the University of Lincoln. The research concluded there was no detriment to the welfare or well-being of dogs when travelling in electric vehicles; in fact, it may even be beneficial.

The Signs

There were a lot of scientific tools is used to analyse the dog's behaviour during car rides. It was noted that when travelling in a diesel car, dogs were shifting around more, getting up from their lying down position and moving around 50% more often than when in an electric car. Heart rate is one of the factors that can be studied when a dog is nauseous. The heart rate goes up when a dog is feeling sick. In an electric vehicle, 66% of the dogs showed a decreasing heart rate which suggests that they are more relaxed and do not feel nauseous. The reason for this is thought to be that electric vehicles have a much smoother ride quality. Internal combustion engines create movement as the pistons fire.

The Results

Speaking about the results, Professor Mills said that it was evident dogs find travelling in electric vehicles more relaxing than in internal combustion engine vehicles. The biometric readings for the dogs showed that during their time in the diesel car, their heart rates were substantially higher and more of them showed signs of nausea than when they were in the electric car. It seems that many dog owners who have used both an electric vehicle and a diesel vehicle with their pets agree. 39% said that the dog was more settled during an electric car journey, 43% felt they were less anxious, and 45% said the dogs whined a lot less. Concluding his results, Mills said, ‘it is an intriguing result which raised additional questions for exploration within this field.’