DOGS are thought to prefer electric cars to traditional petrol or diesel vehicles, an expert has claimed.
A new study found that dogs are far calmer in electric vehicles compared to ones with internal combustion engines.
Prof Daniel Mills, professor of veterinary behavioural medicine at University of Lincoln, undertook research in the hope of understanding how dogs felt about the two types of cars.
In his study, 20 dogs were driven round a ten-minute circuit in the back of an electric and a diesel car.
Video was taken of each animal and heart rate sensors tracked the dog’s response.
The clips reportedly showed how settled the dogs were, including how likely they were to stay lying down in an electric car.
Data suggested that dogs broke their lying down 50 per cent more often when in a diesel car compared to an electric.
Praat met die Telegraaf, Professor Miles said: “The dogs in the diesel cars would lie down but they kept breaking their lying down and did not settle to the same degree as the ones in the electric car.”
“There were two dogs that, when I looked at them, they looked like they suffered from car sickness.
“They really started to salivate a lot and various other signs and although they weren’t actually sick, they looked to me as though they were nauseated.
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“They seem to be much better in the electric car than the diesel cars and I found that quite an intriguing result and I think it’s something that we ought to look at more because car sickness is a big problem for dogs.”
Prof Mills believes a lack of vibrations, noise and motion sickness were the main reasons why the dogs were more relaxed.
He added that the study found no negative side effects of putting dogs in electric cars compared to their electric counterparts.
“Given the number of dogs that have difficulties in travelling, given that owners consider their pets very much part of their family, I do think this is the sort of thing that factors into people’s decision when they’re getting a car,” he concluded.
Automatic research company CarGurus, who funded the study, says more that than half of all dogs suffer with excitement, anxiety and nausea when travelling in a car.
Representative Chris Knapman said: “We know from previous studies that the sharp increase in dog ownership in the past three years has caused many motorists to rethink what car best suits their needs.
“To date, our advice here has focused on safety and practicality, and these remain the primary considerations.
'Egter, for those who regard the switch to an electric car as a good fit, this study will provide reassurance that it’ll suit their dog as equally as well.”