Are pets compatible with holidays? Like everything in life, there has to be compromises. However, it’s worth remembering that it’s never been easier to travel with your pet than it is today, whether it’s into Europe or even further afield to destinations such as North America.
For those preferring to stay in the UK, there are many dog-friendly hotels and other types of accommodation out there to choose from. It’s just a question of spending a bit of extra time on planning, to be sure that both you and your pet will be adequately catered for on your holiday.
There’s plenty of pet owners taking advantage of this situation too, according to a survey released by Pets at Home and Petplan® insurance. Overall, a third (33%) of us have taken or are planning to take their pet on holiday with us, either staying in the UK or heading off abroad.
It doesn’t stop at dogs or cats either. In the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the magazine Small Furry Pets that I edit, we’ve got a story about a caravanning guinea pig, who has just come back reinvigorated after a trip to Snowdonia!
British holidaymakers reportedly now spend £387 million extra on their holidays each year in order to be able to take their dog away with them. Almost a fifth of us (19%) spend at least £75 extra on each trip, and a quarter (24%) of us invest up to £250 just to ensure that our furry friend enjoys the perfect break in our company.
Times are changing, compared with the situation in years gone by, when booking kennel spaces for pets was a priority each year, in order to ensure you could take your preferred holiday dates. The most popular kennels and catteries were booked almost immediately, as soon as their owners had returned from their previous holiday.
Today however, apparently only just over one in ten of us (12%) plan to entrust the care of our pets to boarding establishments whilst we are away. The preferred options for those who are not taking their pet with them are relying either on a family member (42%) or a friend (18%).
Another possibility that has become popular, particularly amongst those with large and varied menageries, is house-sitting. This also offers advantages in terms of increased security for your home, as it will not be left empty in your absence. A number of well-established, reputable companies operate in this area, with experienced staff used to looking after almost any type of pet that you can think of, so even in this situation, you can head off and enjoy your holiday without having to worry about your pets.
* Having trained as a vet,David is now well-known as a writer about pets, and his books have sold nearly seven million copies worldwide in 31 languages. He also takes part regularly in television and radio programmes, and has just launched a magazine called The World of Pets.