Plan Family Pet Holidays to Avoid Surprises

As the summer holiday season rolls in, a surprising trend is emerging among pet owners. According to recent research from Tesco Bank, a significant number of pet owners are gearing up to take their beloved furry companions away with them. This trend, which sees our four-legged friends joining us whether we’re off on a staycation or a trip abroad, is reshaping our holidays and means pet holiday planning is vital.

Key Points

  • Pet Holiday Trend: 27% of pet owners are planning holidays with their pets this year, according to Tesco Bank’s research.
  • Pet Preference: Dogs are more likely to join their owners on holiday, with 39% of dog owners planning such trips, compared to 15% of cat owners.
  • Holiday Type: Pet owners are split between staycations (21%) and trips abroad (9%).
  • Top Destinations: The most popular countries for pet holidays last summer were the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Canada.
  • Pet Holiday Care Alternatives: 41% of pet owners are planning holidays without their pets, arranging various forms of care for them.
  • Planning Tips: Tesco Bank offers advice on planning, costs, protection, health checks, and stress-free travel for pet owners.

The Pet Holiday Trend

kitten siamese playing with pet toy

The research indicates that dogs are more likely to be holiday companions, with 39% of dog owners planning trips with their dogs. In contrast, only 15% of cat owners are considering a holiday with their cats. This trend equates to an impressive 6.9 million cat and dog owners taking their pets on holiday.

Staycation vs Vacation: The Pet Owner’s Dilemma

When it comes to the type of holiday, pet owners are divided. A fifth (21%) are planning a staycation with their pets, while 9% are preparing to venture abroad. The top five countries that saw the highest percentage of pet owners travelling last summer were the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Canada.

Pet Care During Holidays

Pet friendly holidays - dog in green field

Not all owners are keen on the idea of a pet holiday. A significant 41% are planning holidays without their pets, opting instead for various care options. These include leaving pets with trusted friends and family (16%), arranging for someone to check in on them (11%), hiring a paid pet sitter (7%), or using a kennel or cattery (7%).

Pet Care OptionPercentage of Pet Owners
Friends and Family16%
Check-in Service11%
Paid Pet Sitter7%
Kennel or Cattery7%

Preparing for a Pet-Friendly Holiday

Buying dog insurance

With the growing interest in pet-friendly holidays, Tesco Bank is offering advice on what pet owners should consider when planning trips. These considerations include the associated costs and the value of protection. Here are their top five tips:

  1. Plan Ahead: Ensure your holiday accommodation is pet-friendly. If travelling abroad, consider applying for a pet passport and investing in a pet carrier or dog guard for road trips. If leaving your pet behind, consider the daily cost of professional boarding or ask friends or family for help.
  2. Consider Extra Costs: Travel and accommodation costs are just the beginning. Consider additional expenses such as transportation costs, food, and bedding. It’s also worth considering extra protection to cover any damages caused by your pet while staying abroad.
  3. Ensure Protection: Pet accidents or emergency treatments can become expensive. Research and shop around for the best pet insurance that suits your budget and covers your pet’s specific needs.
  4. Keep Health Checks Up-to-Date: Depending on your destination, your pet may need vaccinations against diseases like rabies or tapeworm. Inform your vet at least a month in advance of any travel. It’s also a good idea to microchip your pet and ensure your contact information is up-to-date.
  5. Maintain a Stress-Free Travel Environment: Many pets can get stressed during travel. Consider doing a shorter test run before the actual trip. Make your pet comfortable by leaving their carrier out in a quiet spot in your house, adding their bedding, and regularly placing treats and their favourite toys inside.

Alex Cross, Insurance Director at Tesco Bank, commented: “Once you’ve booked your holiday accommodation and travel, it can be all too easy to overlook the additional considerations for your pet. Whether you’re taking them with you or not it’s important to factor in any associated costs to avoid any last-minute surprises!

“As part of this prep, it’s worth checking your pet is covered for any accidents, sickness or injuries that might occur during your break – there’s nothing worse than having to cut a trip short and being caught out by an expensive surprise vet bill!”

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