- A third of British pet owners would rather go away with their furry friend than their immediate family
- Forty seven per cent miss their pet the most when away on holiday
- Over a third have taken a pet on holiday
With one Bank Holiday down and another just around the corner, summer is firmly on the horizon and a third (32 per cent) of Brits who own pets would rather go on holiday with their four-legged-friends than their immediate family, given the choice *. Giving a whole new meaning to being in the 'doghouse', 13 per cent of Brits admitted they would choose their pet over their partner and 10 per cent would opt to take their pet on holiday over the children, if they had the opportunity.
For those travelling without the family pet this year, one in two pet owners in the UK (47 per cent) said that when they leave their family behind for foreign travels, it is their pet that they miss most of all while they're away. Immediate family members trailed a distant second, identified by a third of Brits (33 per cent). Twenty-eight per cent of British pet owners said it was their partner they missed most whilst away.
But as this research has found, our pets are never far from thought when we do go on holiday. Nearly half (43 per cent) confessed they give their pet some extra TLC when they return home from a holiday and one in five (18 per cent) make sure they bring back a souvenir for their furry friend. Forty per cent of pet owners also said they regularly check up on their pet whilst away to make sure they are okay. Thirty-six per cent revealed that their pet's welfare is their biggest worry when they do leave them behind.
However, the research by TravelSupermarket has identified that a significant number of British pet owners (39 per cent) are now choosing to take their pets away with them on holiday either domestically or internationally. Dog owners who have taken their pooch away with them recently said they didn't just do it for their own benefit - nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) believe that their pet enjoyed the experience and that it broadened their 'doggy-horizons'.
Case Study: 'Snoop'
One particular pooch who has clocked up his fair share of miles is Snoop, a five-year-old Parson Jack Russell terrier from Lincoln who regularly travels to France and has even walked the cobblestones of Belgium. Snoop holds a 'pet passport' which he has now had for two years, taking him on sixteen trips overseas so far with another one booked for July. As his owners travel regularly by car and ferry across the Channel, Snoop's 'Dad' Tom Bollan says they don't feel like the whole family is with them unless the family pet is there as well. "If Snoop wasn't with us, we'd just spend our holiday worrying about him . We love to see Snoop run around with the kids and soak up the French country air and we do believe he enjoys getting away from it all as much as we do!"
For more information on Snoop's travels across Europe, please contact 3 Monkeys Communications for images, further information or anecdotes.
TravelSupermarket's travel expert Bob Atkinson says: "We all know that Brits love their pets and this research has found that many pet owners are happy to admit we actually miss our furry friends more than we miss immediate family and friends when we are away.
"It's never been easier to travel with your cat or dog thanks to the recent relaxation of DEFRA quarantine laws and the accessibility of 'pet passports'. The rules do vary slight by country and pet, but generally your pet will need to be micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies in order to gain a pet passport - avoiding the need for beloved animals sitting in quarantine for lengthy periods of time when travelling between countries.
"For those planning a staycation this year, there are, of course, many hotels, holiday parks and caravan sites that will allow guests to bring along a pet here in the UK.
"However, if you do plan to take your pet abroad, just double check whether your pet insurance policy covers for travel overseas. If it doesn't, phone your provider to see if it can be added to your policy for the duration of your trip."
*Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,010 UK pet owners on behalf of TravelSupermarket.com aged 18+ from 29 March to 3 April 2012. Results have been weighted nationally representative criteria
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