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Pets are increasingly becoming an essential part of the family, with many owners seeing them as just another human. For some, their cat or dog is seen as another child, and is often treated as such. For example some owners buy their pet treats, give them presents on their birthday and provide them with their own chair in the living room.
So it should come as no surprise that this love of pets boils over into travel arrangements. Quite how far these pet-friendly arrangements go though is what might make you question the sanity of some pet owners.
Firstly the basics; do pet owners prefer to take their pet with them or leave them at home, given the option? According to a study by Australian travel firm Wotif, half of all pet owners surveyed would rather take their beloved pooch or pussy away with them when travelling rather than leaving it at home. Kennels and catteries may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but even leaving your pet with a loving friend or family member is too much for most pet owners.
It seems that even a few weeks without their beloved pet may be too much for many owners to handle, with almost a quarter of pet owners admitting that they carry round a picture of their cat or dog when travelling.
This is perhaps not overly surprising; however what may shock you is that the research also found that pet owners are even opting to take their pets abroad when they haven’t been officially sanctioned. For example the surveys shows that 21% of those who actually take their pets abroad with them have smuggled their animals into accommodation that does not accept pets. Apparently 8% of pet owners have been caught doing this. It goes to show just how much we regard pets as a part of the family. Is the risk of being thrown out of your holiday accommodation worth it simply to make sure you don’t miss your pet while away?
But what about those owners who don’t take their pets with them when travelling? Here the responses become truly peculiar. For example, did you know that 27% of pet owners admit to buying a souvenir for their cat or dog?
It gets worse. One in five of the survey respondents admitted calling home deliberately to speak to their pet on the phone while away. In addition, 4% of people have even sent a postcard to a pet back home.
How you react to these figures will depend on how you feel about your pets. For many experienced travellers and expats, dealing with pet travel or kennelling is just a fact of life. For others, travel can present very real problems that some pet owners over-react to, treating their dog or cat like a long-lost family member.
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Expatriate Group & Expatriate Healthcare are trading styles of Strategic Insurance Services Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). FCA Firm reference Number is 307133. Strategic Insurance Services Limited is authorised to carry on Regulated Activities in accordance with the permissions granted by the FCA under PART IV of the Financial Services and Markets ACT 2000.