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
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
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
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.