6.9million pet owners plan to take their pet on holiday this year

More than a quarter (27%) of all pet owners are busy preparing to take holidays this year, with their furry friends in tow, according to new research from Tesco Bank.

Dogs are more likely to benefit from a holiday adventure, with two fifths (39%) of dog owners planning trips with their dogs, whereas just 15% of cat owners will take their cat on holiday this year. According to Tesco Bank’s analysis, that equates to a significant 6.9 million dog and cat owners who are taking their beloved pet on holiday with them.

For those heading off with their furry friend, there is a divide between going abroad and staying on home turf. While a fifth (21%) plan to enjoy a staycation break with their furry friend, 9% of owners will go abroad, making use of their pet’s passports along the way. And, according to Air BnB’s data, the top five countries with the highest percentage of pet owners traveling there last summer included the UK, The US, The Netherlands, Denmark and Canada.

For many however a trip with animals on board feels a step too far. 41% of owners are planning holidays without their pets, leaving them in the care of trusted friends and family (16%), sourcing someone ahead of time to pop in while they’re away to check in on them (11%), getting a paid sitter (7%) or using a kennel or cattery (7%).

With so much appetite for pet-friendly holidays, Tesco Bank is highlighting what pet owners should consider if they are any planning trips, including associated costs and value of protection.

So, as owners start to head off for summer holidays, its important particular care is taken so everyone can enjoy their time without any surprise – and potentially costly – trip to the vets.

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!”

Here, Alex Cross shares his top five tips on what to consider before taking your pet on a staycation or holiday abroad this year:

Get your pet’s plan mapped ahead of time

Getting your pet’s plan ready ahead of time will give you the most peace of mind. If you’re going abroad, you’ll also need to ensure your holiday accommodation is pet-friendly you maybe apply for a passport and invest in a pet carrier or a dog guard for any road trips. If you’re planning to leave your pet behind, you’ll need to consider the daily cost of professional boarding or ask friends or family if they’d be willing to help.

Factor in extra costs

Aside from the upfront travel and accommodation costs, there may be additional expenses along the way too. These include transportation costs, food, and bedding. For additional peace of mind, it’s worth considering getting a level of extra protection to ensure you’re not liable for any damages to properties caused by mischievous pets while staying abroad.

Make sure you’re protected

Pet accidents or emergency treatments when you’re on holiday can, in some cases, become expensive depending on what level of health support is needed. There are many types of pet insurance available on the market today offering varying degrees of flexibility so it’s well worth doing your research and shopping around for the level of cover that best suits your budget well ahead of time to ensure your pet’s specific needs are covered.

Health checks up-to-date

Depending on where you’re travelling to, your pet may need to be vaccinated against potential diseases like rabies or tapeworm. It’s always best to inform your vet at least a month in advance of any travel so they can give you the best guidance. It’s also a good idea to microchip your pet and ensure your contact information is up to date to avoid them getting lost on holiday.

Keep travel stress-free

Many pets can get stressed being in their carrier for long periods of time. If you’re travelling by car or public transport, it’s a good idea to do a shorter test run beforehand, just so they can get used to it. You can also help them feel more 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. If you’re putting them into board, ensuring they have items which are familiar smelling to them will reduce any separation anxiety.