We recently took a quick survey about summer pet travel, and in light of recent trends weren't surprised to hear that over half of you (58%) will travel with your pet sometime in the next three months.
When traveling, a good majority of respondents (83%) said that safety trumps concerns like price and convenience, and the same people also said that being able to locate pet amenities is "very important" when away from home.
This TechCrunch article reiterates that the US pet industry is going strong, and a DogVacay poll underlines what we've found for ourselves -- pet travel is becoming an increasingly common part of life for many pet owners, and pet inclusiveness in general is on the rise.
In fact, here's one last tidbit from our survey: every single person who responded said they would certainly consider changing their original travel plans to better accommodate their pets.
As hotels, airlines, airports, and other travel-related businesses continue to work to meet the growing needs of pet owners, what can we do to make the world more pet friendly for four-legged travelers? Here are a few ways to be smart, efficient and respectful when it comes to pet travel.
Spontaneity has its perks, but when traveling with a pet it's much smarter to have a game plan. If spending nights away from home, call hotels or friends ahead of time to make sure your pet will be welcome there. Think hard about what your furry friend might need on the road and be sure to bring it all (a water bowl, extra leash, first aid kit, etc.). If flying or crossing any borders, read up on the paperwork and/or vaccine requirements that might be necessary to have in hand.
Prepare your Pet
Not everyone is a pet lover and some people resent encountering dogs at cafes and outdoor shopping centers, but it's tough to be irritated by a well-behaved pup. Train your dog to walk nicely on a leash and observe strangers' personal space. Allow time for bathroom breaks away from main thoroughfares, and in general just be aware of your dog and what effect she may have on the people and environment around you. Dogs are dogs, of course, but making an effort (and choosing to leave the more hyper pals at home) makes a difference when it comes to achieving acceptance out in the world.
Going somewhere new and not sure what the dog park situation is? Running low on food and need to find a pet store? These days you'll surely find all the info you need with the help of smartphone apps, social media, blogs, and simply asking other pet owners you meet. Sometimes the best advice can come from a quick Google search or by throwing a question out on Twitter, so don't be shy about reaching out to people if you find yourself with questions, and familiarize yourself with some of these tools before you hit the road.
Finally, here are the highlights of our pet travel survey. See how they compare to last year's survey, and feel free to share your own thoughts and ideas about summer pet travel!
What kind of pets do you travel with?
Dogs - 83%
Cats - 29%
Ferrets - 4%
Birds - 4%
How soon do you plan to travel with your pet?
This summer - 58%
Within the next year - 37%
I don't travel with my pet - 4%
What's most important when traveling with a pet?
Safety - 83%
Price - 12%
Convenience to my own travel arrangements - 4%
What's the most difficult part of traveling with a pet?
Not enough selection of pet friendly airlines - 33%
Airline pet travel fees are too expensive - 25%
Hotel pet fees are too expensive - 20%
Not enough selection of pet friendly hotels - 12%
Not enough information on health requirements - 8%
How important are pet friendly amenities to you when you travel?
"Very Important" - 83%
"Somewhat Important" - 16%
Would you change your original plans to better accommodate your pet?
Yes - 100%