Holidaying Brits feel guilty for leaving dogs at home

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Have you been there? You’re deciding what to do with your beloved pet when you travel abroad: Maybe friends and family can step in to care for them while you’re away, or perhaps you can count on a trusted petsitter or kennels.

Possibly, you may look into taking them with you — travelling by ferry or Eurotunnel is an option for many.

According to the Blue Cross, before taking your dog overseas, you should seriously weigh up how happy they will be on long car journeys and the heat in a sunny holiday destination.

You also need to consider:

  • Is there dog-friendly accommodation?
  • How much open space is there for them to exercise and toilet?
  • Will you need to leave them to go out, in the day, at night, or both?
  • Are you clear on where the nearest vet is?

So, it’s little wonder that so many of us opt to go without them.

Yet a new survey has shown Brits’ travel guilt over leaving dogs behind is rife:

  • 80% of dog owners admit to feeling huge pangs of guilt when holidaying abroad

  • Holidaying with the dog has increased 20% percent in last decade

  • 62% say dog chit chat is a big part of their holiday

A poll and ‘travelling barometer’ developed by selfcatering.co.uk has shed light on some of the travel habits of UK dog owners, revealing the emotional challenges faced when leaving them behind.

According to the results, which sampled 2,000 individuals through the travel site, 40 percent  of the UK’s 23 million households own a pet and an overwhelming 80 percent of these pet owners reported experiencing acute feelings of guilt when they go on holiday without their furry companions.

In response to this, many dog owners are now thinking about changing their holiday plans to include their dogs.

The survey found that 37 percent of families now travel with their dogs, a significant increase of nearly 20 percent compared to a decade ago. This shift indicates a rising preference for pet-friendly holidays, with 85 percent of pet owners expressing a desire to opt for local staycations where they can bring their dog along, rather than traveling abroad without them.

Further highlighting the strong bond between pet owners and their dogs, 62 percent of respondents admitted that they talk about their four-legged friends every day while on holiday without them. This constant chatter about their pet underscores the integral role that dogs play in owners’ lives, even when they are miles apart.

The survey also identified the south-east as the most pet-friendly region for traveling, followed by the south-west and east of England. These areas are noted because of walking trails and dog-friendly pubs, making them ideal destinations for pet-inclusive holidays.

Richard Young, founder of selfcatering.co.uk, says: “Our findings highlight a significant cultural shift towards pet-friendly travel in the UK. With more facilities and accommodations catering to dogs and their owners, the trend of taking pets on holiday is expected to continue rising, ensuring that our beloved pets are no longer left behind when their families go on holiday.”

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