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Are pets putting a ‘PAWS’ on summer holiday plans? [28/06/2011]

If you’re thinking about taking a holiday this year, don’t use your furry friend as an excuse not to go. According to Petplan, one in four pet owners are taking less holidays since getting a pet with the majority saying their pet is the culprit for the reduction in their vacation. Despite 99% of respondents claiming that their pet is an integral part of the family, only 23% actually take their pet on holiday with them and many would rather not go on holiday at all! To overcome the myth that pets make holidays difficult, Petplan has compiled a hot list of pet friendly hotels for every county of the UK.

During the financial pinch, it could be assumed that pet owners would be deterred from taking a holiday due to the cost of looking after a pet whilst they are away. Research from Petplan however reveals that the majority of pet owners (30%) say that they can’t bear to be away from their pet for extended periods of time. Interestingly, there seems to be a gender divide when it comes to holiday cancellations suggesting that men are more compassionate when it comes to the health of their pet. A fifth of men (20%) compared to 12% of women have cancelled a holiday because their pet was either ill, they were worried about leaving it or couldn’t find a suitable sitter.

Neil Brettell, Director of Petplan commented: "We’re keen to break the misconception that pets make it difficult for their owners to go on holiday. We know that pets are valued members of the family so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be part of the holiday fun. For peace of mind for you and your pet, just make sure your insurance is up to date before you go away - with our Covered for Life policy your pet’s covered for accidents and illness whether holidaying in the UK or abroad and it includes things like holiday cancellation and covering the costs to get your sick pet home."

Of those who do take their pet on holiday, one in five have experienced problems while they’ve been away such as their pet falling ill, being injured or damaging the property they were staying at, highlighting the importance of finding pet friendly accommodation.

Alison Laurie, Petplan’s Vet of the Year for 2011, said: "Some pets find it distressing to be away from their owners, particularly if they’re in a strange environment, so if you are leaving them in care, pack their favourite toys and bedding to help them feel at ease. You also need to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date, especially if you’re taking them abroad."

Over a third of respondents say that they prefer to holiday in the UK and with the number of pet friendly hotels on the rise, Petplan is encouraging people to take their best friends on holiday this summer and enjoy a well deserved break, with the entire family.

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