Guilt trip: Pet travel can be stressful for people, too

by Candyce Stapen, USA TODAY

pet travelEver smuggle your dog or cat into your hotel? If so, you’re one of the pack. According to the first State of U.S. Pet Travel study conducted by DogVacay.com, a home dog boarding registry, 15% of pet owners confess to sneaking their furry pals into no-four-paws allowed guest rooms, or even onto airplanes.

For pet parents, “guilt trip” can take on a new meaning. When not bringing along four-legged friends, 72% of people companions worry about the pets left behind at least some of the time, and 24% of people worry during all or most of their trips. Even when friends or family host the pups and kitties, 50% of owners feel bad requesting the stay.

The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive, uncovers other pet-travel challenges. A majority — 75% — of the 2,341 respondents of whom 1,423 are pet owners, do not trust airlines to care for animals safely when they fly in a plane’s hold, whether as checked baggage or as cargo. Another bone of contention: 21% of pet lovers cite difficulties digging out pet-friendly lodgings or pet-friendly airlines.

Launched March 2012, DogVacay.com combines Yelp-like, user reviews of vetted home-boarders with a booking engine.

Co-developer of the site Aaron Hirschhorn says “DogVacay was founded to create an alternative for traveling dog parents to board their pet in a loving home. We hope this survey will inspire more innovation in pet travel so that next year’s survey results will show even more improvement in options available to those traveling both with and without their pets.”

Tips for traveling with your Dog


Photo by H. Darr Beiser
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