Animal friendly hotels, specialised equestrian breaks and holidays in the UK are becoming increasingly popular as Britons seek to have more time with their pets.
Almost half of owners say the main reason they take their pets with them is because they want to spend more time with them, while 18 per cent say the rising cost of kennels is the main factor, a study by the Blue Cross found.
A third of pet owners are choosing holidays in the UK so they can ensure their pets are with them and one in ten admit to cutting breaks short because they feel guilty about leaving their animals behind. In London the number that have done so is even higher, with a quarter of owners cutting short or cancelling holidays because of their pets.
Others have invested in pet passports so they can take their animals abroad, with France, Ireland and Spain the most popular destinations.
Lara Alford, rehoming centre manager at the Blue Cross, said: “I take my dogs (and usually one tortoise) on holiday every year. I take them for a holiday in England and then have a holiday abroad without them.
“They have a great time and love going and I love having them with me, they are a big part of my family after all.”
Dogs are the most likely pet chosen to accompany owners on holiday, with horses second, followed by rabbits and guinea pigs.
Cats, chincillas, mice and rats have also been taken along.
Gemma Taylor has two labradors and said: “I mostly holiday with my two dogs. Due to the hot weather this year we decided to do the travel to the Lakes in the evening when the weather was cooler. Although this helped miss the traffic as well.
“When holidaying in mountain regions it is important to keep an eye out for underlying dangers such as mine shafts or sudden drops.”
Equestrian Escapes, which specialises in holidays for riders and their horses, has seen bookings increase by 100 per cent in the last year from around 100 to 200 in 2014. The company has also noticed people are requesting to bring along other pets too, including cats and rabbits.
Around 29 per cent of pet owners are taking animals away with them because they did not trust anyone else to look after them, while 27 are concerned their animals would suffer separation anxiety, according to the survey.
A third also said they were concerned their pets would be unhappy in kennels.
Pet insurers are paying out £1.3m a day in claims for sick and injured animals, with the number of cases involving exotic animals on the rise. The cost of pet insurance is also rising as new and expensive treatments are emerging.
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