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One in ten owners miss holiday to stay with pets

It's a struggle to leave pets behind when we go away. According to a recent survey, some really can't bear the thought and opt to cancel or reschedule their plans.

As the school holidays kick off, many families are packing their bags for a vacation in the UK or abroad. For families with pets this can also be a concerning time as they try to arrange adequate care or decide whether to go away at all. One in eight owners surveyed for Pet Insurance from John Lewis Finance say they would not go on holiday without their pet.

In total, a quarter of pet owners have missed or rearranged an important event, such as a holiday, birthday party or even Christmas Day festivities, in order to stay with their beloved cat or dog, with one in ten skipping a holiday.

For those who do go away, 40 per cent said they typically book care at least two months ahead and a third said a trusted friend looks after them. Out of the others, one in five chose a kennel or cattery, whilst 17 per cent arranged a pet sitter.

Some owners find a way around leaving Fido behind by choosing a pet-friendly break - or a 'pet-cation'. Out of these, three quarters said they looked for a holiday advertised as pet friendly, followed by the availability of outdoor space and then the length of travel to the destination.

Andrew Moore, Veterinary Consultant, said, "Wherever you and your pet are heading this summer there are a number of things you can do to ensure your break is enjoyed by the whole family. For those taking their cat and dog overseas remember to pack their passport, as well as yours, and don’t forget to speak to your vet about any extra precautions you should take.

"When hitting the road keep the air conditioning on and stop regularly for a drink and a walk. If booking a cattery or kennel, go and have a look beforehand. It is only fair to spend time researching their accommodation in the same way you would your hotel or villa. Finally, be careful not to mix up your sun tan lotion with the pet-friendly sun cream, and certainly don’t be tempted to use yours on your pet."

Kieran Hartigan, Head of Products, John Lewis Finance, said of the findings, "Are we seeing the rise of the pet-cation? Even as a nation of animal lovers, it’s still surprising that so many people are choosing to change their social, holiday and even romantic plans to put their pets’ needs first. This just goes to reinforce the notion that our cats and dogs are an integral part of the family unit, and it’s just as important to ‘mums and dads’ that their pets’ holiday needs are equally well catered for."

Fancy a pet-cation? Take a look at the winners from last year's holiday accommodation survey or Five place you can 'glamp' with your dog.