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The Dog Ate My Vacation: Why Pets and Travel May Not Mix

Pets may enhance our daily lives but they ruin our vacations.

That’s the surprising conclusion reached by a recent poll conducted for obvious reasons (see below) by the website with the help of Harris Interactive. The polling company talked to some 2341 adults and came up with some very telling findings.

Firstly: we’re insanely neurotic about our pets. Apparently, 72% of pet owners reported feeling worried about Fido or Felix for at least some part of their vacation. Some 64% feel that anxiety when they’re planning to go away, as 82% depend on family or friends to care for their furry companion, but 50% of those folks feel really, really guilty about calling in that favor.

So why not travel with the pet then? That would be a solution but…. 75% of those polled said they distrusted the airlines when it came to caring for pets. And then there’s the problem of finding lodgings that will accept pets. An honest 15% of the pollees admitted to sneaking pets into their hotel rooms while traveling.

Interestingly, all of this self-reproach doesn’t seem to be stopping pet owners from hitting the road. Apparently pet-owners spend 15 days a year away from home, which is slightly higher than the number for non-pet owners. (Leading to the conclusion that perhaps people with pets are slightly more affluent than those without?)

What should the conscientious pet owner do? Well, they could go with the program run by (see, I told you this study was a bit self-serving), which place dogs into actual homes for a fee that’s often more reasonable than the ones kennels charge. The folks who take in the dogs go through a training and are vetted by the site.

Or they could go the road-trip route. Such websites as and post extensive online travel guides to destinations that your companion will enjoy, including restaurants that have terraces that pets can sit at while you dine; hotels that will accept pets; dog beaches; and even events you can go to with other pet owners. I’m also a fan of the website, which gives excellent advice on all things pet, from summer safety tips (concerning swimming pools, leaving your dog in an un-air conditioned car and more) to tourist attractions that will bring you into contact with animals of all sorts.

Do you, dear reader, have these same kinds of worries about traveling with your pets? Or do you have solutions for those who do?