Pet-friendly hotel chain Best Western has joined with travel organization AAA to find out what traveling pet owners are looking for in accommodations.
Fifty-one percent of travelers with pets say they would bring their pets along on every vacation if they could, according to the survey of individuals who traveled with their pets in the last 12 months.
Among top considerations in whether to include pets in travel plans is the need to locate welcoming, appropriately matched pet-friendly accommodations, according to the study. Specific aspects of the search include: finding places that accept pets (95%), learning about pet policies such as size limits and fees (49%) and getting details about available pet services (22%). One-quarter of pet travelers who have skipped this important planning step admit to sneaking their pet into a hotel or motel at some point in the past, creating anxiety that can affect pet behavior.
Advance planning using a resource like AAA's "Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook," available in print and digital versions, can alleviate concerns related to accommodations and other pet-travel preparations.
Respondents also identified observations about other pet travelers, pinpointing several behavioral considerations for owners as well as their pets: owners not cleaning up after pets (77%), dogs that bark constantly (57%), unleashed pets (49%), pets not obedience trained (43%), owners not notifying others that pet is aggressive toward people/other pets (41%), pets not trained to relieve themselves outside (29%)
More than eight in 10 (85%) of pet travelers travel with their dog, and two in 10 (21%) travel with a cat. Ninety-three percent said their pet makes a good travel companion, because they are a good cuddle buddy when away from home (27%), always let the owner select the destination (18%), doesn't hog the hotel remote (12%), snores less than owner's significant other (7%) or helps attract dates (1%).
Top types of vacations enjoyed with pets include visiting friends and family (78%), road trips (50%), going to the beach (33%), camping (27%), visiting a city (23%) or hiking (17%).