Friday, July 20, 2012

Study Reveals Top Accommodation Needs Among Pet Travelers

Via PR Newswire - For many Americans, taking pets along on vacation can make the experience more fun for the whole family. A full 51 percent of travelers with pets say they would bring their pets along on every vacation if they could, according to a recent AAA/Best Western survey of individuals who traveled with their pets in the last 12 months. What hinders them from doing so?

Finding Welcoming Accommodations

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 percent), learning about pet policies such as size limits and fees (49 percent), and getting details about available pet services (22 percent).

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.

Pet Etiquette Considerations 

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 percent), dogs that bark constantly (57 percent), unleashed pets (49 percent), pets not obedience trained (43 percent), owners not notifying others that pet is aggressive toward people/other pets (41 percent), and pets not trained to relieve themselves outside (29 percent).

"Traveling with your dog can be a wonderful experience. Remember, a balanced dog makes a better traveling companion. Always nurture a balanced state of mind," says pet expert Cesar Millan. "Plan your vacation with your dog in mind.”

Here are some tips to make travel more fun and less stressful for your dog:
  • Before you start your trip, take your dog for a walk. 
  • Feeding your pet in the car is not a good idea.
  • As you head out on the road, make sure you crate or harness your dog for safety. 
  • When stopping for a break, never leave your dog in the car, especially when it's warm outside. Even if the window is cracked open, the car can still heat up and be dangerous to your dog. 
  • Remember to bring your dog's scent with you. Having a favorite toy will comfort and relax him. 

Travelers can also find useful tips for preparing four-legged travelers for the road or air, plus handy information on pet etiquette, insurance and emergency animal clinics, in Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook and on the website. The 14th edition publication is available at many AAA and CAA offices and select booksellers at a suggested retail price of $18.95. The digital edition is available at online booksellers at a suggested digital retail price of $9.99.

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