Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DogTrekker.com National Survey Finds: It’s Getting Easier to Travel with Dogs

Via PRWeb - Dog owners are finding it easier to locate dog-friendly accommodations, information on pet safety and things to do with their pets when traveling, a national survey by DogTrekker.com finds, with 83% turning to search engines and websites to plan their trips.

The survey of dog owners was part of a larger study of American leisure travelers conducted in January, similar to one conducted by Dogtrekker in 2011. The 2013 study found that the number of dog owners in the U.S. has remained constant, though they are more at ease finding dog-friendly travel information and that dog-friendly travel is growing.

Finding dog-friendly accommodations remains the biggest reason more dog owners don’t travel with their pets, though this has gotten better since Dogtrekker’s last survey. Also down among reasons dog owners don’t travel with pets were: concerns about dog safety and finding things to do with the dog when on the road. Dog owners also reported they find it harder to locate day care for pets at travel destinations.

Among owners, 56% say pet-friendly policies and amenities are very important to their selection of accommodations. Among the annoyances they encounter most are expensive hotel pet fees, a poor selection of truly pet-friendly hotels, finding activities to do with dogs at destinations, and confusion over pet-friendly policies at hotels, activities and attractions.

“Hotels and destinations that aren't providing for truly dog-friendly travel are missing out on a growing trend,” said Dave Kendrick, co-founder of Dogtrekker.com which is an online guide to dog-passionate travel in Northern and Central California. “Our survey documents that 47% of leisure travelers own dogs and nearly 40% of owners bring their dogs along on trips. That’s roughly a quarter of all travelers!”

“What dog owners tell us,” Kendrick added, “is that being dog-friendly means more than just allowing a dog to stay in a room with its owner. It means welcoming them just as they do their adult counterparts and setting policies that prove it.”

Unfriendly practices cited by travelers include weight and size limitations that aren't disclosed until check in, few dog-friendly rooms, no information on where dogs can go and little guidance to owners on nearby pet services and the aforementioned high pet fees.

Kendrick cited a huge difference between claiming to be dog-friendly and truly earning the biscuit, “it’s the thought that goes into planning for dogs and their owners, how thoroughly the hotel has considered what owners need, such as: is there a nearby area to exercise and clean up after dogs, where will the dog sleep and eat, are cleaning policies and deposits fair.”

Dogtrekker.com was established in 2011 by Kendrick and what he describes as “a collaboration of dog lovers who wanted to share what they've learned during the equivalent of 200 years of on-the-road and on-the-trail adventures.

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