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Pet Travel Statistics & Pet Travel Trends

Welcome to the pet care section of Diana L. Guerrero's Ark Animals. The travel industry is changing the rules and accommodations to attract families traveling with pets. Companion animals commonly take day trips, weekend excursions and family vacations and comprise a fast growing segment of the travel industry. Find innovative travel trends and pet travel statistics in this article. Feel free to visit the media room for press releases, recent media coverage, and related items.

Pet Travel Statistics & Pet Travel Trends

According to the Travel Industry Association of America an estimated 29.1 million Americans say they have traveled with a pet in the past three years. Canines are the most popular travel companions. As estimated 78% travel with their parents while felines take second place at 15%.

What is the drastic drop between species? It may stem back to old patterns where socializing felines was not a common practice. Traditionally cats were not considered as social as dogs. Times are changing and now kitten kindergartens and other activities, such as “meow mixers,” give people permission to take their fabulous felines out on more adventures. This shift may show up in future statistics since cats now rule as the number one urban pet of choice.

The pet traveling trend increases during the summer when more families travel on vacation. Vehicular travel is the primary mode of transportation topping the list at 76%. Other popular modes of transport include expeditions via recreational vehicles (10%) and airline travel (6%).

Pet travelers stay most frequently with friends/relatives (32%) but the services of pet friendly hotels or motels is not too far behind (29%). The Automobile Association of America (AAA) even provides a guide for pet friendly places to stay.

The burgeoning group of beastly travelers now may ride fashionably in their own cushy carriers, wheeled travel crates, or sit pretty (and safely) outfitted in their own specialty seatbelts and more adaptation. However the changes to accommodate critter companions has even more far reaching impact.

Many pet parents worry about pet traveling safety. News reports about lost or escaped animals have been hot news items. Recently, Continental Airlines unveiled an animal kenneling facility at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. This facility is being promoted as the first airline-owned kennel situated on airport property in the United States.

This new service augments the carrier’s PetSafe service. The new facility boasts approximately 1,100 square feet of space equipped to provide the ultimate in care for animals traveling on Continental. Services include separate caging areas for all species, separate ventilation systems, exercise runs and full grooming facilities. The kennel, located inside Continental's Houston cargo facility, will provide care 24-hours a day, seven days a week, for animals that have stopovers or overnights in the Houston airport.

Continental has retained the services of Kingwood Pet Kamp to oversee the new services. Kingwood has been the airline's kennel operator for the last seven years. Kingwood Pet Kamp will provide comprehensive services from animal handling to cleaning crates and cages, exercising the animals, rendering emergency care when necessary, and grooming and bathing services on request.

If you want to tour with your pet, try Breakaway Adventures in South Carolina. The pet friendly business offers at least four French walking tours for dogs. If you are more of a rugged outdoors adventurer pick up the “Canine Hiker’s Bible” for doggone good ideas of where to hike with pets. Author, Doug Gilbert operates a website guiding people to outings around the United States.

Wine enthusiasts might want to pair up with Europeds, a west coast company that offers dog walking tours in California wine country. While you are there, get into the spirit of things in the Dog House®, a division of Kendall Jackson Wine Estates.

For international travelers, don’t forget about the Pet Passport Scheme (PETS). The project allows animals to travel easily between member countries without quarantine. PETS originated in the United Kingdom and spread to other European Union countries. Companion animals may travel freely with correct procedure to member countries on approved carriers. Today some of the countries participating include the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand—but the list is expanding all the time.

Pet Passports usually include multiple forms, certification of rabies vaccination, and the animal’s microchip or tattoo number. Each country has different requirements for import or export of animals so check for specifics related to departure and destination locations.

Finally, if you can’t take your pet with you or need to find options for pet care while on the road, don’t forget about pet day care services or pet-sitters. Just be sure to call in advance to make arrangements and check on availability.

About the columnist: Since 1978 Diana L. Guerrero has worked professionally with both wild and domestic animals. Guerrero has been affiliated with, and certified by, a variety of animal programs in the USA and Europe. Based in California, she writes, consults, and speaks. Information on her animal career programs, training courses, and her books {What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality (SkyLight Paths, 2003), Blessing of the Animals (Sterling, 2007), Help! My Pet is Driving Me Crazy (Guerrero Ink, 2007), Animal Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners & Pet Professionals (Guerrero Ink, 2007)} can be found in this web site and in the shop. Questions for Guerrero should be submitted via the blog comments or membership forum.


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