With the average UK pet owner now spending 85 hours with their pet each week, it’s no surprise that many are becoming increasingly attached to their precious animals.
To mark National Pet Month, a nationwide study conducted by TrustedHousesitters, the world’s largest house and pet sitting platform, has found that an astounding 82%2 of pet owners claim to suffer from ‘se-paw-ation’ anxiety when away from their pets.
With the fluctuating lockdown restrictions, many Brits haven’t been able to travel as freely as before. But despite this, the majority (75%) of UK pet owners admit that they would cancel their holiday if they couldn’t find anyone to care for their pets. Indeed, 62% of those polled also admit that they feel guilty about the prospect of leaving their pets to go on holiday, a feeling which could be avoided by using the right housesitting service.
It seems the ever-changing travel advice and potentially having to quarantine upon arrival isn’t the only thing that’s unsettling holidaymakers, as nearly 40% of pet owners admit they feel more anxious about the thought of leaving their pets to go on holiday now than before lockdown. Ensuring their furry friend will be cared for properly in their absence is of extreme importance to UK pet owners, with nearly a third (29%) saying it’s what they worry about most when making travel plans, followed by finding the right accommodation (24%) and being away from home (17%).
Looking ahead for future holiday plans, it seems the local kennels or cattery may not meet modern pet owners’ needs, as the study found 67% are convinced that leaving their pet in a strange environment can put a dampener on their holiday. Which perhaps is why over half (59%) ask their friends or family to care of their pets whilst they go away. While it may be convenient, this option will undoubtedly leave many pet owners at a loss when friends and family plan their own getaways.
Time apart from their furry friends can be hard for pet owners, with just under half (45%) admitting that being reunited with their pet is what they look forward to most when returning from holiday, compared to just 10% that look forward to seeing their family.
Also, with holiday makers having to factor the price of Covid testing into their travels this year, nearly 40% of UK pet owners say they are put off from booking more trips away because of the high price of pet care. The costs associated with travelling also means holidays don’t come cheap for pet owners, but research found that they would still be willing to spend an average of £190 per week for their pet to be taken care of in their absence.
Angela Laws, Community Manager of TrustedHousesitters, says: “Separation anxiety is an experience that many pet owners wrestle with when away from their animals, and it’s undoubtedly going to be harder leaving our pets now, given the amount of time we’ve spent with them.
TrustedHousesitters can play a huge part in helping pet owners feel more comfortable travelling without their pets. Knowing their pets are safe in their own homes, and receiving the loving care of our community members, can help to ease any anxiety they may have.”
As the summer months draw closer and Brits start to plan holidays, TrustedHousesitters has teamed up with one of the UK’s leading animal psychics, Jackie Weaver, to offer tips and tricks for pet owners ahead of holiday season. Jackie’s tips include:
- Do your research – take time to find the right pet care for a worry-free holiday
- Communicate – speak to your pet before you leave, it will ease any guilt you have
- Be positive – try not to be upset when leaving your pets as they will sense negative energy
- Trust – don’t worry about them while you’re away, your carer is there to look after them
- There’s no time like the present – the longer you put off leaving your pet, the harder it’s going to be
Committed to changing the holiday experience for pet-owners across the globe, TrustedHousesitters operates by carefully approving the individuals on its platform, ensuring all pets receive the best care when their owners are away, and pet-owners can have peace of mind whilst away on holiday.