By Editor on 13 March 2012

Almost half of UK households own a pet and, with the summer holiday season approaching, many will be considering taking their dog or cat away with them.

According to recent research by a pet retailer*, one quarter of UK adult pet owners are prepared to pay the same amount as an extra adult on holiday, just to take their pet with them. Proving the family bond, 25% of all children surveyed said they would give up their pocket money or toys if it meant their pet could travel.

Most airlines require the use of a pet travel agent who will make the booking, drop your pet off at the cargo centre and take care of all relevant documentation and vaccinations, although you will need to arrange a pet passport in most cases.

An estimated 100,000 owners a year use the pet passport scheme to take their animals on holiday. The scheme requires pets to have a microchip number and up-to-date rabies vaccinations.

When you enter or return to the UK from another EU or non-EU listed country your pet needs to meet the entry requirements. These include:

You must also use an approved transport company and an approved route unless you’re travelling between the UK and the Republic of Ireland (all other rules still apply).

Greg Lawson, Head of Retail at Columbus Direct, said: "Many airlines and holiday resorts are coming up with pet-friendly solutions so it’s no wonder many people are choosing to treat their pets. There is, however, some extra planning to consider for a pet holiday.

"Apart from pet passports, we would ask people to check they have travel insurance for their pets. While travel can often be added to domestic pet insurance, there is rarely any pet cover in human travel insurance.

"If your pet is sick while overseas, owners should ensure they have cover to include vet fees, flight cancellation costs and additional accommodation. As with any other member of the family, it’s worth the investment to have peace of mind on your holiday."

Click here for more advice on taking your pet abroad.

Image credit: Flickr, with thanks to John Pemble

*Research by Wilkinson

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