Going on holiday? Take your pet

LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 11:42 18/10/2013

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The phrase pet-lover has a new meaning after a survey revealed animal friends are popular Kiwi holiday companions, and some get phone calls and souvenirs if they have to be left behind.

In a survey by travel site Wotif, 91 per cent of respondents had a pet, and 46 per cent said their animal friend shared their holiday.

But even more surprising was what pet-lovers did when their furry or feathered friends couldn't come.

Around 23 per cent of respondents eased the guilt by buying trinkets for their pet, 17 per cent kept them close by carrying around a photo, and 10 per cent called to chat to their pet, said Wotif.co.nz product director Donna Rodios.

Restrictions on animals in accommodation were no barrier to 19 per cent of the survey takers.

''One respondent even smuggled their dog into a motel in a backpack. With sneaky cover-ups like this one it's no surprise only 9.9 per cent were caught,'' said Ms Rodios.

For those looking to avoid the hassle, holiday homes were the best pet-friendly option according to just over 50 per cent of respondents, followed by caravan and camping parks (21 per cent).

Dogs got the most trips - taken away by around 85 per cent of respondents - and just over 10 per cent took their feline friends.

''Other travellers even admitted to taking their bird, rabbit, guinea pig or fish away,'' said Ms Rodios.

When it came to transport, the vast majority of pets were packed into the car (97 per cent), with just under two per cent treated to a flight.

And pets made for some colourful holiday experiences, including a dog who jumped the fence to steal the neighbours' roast chicken off the bench, and a runaway pet turtle found in a closet. Yet a respondent who left their pet behind received the biggest surprise.

"One respondent revealed they were surprised to find their pet had babies a few weeks after returning from holiday - before they had left their pet was a boy," said Ms Rodios.

Is your pet your constant companion, even on holiday? If you can't stand to be parted from your furry, feathered or reptilian friend we'd love to hear from you. Email news@waikatotimes.co.nz.

libby.wilson@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

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- Waikato

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