Thousands of Brits will sacrifice a holiday this year because of their pets, according to new research.
A new survey has found that the rising cost of kennels and sitters will prevent a quarter of families with pets from taking a vacation this summer.
Many say they are unable to rely on the goodwill of friends and family to help out, or are too embarrassed to ask.
Faithful friend: A quarter of us are scaling back our holiday plans because we can’t leave our pets behind
Others feel guilty about ‘abandoning’ their pets, even on short breaks, and worry about their welfare in cheaper boarding.
Two per cent of respondents said financial constraints or ’emotional ties’ had stopped them from taking a holiday without their pets for five years.
The figures were released yesterday by the free pet-sitting service Petaround.com, which polled 1,250 pet owners about their holiday plans.
Founder Phil Harris said: ‘Pets bring so much joy to people, but they do require constant care and as the survey shows, this can cause problems when planning to go abroad.
‘Family members and friends aren’t always there to help, and a professional pet-sitter or boarding can prove very expensive.
‘There’s also the issue of trust. Pets are part of a family and like with children, you wouldn’t entrust them into someone’s care without being certain it’s the right environment for them.
‘Finding a service or professional that ticks all the boxes can be a time-consuming task and stressful task. With all these obstacles in the way, it’s no wonder that so many pet owners are planning to stay at home this year.’
According to figures released in 2012, 49 per cent of British households own at least one of the UK’s 27million pets. But the demands of looking after one can impact on travel plans.
Some 24 per cent of those polled said they planned to take at least one weekend break this summer, but were forced to ‘scale back’ their holiday arrangements because of the hassle and cost of prolonged pet-sitting.