Pet Staycation: Survey Reveals Most Owners Opt for Professional Care, Especially Cat Owners

  • Most animal lovers leave pets in care while on a staycation – with cat owners more likely to do so

  • 16% of pet owners choose the professional care of a kennel or cattery most often

  • More than two-thirds (69%) of pet owners rely on family and friends to dodge extra fees

A recent survey showed that just 30% of the UK’s pet parents take their animals on a staycation holiday with them.[1] Seven out of 10 owners organise care for their pets while they’re away, with many paying extra for professional care services.

Unsurprisingly, nearly all (96%) cat owners say they have to organise care for their feline friends when they are away, while dog owners can be more flexible. Just over half (53%) of dog owners tend to take their canine companions on a staycation with them, while the other half (47%) arrange care.

The study, conducted by Go.Compare Pet Insurance, found that more than two-thirds (69%) of pet owners opt to leave animals with family and friends, saving money on care. Meanwhile, professional care costs can quickly add up for those choosing this option, with one-quarter (26%) spending an average of £140 per week on holiday pet care.

Professional care cost comparison

The cost of professional pet care varies depending on which type the owner opts for. One in ten (11%) use a paid pet or house sitter, while 16% of pet owners say they use a kennel or cattery most often – making this the most popular paid option.

Kennel or cattery fees can vary in cost; 43% of pet owners who pay between £10 and £30 per day say they mostly use this service for care. Similarly, over a third (37%) of owners who pay more than £31 per day on care use a kennel or cattery, compared to just 8% of owners who spend less than £10.

Having a paid house or pet sitter can change the price. A quarter (26%) of owners who pay between £10 and £30 per day use one, and a further 26% who pay more than £31 spend it on this service. Whereas, only 8% of those who spend less than £10 a day say they use a house or pet sitter most often.

Just 3% use a home boarding service for their pets, possibly due to it being a more expensive option. More than one in ten (12%) owners who pay more than £31 per day on care use home boarding, compared to only 4% of those spending between £10 and £30 per day and 3% of those paying less than £10.

Of course, the cheapest option is relatives. Almost all (95%) pet owners who spend nothing on care use family or friends for help. Similarly, more than three-quarters (79%) of pet owners who spend less than £10 do this by relying on those close to them.

Ceri McMillan, pet insurance expert at Go.Compare, said: “As much as we love our pets, it’s not always possible to take them everywhere with us. Particularly for cat owners as they have less flexibility to take their pets on holidays with them, making organising care a necessity.

“Unfortunately, not everyone can rely on helpful friends or relatives to look after animal companions, which means professional care can be costly. There are lots of options available to you, such as finding home boarding or a good pet sitter.

“Be sure to do your research about what is required before you leave to make a smooth stay for your pets. Some professional care services will want you to prove you have comprehensive pet insurance in place, just in case anything unexpected should happen while you’re away.”

More information about our pet care cost comparison, including the cost of pet-friendly accommodation in the UK can be found on Go.Compare’s website.

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