Many U.S. Travelers Plan to Take Their Pets on Vacation

DALLAS—New research from Motel 6 reveals that as U.S. adults are hitting the roads, they will be doing so with their pets, as the majority (54 percent) of cat and dog owners noted they plan to travel with their pet in the next year. The economy lodging brand released new survey data of 1,000 U.S. individuals planning to travel with their pets in the next year.

The poll found that nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) say their pet deserves a getaway this year, but only 8 percent of respondents prepare for a trip by researching pet-friendly travel websites. To help travelers enjoy a break with their pets, Motel 6 has teamed up with Patriot PAWS, an organization dedicated to training and providing service dogs to disabled U.S. veterans and others in need, to share tips on how to do so safely.

“Traveling with your pet is great for socialization and training, especially for younger animals,” says Dr. Rhonda Phillips, veterinarian and Patriot PAWS board member. “Just a few simple steps like thinking twice while packing, making pit stops along the way, and doing some research before your trip can help take away some of the stress pet owners may have about traveling with their furry friends.”

Preparing For a Trip With a Pet

Dr. Phillips notes that preparation is key when traveling with a pet, and it’s important for pet owners to bring their pets’ food, water, and toys when traveling because familiarity helps ease any anxiety. In fact, two in five (41 percent) individuals planning to travel with their pet in the next year agree that their pet can’t travel without their favorite toy. Dr. Phillips also suggests speaking with a veterinarian before traveling if the pet is prone to anxiety or nausea during travel so they can provide any further tips.

Getting There

More than one-third of those planning to travel with their pet within the next year (39 percent) say the next trip they plan to take is a road trip. Dr. Phillips and Patriot PAWS advise that traveling with an assortment of entertainment such as catnip toys for cats, or tug and chew toys for dogs, will help keep the animal’s mind busy and from feeling bored or isolated during the trip. In fact, the majority of individuals planning to travel with their pet in the next year (52 percent) admit to talking to their pet while they drive, and over a third of respondents (31 percent) say they even have a special music playlist for their pet.

While road tripping, it is crucial for pets to have regular bathroom breaks and stretch their legs, just like humans. Dr. Phillips recommends stopping every two to four hours, depending on the age and size of the animal.

Arriving at Your Destination

While three-quarters (75 percent) of individuals planning to travel with their pet in the next year love traveling with their pet, 44 percent say that the biggest hurdle is finding pet-friendly lodging accommodations. Nearly two in three (65 percent) individuals planning to travel with their pet in the next year believe pet-friendly hotels should not charge extra for a pet.

“We believe pets and service animals are part of the family which is why they stay free at any of our locations across the U.S.,” said Rob Palleschi, CEO of Motel 6. “Pet parents are ready to hit the open road with their four-legged friends, and we welcome them wherever their journey takes them. As always, we’ll leave the light on. For pets and their owners.”

In partnership with Patriot PAWS, Motel 6 sponsors the training of service dogs to donate to disabled veterans as part of its ongoing commitment to give back to the veteran community. Motel 6 remains committed to following CDC guidelines and maintaining safe and clean hotels for its valued guests.

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