I just finished reading a colleague’s post about a woman being tossed from her flight in favor of a dog. Then I received this study from the U.K. indicating that many of those surveyed would rather travel with a pet than with a family member.

Let us know what you think.

New research of British pet owners by travel comparison website TravelSupermarket has confirmed the UK’s unique status as a ‘pet-mad’ nation. With one holiday period down and another just around the corner, summer is firmly on the horizon and a third (32 percent) of Brits who own pets would rather go on holiday with their four-legged friends than their immediate family, given the choice*.

Giving a whole new meaning to being in the ‘doghouse,’ 13 percent of Brits admitted they would choose their pet over their partner and 10 percent would opt to take their pet on holiday over the children, if they had the opportunity.

For those traveling without the family pet this year, one in two pet owners in the UK (47 percent) said that when they leave their family behind for foreign travels, it is their pet that they miss most of all while they’re away. Immediate family members trailed a distant second, identified by a third of Brits (33 percent). Twenty-eight percent of British pet owners said it was their partner they missed most whilst away.

But as this research has found, our pets are never far from our thoughts when we do go on holiday. Nearly half (43 percent) confessed they give their pet some extra TLC when they return home from a holiday and one in five (18 percent) make sure they bring back a souvenir for their furry friend. Forty percent of pet owners also said they regularly check up on their pet whilst away to make sure they are okay. Thirty-six percent revealed that their pet’s welfare is their biggest worry when they do leave them behind.

However, the research by TravelSupermarket has identified that a significant number of British pet owners (39 percent) are now choosing to take their pets away with them on holiday either domestically or internationally. Dog owners who have taken their pooch away with them recently said they didn’t just do it for their own benefit — nearly three-quarters (73 percent) believe that their pet enjoyed the experience and that it broadened their ‘doggy-horizons.’

Story of Snoop
One particular pooch who has clocked up his fair share of miles is Snoop, a five-year-old Parson Jack Russell terrier from Lincoln who regularly travels to France and has even walked the cobblestones of Belgium. Snoop holds a ‘pet passport,’ which he has now had for two years, taking him on 16 trips overseas so far, with another one booked for July. As his owners travel regularly by car and ferry across the Channel, Snoop’s ‘Dad,’ Tom Bollan, says they don’t feel like the whole family is with them unless the family pet is there as well. “If Snoop wasn’t with us, we’d just spend our holiday worrying about him . We love to see Snoop run around with the kids and soak up the French country air and we do believe he enjoys getting away from it all as much as we do!”

TravelSupermarket’s travel expert, Bob Atkinson, says, “We all know that Brits love their pets and this research has found that many pet owners are happy to admit we actually miss our furry friends more than we miss immediate family and friends when we are away.”

Of course, here in the US we don’t have the problems of quarantines and RFID chips, so pet travel is much easier, especially if you travel by car. Otherwise, planes are problematic and expensive. But, pets are still a priority for some.