Why Christmas is going to the dogs
CHRISTMAS holidays are fast approaching, and some Aussies love their pets so much they are ditching their getaways to spend quality time with their fur babies, research reveals.
According to a study, one in 10 pet owners cancelled a holiday at least once to be at home with their furry friend, while one in three would not consider going overseas if they did not have adequate pet care.
The findings come from pet sitting service TrustedHousesitters, which conducted a study of 1000 Australian pet owners. The study examined the lifestyle effects of pets on owners' travels.
Some 5.7 million households owning a pet in Australia, and when pet owners did go on holiday, 69 per cent said they felt guilty leaving their furry friend behind, while 36 per cent had turned down a weekend away.
Some owners felt so guilty they even bought presents for their pet on holiday and 13 per cent called their pet using video chat because they missed them so much.
Interestingly, almost one in four respondents said they would never travel overseas or interstate without their pet.
TrustedHousesitters CEO Tim Lyons said it was "a sad fact for pet owners that holidays can be such a hassle".
"Pet sitting does rely on finding a sitter that you can trust, but there is no need to miss out on cultural and travel experiences just because you are a pet owner," he said.
"On average, our members travel up to three times a year, which is more than most Australian pet owners as a result of having the peace of mind that comes with finding a sitter."
Animal behaviourist Dionna Newton said the best thing for your pet was to keep them at home and book a petsitter early.
"If your pet is staying at home and you're having friends look after it, your pet is probably going to be a lot more relaxed about you going away. However, if you are taking them to a boarding facility then obviously they can become a little bit stressed due to the fact that their normal situation has changed," she said.
Melissa Kirkwood said she passed up a weekend trip to Melbourne because she did not want to leave behind her 7-month-old mini schnauzer Augie.