OUR pets travel away with us an average of four times a year, with nearly half of owners prepared to pay up to £500 a time.
Research conducted by price comparison site Money Pug found 90 per cent of owners can not bear to travel within the UK without their pets by their side.
In the past year, 15 per cent of owners have also taken their pets abroad, too. And 43 per cent are prepared to pay up to £500 more to do so.
But with Brexit looming, the cost of taking pets abroad could soar to £800.
Lee Whitebread, CEO of Money Pug, tells Paws and Claws: “We might see more people deciding not to travel any more with their pets or notice a boost in staycations.”
A No Deal Brexit has led experts to warn that pet owners could have to fork out between £200 and up to £800 in a worst case scenario to take their cats and dogs abroad.
This would cover tests, vaccines and paperwork to allow owners to travel up to four times a year with their four-legged friends.
With 250,000 pets accompanying their owners on holidays to the EU every year, this means additional fees could be up to £200million.
Currently, cats, dogs, and ferrets with a European pet passport — an EU-sanctioned document that ensures they are vaccinated against rabies — and an associated microchip can travel in the EU freely, much like their owners.
But proof of worming and a certified vet check-up is necessary before return.
In a No Deal Brexit scenario, existing pet passports will no longer be valid.
It is expected that pets could be required to have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after their rabies vaccination.
You would need to talk to your vet about whether a rabies vaccination or booster would be needed before this test.
However, if a deal is finalised on January 31, 2020, it will mean pets must be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and have had tapeworm treatment (dogs only).
Owners may need to apply for a UK pet passport or it could just be they need an animal health
clinic’s confirmation ten days before each trip to the EU.
Peter Silver, 73 from Holborn, central London, has decided to swap his usual travels around France with six-year-old golden retriever Bellini for trips in the UK next year in anticipation of rising fees.
He says: “Bellini has just had her top-up injections, but I wouldn’t ever go on holiday without her, so I’m planning ahead.”
Travel writer Paul Wojnicki, 45, who has travelled all over Europe with nine-year-old Jack Russell Falco, thinks if vet fees rise it will put people off going abroad, as they won’t want to leave their pets behind.
He says: “The inconvenience is worse than the expense, but both coupled together will certainly put me off getting another dog in future years which is sad as I love dogs.”
Star of the week
JETTA the Staffie cross needs a jumper now she has swapped the Australian sunshine for life in rainy England with her new family.
Katie Butler, 26, from Surrey, was working Down Under with the RSPCA when she found the pup with severe sunburn, sun stroke and fly-bitten ears.
Her living conditions led to alopecia, allergies and trust issues with humans.
But Katie encouraged Jetta to come out of her shell, and on her return to the UK, she knew she had to bring the eight-year-old pooch home.
Katie says: “She may be an older dog, with a few scars from her past, but she still has got so much love to give.”
- Check out Jetta’s adventures in the UK on Instagram @jetta_rescue. T&Cs apply. See here.
Sean McCormack, head vet at the tailored food firm tails.com
ELLIS HOMP, 46, from Lincs, has a seven-year-old Siamese cat called Sophie that keeps urinating in random places around the house.
Q) Sophie has got into a habit of going to the toilet in places that she shouldn’t be. She’s quite old so it’s not like she’s still being trained. Have you any idea what the problem may be?
A) There are many reasons Sophie might be urinating indoors. Some are medical and require vet treatment. Others are behavioural, for example if she is stressed out by other cats.
But considering she’s getting older I worry about diabetes and kidney disease. If she’s hungry, thirsty and thin, this could suggest diabetes or a thyroid problem. If she’s not eating much and still losing weight, kidney issues may be more likely.
There’s also the possibility of a urinary infection. If you can bring her into the vets with a urine sample, that’s helpful. It’s better to rule out something more serious before moving on to behavioural reasons and how to tackle them.”
LIAM MILLER, 27, from Leicester, has a hyper three-year-old bull terrier called Daisy.
Q) Whenever we have visitors around it takes Daisy a long time to relax and get used to them. It’s not because she’s being vicious, she just gets really excited and wants to play. What can I do?
A) A tired dog is a happy dog. Bull terriers need lots of physical exercise and mental stimulation – ideally several hours a day outside walking and running, and then tricks, training, toys and interactive games indoors to stimulate them.
If Daisy isn’t getting enough of these, then it’s only natural she’ll be like a coiled spring and super excitable when visitors come around.
Once you’ve addressed her routine and energy levels, ask visitors not to give her attention if she’s jumping up, being boisterous or pushy. Work on her “into bed” command when visitors arrive, and allow her to come calmly to greet them only when you say.
Win doggy fleece
LOOKING for something to keep your dog warm over Christmas?
We have eight dog jumpers from Equafleece up for grabs.
They come in 15 colours, five styles and more than 50 sizes. See equafleece.co.uk.
For a chance to win, email (with FLEECE as the subject) firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the T&Cs here.