Holiday plans for your pets

The UK is a nation of animal lovers, with an extra three million households welcoming a pet during the pandemic. As the opportunity to travel returns, many of us will be considering how we can include our pets in our holiday plans.

Going on a family holiday with a dog can be really exciting. It may be their first time playing in the sea or exploring the smells of the countryside, and they’ll love the fact you’re around for extra walks.

Holidays for pets

There are plenty of hotels and holiday lets for pets. Most of the holiday company websites allow you to search for places that welcome dogs, and there are also companies such as Dog Friendly Cottages, PetsPyjamas and Paws & Stay that only list accommodation suitable for our beloved pooches.

Camping is another option, with many sites happy for you and your four-legged friend to spend some time under canvas. Check first and follow any rules, especially where a campsite is on or near a farm with livestock.

Taking pets abroad

If you’re planning to spend the summer in Europe at a second home or enjoying a tour of your favourite sights, you might want to take your pet with you. Our furry friends’ rights to a pet passport disappeared when we left the EU, but, as long as you follow the rules, it’s still possible to take them with you.

Instead of a passport you’ll need to get an animal health certificate (AHC). Your pet will also need to be microchipped and meet various health criteria, including a rabies vaccination.

You’ll need to get the AHC within 10 days of travelling to the EU, but it’s valid for four months of further travel within the EU, including your return to the UK. Full details can be found on the website.

Looking after your pets while you’re away

Sharing everything with your pets is fun but it won’t always be sensible to take them on holiday with you. With the right paperwork, pets can go on planes but they’ll need to go in the hold and may face quarantine. This means it’s only really worth considering if you’re planning a permanent move.

Likewise, even if you’re planning a break in the UK, cats would probably prefer not to come along. They’re hugely territorial and, as they can get very stressed in new environments, staying home is usually the best option.

Thankfully, our love of all things cats and dogs means there are plenty of ways to ensure they have a good time while you’re away. Kennels and catteries will provide care and accommodation, while for a cat you could consider a pet sitter, who’ll pop into your home once or twice a day to feed them and check they’re happy.

Holiday plans for more unusual pets

There are also options for more unusual pets, whether that’s a lop-eared bunny, a corn snake or a pink-toed tarantula. If you can’t persuade a friend or neighbour to look after them, either at their home or yours, there are boarding facilities available.

Fluffier pets fare best, with plenty of ‘hotels’ available for rabbits and small animals such as guinea pigs, hamsters and birds. You can also find specialist facilities for more exotic pets, with your local reptile centre a great place to start your search. Many offer boarding themselves, or will be able to recommend a local specialist.

Whether or not you’re taking them with you, there are plenty of holiday options for your pets. To find out how Co-op Insurance can help you look after your pet, visit our pet insurance website.

And, whether or not you take them with you, visit our travel insurance website to find out more and to get a quote for cover.


Co-op Pet Insurance is administered by Insurance Factory Limited

Co-op Travel Insurance is arranged by AllClear Limited and administered by Insure & Go Insurance Services Limited