Pet Travel is Soaring




We are deep into spring break season and well on our way to the eagerly anticipated summer months, and retailers and manufacturers in a variety of categories are gearing up to showcase their travel-related products. From posh swimsuits to luggage and sleeping bags and bug sprays, merchandised designed for vacation travelers is diverse and abundant.


And make no mistake: pets are very much part of the equation. 


Not to sound like a broken record, but pets are traveling more than ever. But here’s the thing—it isn’t always easy. 


According to a survey of pet owners conducted by Tripit from Concur, a travel-organizing app that gives users easy access too all their travel plans in one place, traveling with a pet still leaves a lot to be desired. Tripit reported that 87 percent of respondents wish that it were easier to travel with their animals. 


This is not shocking news—and it is the impetus behind manufacturers’ push to design products that make pet travel safer and easier and get them into consumers’ hands. People’s pet-inclusive wanderlust is also driving hotels, restaurants and other business to become more accommodating to four-legged guests. 


Hotels are particularly interested in attracting pet owners. For example, Rosen Hotels & Resorts offers its VIP package—short for Very Important Pet package—which includes, among other standard hotel-package deals, a pet welcome kit complete with a feeding bowl, pet treats, “relief” bags and more.


Another example: the West Inn & Suites Hotel in Carlsbad, Calif., boasts room service for dogs. The Canine Cuisine menu has a number of options, from de-boned rotisserie chicken to shepherd’s pie to veggie burgers, and is prepared by the chefs at the hotel’s Bistro West restaurant using ingredients from the property’s three-acre farm. Talk about upscale dining. 


Even restaurants—which, for obvious reasons, have far less flexibility in their ability to cater to pets—are finding ways to wine and dine people with animal companions. The city of Paso Robles, Calif., for instance, is proactively promoting its pet friendliness, including several restaurants with patio space that allows them to serve diners and their pets. 


Pet specialty retailers, meanwhile, will be an invaluable resource for travelers who are looking to stock up on the many necessary accessories and tools they will need to make life on the road with their pets as smooth as possible. With this in mind, Pet Business made travel products the topic of our Focus On column in the upcoming May issue. Keep your eyes open for it. It will be flying into mailboxes nationwide soon.


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