More Pets Join Their Owners On Holiday Abroad To Avoid ‘separation Anxiety’

18 July 2016

77% increase in pet passports issued from 2014-2015

New research(1) from Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance reveals that more pets are going abroad on holiday with their owners than ever before, in part to avoid both parties suffering from ‘separation anxiety’.

For many pet owners, dealing with being apart from their beloved pet can prove challenging. Three fifths (60%) of pet owners claim to have felt sad when leaving their dogs and cats at home when they go on holiday. They also believe their pets have also suffered as a result of this, with 40% claiming that their pets developed separation-related behavioural problems. The findings indicate that 24% believe their pets became withdrawn and sad; 6% reported their pets became aggressive; 7% said that they started to chew furniture and belongings and a further 7% claimed their pets had bathroom accidents inside the home.

An analysis of the latest government data(2) by Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance reveals an increase in the number of pet passports issued over the five past years. In 2015 the Animal and Plant Health Authority (APHA) issued 127,657, which represents a 287% growth across the five-year period between 2011 and 2015. The number of pet passports issued in 2015 also represents a year-on-year increase of 77% on 2014, in which there were 72,325 pet passports issued.

Alan Sanderson, Head of Insurances said: “Many pet owners cannot bear the thought of going on holiday and leaving their loved one behind and are avoiding the emotional strain of separation by taking their pet with them. If you are taking your pet abroad make sure you specify optional holiday cover with your pet insurance to cover accident and illness, and make sure you’re aware of any exclusions that apply(3).”

Pet owners must ensure they meet the pet travel requirements when taking their pets on holiday. Research from Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance reveals that 13% of pet owners who took their pet abroad were refused entry to the country as they did not have the correct documentation. Of the 21% of people who have taken their pets abroad, by far the majority travelled by car (65%) although a high 19% travelled by plane.

However, whilst taking a pet on holiday prevents them from suffering separation-related distress, travelling with pets is not always straightforward as many animals find the change in routine, environment and the travel stressful, which can lead to illnesses.

Research from Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance reveals that the holiday did not go to plan for 42% of owners who have in the past travelled with their pets. A quarter (24%) reported their cat or dog suffered from an accident and needed veterinary treatment; 17% needed to visit their vet as their pet fell ill and 6% reported their pet died.

Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance offers three policy levels and additional cover options for people to tailor the policy that’s right for them, and is currently offering 12 months for the price of 9(4) to new Pet Insurance Customers buying online(3).


For further information, please contact:

Lorna Gilmour or Jennifer Johnston-Watt, Sainsbury’s Bank on 0131 286 0010 / / Citigate Dewe Rogerson 020 7368 9571

Notes to editor:

  1. Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned Opinium Research to survey 2,003 nationally representative UK adults aged 18+ between 22nd to 26th April 2016. Opinium Research is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
  2. Based on Sainsbury’s Bank analysis of blank pet passport figures published by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), February 2016
  3. “Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance offers three policy levels and additional cover options – all three levels provide cover should your pet be taken ill whilst you’re away on holiday, is not allowed back into the UK after travelling, or if you need to return home in an emergency after your pet becomes ill. The additional holiday cover option provides cover for trip cancellation, quarantine and loss of travel documents and emergency repatriation. Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance provides a section on our website under Helpful Guides, which provides helpful information on pets and holidays. Sainsbury’s Bank Pet travel insurance doesn’t cover any illness that the pet contracts while outside the UK that it would not normally have contracted in the UK”.
  4. 12 months for 9 is an introductory offer available to new Pet Insurance customers who buy online. The discounted premium is paid in 12 monthly instalments. Sainsbury’s Bank reserves the right to alter, cancel or withdraw the offer without prior notice.

This press release is information for journalists only and is not intended to be a promotion to be acted upon by consumers.

Sainsbury’s Bank:

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Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance is sold, underwritten and administered by Allianz Insurance plc