Did you know that 7 in ever 10 households in the US own a pet?
But 64% of Millennials who own a pet have claimed to skip travelling because they’re worried about leaving their pets alone at home.
Still, whether by air or road, pet travel has become quite prevalent this days, especially as incident rates continue to decrease.
Just as the trend for solo travel has grown dramatically (by 761.15% in 2021!), so has pet travel…
Today, we’ve rounded up the latest statistics on pet travel for you.
Here we go!
Sources: You can see the source for each statistic under the entry, or head over to the bottom of this page for a list of all the sources and articles we’ve used!
How many people travel with pets?
According to IPATA, over 4 million pets and live animals are transported by air per year.
What country has the highest rate of pet ownership?
The US has the highest rate of pet ownership, with around 70 million domestic dogs and 74 domestic cats across the nation.
What airline has the most pet deaths?
In the United States, the airline with the highest incident rate for pet transportation by air is Hawaiian Airlines at a rate of 2.02%. It is followed by United Airlines (1.6%), Delta Airlines (1.05%), and American Airlines (0.71%).
Top Pet Travel Statistics
- Overall, in 2018, 37% of pet owners bring their animals along on trips, compared to just 19% in 2008
- A 2018 survey by GoPetFriendly revealed that the most popular transportation type for pet travel is car or pick-up (63.8%)
- According to IPATA, over 4 million pets and live animals are transported by air per year.
- Less than 0.01% of pets that travel by air have an incident, which means that more than 99.99% arrive at their destination safely
- The best airline in the United States for pet transportation is Alaska Airlines, which transported the most pet passengers in 2020 (107,042 total)
- 82% of dog owners report to feeling worried about their dog when they are traveling away
- 25 million people who own dogs as a pet take them on vacation in pet-friendly hotels
- 56% of respondents drive with their dog in a vehicle at least once a month over the past year
Pet travel demographics
How many people travel with dogs?
1. As of 2018, there’s a total of 471 million dogs kept as pets worldwide.
2. Meanwhile, there are 373 million cats kept as pets across the globe.
3. In 2022, 70% of households in the US own a pet (90.5 million families)
From 1988 to 2022, pet ownership continued to grow by 14% in the US, until approximately 90.5 million families owned a pet in the US in 2022.
4. In 2023, the top country in terms of pet ownership for both dogs and cats is the US, with approximately 70 and 74 million dogs and cats kept as pets respectively.
5. Dog ownership is second most prevalent in Brazil, with approximately 35 million domestic dogs.
6. Meanwhile, the country with the second highest number of pet cats is China, with roughly 53 million domestic cats.
7. Overall, in 2018, 37% of pet owners bring their animals along on trips, compared to just 19% in 2008.
8. A 2018 survey by GoPetFriendly revealed that the most popular transportation type for pet travel is car or pick-up (63.8%).
9. After that is traveling by motorhome or RV (28.3%).
28.3% of respondents prefer to travel by motorhome or RV with their pets, which represents a huge part of the RV community.
10. Flying appeals to 6.3% of the survey respondents, while 1.7% prefer other modes of transportation.
Pet travel by air
11. According to IPATA, over 4 million pets and live animals are transported by air per year.
12. The number in the US alone amounts to 2 million pets and live animals transported by air annually.
About 2 million pets and live animals travel by air in the US per year.
13. Less than 0.01% of pets that travel by air have an incident, which means that more than 99.99% arrive at their destination safely.
14. In fact, as of December 2022, American airlines reported a total of 12 incidents (fatalities and injuries included) when transporting animals by air, a decrease from the 17 fatalities in 2014 and 39 deaths in 2010.
15. IPATA claims that the main reason for the decreasing number of incidents is that more people are using professional pet shipping services.
16. According to a research by EQ Living, the best airline in the United States for pet transportation is Alaska Airlines, which transported the most pet passengers in 2020 (107,042 total).
They’re followed by American Airlines (80,817), Horizon Air (38,813), Delta Airlines (18,943), and SkyWest Airlines (16,805).
17. Alaska Airlines also reported up to 6x lower in incident rate compared to United Airlines.
managed to not only transport the most animals but also reported an incident rate more that six times lower than the average incident rate of United Airlines during the same time period.
18. On the other hand, the American airline with the highest incident rate is Hawaiian Airlines (2.02%).
19. It’s followed by United Airlines (1.6%), Delta Airlines (1.05%), and American Airlines (0.71%).
Leaving pets while traveling statistics
20. 82% of dog owners report to feeling worried about their dog when they are traveling away.
21. As a result, 88% of dog owners have attempted to ensure that their dog doesn’t feel lonely when left at home.
22. For 46% of them, this includes buying special toys and treats that are given only when the owners are away.
23. Another 46% of owners would keep the TV or radio on for their dogs when they are away.
24. Finally, 26% report to getting another pet to accompany their dog.
25. For 14.2% of pet owners, their biggest worry when travelling without their pets is that they might miss them and not understand why they left.
26. A larger proportion of owners (20.8%) are worried that their pets will not receive the same quality of care they could provide.
27. More than half of dog owners (56%) say that they forego travelling due to concern about costs of their dog’s care.
28. Millennial dog owners are more likely to skip travelling because of this reason, with 64% of them choosing not to travel due to their pet.
64% of millennial travelers who own a pet choose not to travel due to their pet.
Pet travel accommodation trends
29. 25 million people who own dogs as a pet take them on vacation in pet-friendly hotels.
30. Meanwhile, 35.4% of pet owners opt to book campgrounds or RV parks when traveling with pets.
31. 75% of all hotels in the US allow pets.
Roughly 75% of hotels in the US allow pets, including luxury, mid-scale, and budget hotels.
32. Out of these pet-friendly hotels in the States, 2,500 of them are part of the Choice Hotels chain.
33. 81% of pet owners choose to stay in pet-friendly hotels over other types of accommodation.
34. 1 in 10 hotel guests have snuck their pets through their suitcase into the hotel.
35. 29.7% of leisure travelers say that pet-friendly policies are important when choosing travel accommodations.
Whether in an Airbnb, hotel or other accommodation, 29.7% of people travelling with a pet will look at the pet-friendly policies when considering their options.
36. Meanwhile, 50.3% of them think that pet-friendly policies are very important in choosing travel accommodations.
37. 36% of travelers in Italy aren’t willing to spend more for pet-friendly facilities. They say that it’s enough that those structures allow for pets.
For 36% of travelers in Italy, including those in Rome, they’re not willing to splurge for pet-friendly facilities.
38. However, 30% of them are willing to spend 5 to 10% more for pet-friendly facilities.
39. Italians willing to spend between 20 and 30% more of their holiday expenses for pet-friendly facilities make up only 3% of all respondents.
Car travel with pets
40. In 2018, only 0.8% of pet owners never took their pet in a vehicle.
This means that an overwhelming majority of pet owners have taken their pets to travel in a vehicle.
41. 56% of respondents drive with their dog in a vehicle at least once a month over the past year.
42. 29% report to being distracted by their dog while driving.
43. While driving with dogs, respondents admit to engaging in distracting activities such as petting them (52%), using their arms to hold their dog in place when braking (23%), reaching to the backseat to interact with their dog (18%), and even taking a photo of their dog (3%).
44. 83% of respondents agree that it’s dangerous to have an unrestrained dog in a moving car.
45. In fact, 3 in 10 respondents have heard of car crash accidents where unrestrained dogs are either injured or the cause of injury to the human passengers.
46. However, just 16% of dog owners who have driven with their dogs use restraint while traveling with them.
47. Out of this 16%, the most common type of dog restraint in a car is a pet harness or safety belt (56%), followed by travel crates (37%) and pet vehicle seats (10%).
48. According to AAA, a car’s airbag system can be deadly to a dog sitting in the front seat. It is thus advised to place them in a backseat with some form of restraint.
Pet travel top destinations
49. The type of vacation that pet owners enjoy the most with their pets is going to a destination with fresh air and lots of hiking (42.9%).
50. The second most popular vacation type with pets is going to a national park or historic site (18.3%).
51. Surprisingly, only 15.4% of pet owners say that going to a dog-friendly beach is their favorite type of vacation to take with their pets.
52. Meanwhile, 10.8% prefer other types of vacations with pets.
53. 27% of respondents in a 2015 survey said that they always take their pets when going on camping vacations.
54. Meanwhile, 26% say sometimes, 8% rarely, while 39% of respondents never take their pets on camping vacations.
Types of pets that travel
55. The most common type of pet that travels is dogs, making up about 58% of all pets travelling across the globe.
[PBS Pet Travel]
56. The second highest number of pets travelling is cats, at 22%.
[PBS Pet Travel]
57. Unexpectedly, birds come in third place as the pets that travel the most, ahead of other animals such as horses and other smaller mammals.
[PBS Pet Travel]
Despite the significant 72.4% fall in global tourism in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s clear that travelling with pets has become a steadily growing trend.
Across the world, dogs and cats remain the most popular types of domestic animals people like to travel with.
Can you think of anything we didn’t cover about pet travel?
Let us know by commenting below!
Check out some of these other interesting stats:
published 2023-10-10 12:27:39