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Retiring baby boomers are boosting the market for pet-friendly holiday destinations as
they take to Australia's roads in search of the perfect holiday.

Research from Tourism Australia shows that between 2000 and 2004, the number of mature-aged Australians travelling increased at a faster rate compared to the number of younger travellers.And a Newspoll report shows that the older the traveller, the more likely they are to take their pet.

"For this age group, maintaining an active social life and enjoying healthy activities like
playing golf or walking their dog are part of what they are looking for from their road trip. And with our research showing that pets stimulate social networks, there is every reason for older travelers to take their pets with them," said Dr Lisa Wood from the University of Western Australia.

"Bonnie, my seven year old Kelpie is a great travel companion and is happy to fit in with
whatever plans I make. She enjoys the beach as much as I do and it just wouldn't be a
holiday without her," says Alan Wood, self-confessed 'grey nomad'.

The Petcare Information and Advisory Service (PIAS) agrees that it can be beneficial for
both pets and people to enjoy a holiday together - particularly if it is for a longer period.
"Pets are very much part a part of the Australian family, with over 53% of households
having a dog and / or a cat. Pets provide companionship and are a way of getting to
meet other people so - for older people - it is particularly important to maintain these
benefits," says Susie Chaseling from PIAS.

"In the past it was common for cats and dogs to be sent to boarding kennels when the
family went away on holiday, whereas people are now recognising that pets can adapt
well to travel and there are increasing options for people wishing to take their four legged
friend on holiday.

"Our advice is to do your research before you leave home. There are many websites
that have information on pet-friendly accommodation, with everything from caravan
parks to luxury hotels," says Ms Chaseling.

PIAS also recommends that before taking to the road with your pet, you should consider
these tips:

- Make sure your pet is wearing identification that will allow you to be contacted wherever you are. A mobile number on your pet's tag is a good option.

- Remember to pack for your pet. It's a good idea to bring a portable bowl, your pet's favourite toys or blankets for familiarity and a supply of special treats.

- Many places welcome pets and you can research the options on websites before you
embark on your journey.

- It is a good idea to take a harness or carrier box as there may be times on your travels when you need to secure your pet within the vehicle.

- Some cats enjoy travel but they should always be confined whenever travelling to avoid any mishaps.

- Dogs love the open air from a moving car's window but it can be unsafe for your best friend. It is better to keep the dog inside the car and let it enjoy the fresh air when you get to your destination.

- It is a good idea to take a simple pet first-aid kit containing bandages, antiseptic cream, tweezers (to remove foreign objects from fur) and pet travel medication.

Further Information
  Pet Friendly Accommodation
  Holidaying with Dogs Book
  Holidaying with Cats Book

Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 13/05/08 11:49 Views: 7709

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