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Record number of pets taking holidays

2012 is set to be a record-breaking year for the number of pets holidaying abroad with figures expected to double, according to P&O Ferries.

In the whole of last year P&O Ferries carried 19,478 pets on its Dover – Calais route. In just the first five months of 2012 the company has carried more than 13,000 pets on the service.  Bookings increase dramatically in the summer so P&O Ferries expects to pass last year’s total before July is out and to double the number of pets carried this year.

P&O Ferries’ Brian Rees said: “Pets have tended to be the paw relation when it comes to overseas holidays but this year we’re seeing a dramatic rise in the number of pet owners who pre-fur to travel with their pets rather than face being parted from them.

“With household budgets cut to the bone, many owners have realised they’d be barking mad to pay for kennels and catteries rather than take their mutts and moggies on holiday with them. There is also now a better choice of pet-friendly accommodation available on the Continent and the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) process has been simplified.”

PETS allows dogs, cats and ferrets to return from overseas travel without being quarantined by verifying that they’ve been microchipped and vaccinated against rabies.

P&O Ferries was the first company to transport a pet – a pug called Frodo Baggins - under the scheme when it was launched in 2000. Since then it has carried a quarter of a million pets on its routes to France, Holland and Belgium.   Information about the Pet Travel Scheme is available from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs at


Chris Laming, Brian Rees, Natalie Hardy, Michelle Ulyatt
Tel: +44(0)1304 863833 (24 hours)

1 June 2012