Animal Welfare

Dogs on a Plane! New research reveals the rise of the ‘dog holiday’ and the influence of dogs on our purchases

Half of all dog owners say their dog impacts where they go on holiday

With the Spring school holidays now in full swing, new research from Elanco has revealed a growing trend of dogs joining their owners on family holidays including in hotels, on planes and camping sites around Australia.

The Elanco research[1] shows that almost half of all dog owners (47%) take their dog on holiday more than once a year. This means there are least 2.25 million dogs enjoying a holiday in Australia every year[2]. It also reveals that men (51% vs 44% of women) and younger people are more likely to travel with their ‘furry family member’, with sixty per cent (60%) of Gen Z dog owners taking their dog on holiday once a year or more, compared to 54% of Gen Y, 42% of Gen X and 45% of Baby Boomers.

The research also exposes the surprising influence that dogs have on our lifestyle choices, including their impact on a range of purchasing decisions such as where we live, the clothes we wear and cars we drive:

  • 47% of dog owners say their dog impacts their choice of holiday destination (a massive 83% of Northern Territory dog downers say this is the case)
  • 46% say their dog impacts where they choose to live (the location and type of home), and
  • 20% say their dog impacts the clothes they buy, the furniture they choose for their home and their choice of car.

According to the research, men are more likely than women to take their dog shopping (35% vs 18%) and more than a quarter (27%) of all dog owners are going shopping with their pooch at least once a month.

“This research reinforces how much we love our dogs and just how big a part of our lives they are, particularly for younger people,” said Dr Claude Stanislaus, Technical Veterinary Manager at Elanco.

“It’s great to see that so many people are taking their dog away with them on holidays. Dogs make excellent travel companions – they love exploring new places, they don’t ask if they are ‘there yet’ and they don’t complain if their expectations aren’t met!

“However, while going on holiday with your furry family member can be fun, it’s important to remember that you need to be careful too. In particular, with more people travelling domestically3 and visiting our beautiful regional areas, dog owners need to be aware that travelling can increase your dog’s exposure to various parasites such as intestinal worms, including tapeworm, which can be picked up by your dog by accessing animal poo or remains. De-worming your dog with a broad-spectrum all-wormer product is one thing you can do to ensure your dog, and your family are protected,” said Dr Stanislaus.


“It’s also important to remember that Spring is when flea and tick season really kicks off in Australia. So if you’re taking your dog on holiday this Spring, take a few simple precautions to make sure you are not putting your dog, and your family, at unnecessary risk of parasites.

“Visiting your vet before travelling is a good way to get a handle on any specific parasite risks in your travel destination. For example, fleas and heartworm are an issue nationwide, while the deadly paralysis tick is present all along the east coast. This deadly parasite is found mainly around coastal regions and is particularly common during Spring and Summer. Your vet is the best person to advise you on what parasite protection is most suitable for your dog while they are swanning around the country,” said Dr Stanislaus.

Big 5 tips for going on holiday with your dog:

  1. Be travel safe: Take your dog to your local vet before embarking on your holiday. They can give you advice about parasites that might be present in the region you are traveling to, as well as tips for managing travel sickness.
  2. Bring your own food and water: Maintaining routine is crucial to ensuring your furry family member enjoys a stress-free holiday. Bringing your dog’s own water bowl, some familiar toys and food can help keep them calm and happy.
  3. Be prepared and bring your own bags to dispose of your dog’s droppings: Not only is this the courteous thing to do on holiday (and at home) but picking up after your dog can reduce the risk of nasty parasites like hydatid tapeworm being spread.
  4. Check ahead that your accommodation is ‘dog-friendly’: These days, more and more hotels, caravan parks and camping sites are dog-friendly, so plan ahead and make sure your fur-baby is as welcome as you are while on holiday.
  5. Before going on holiday make sure your dog is protected against all five major parasites by using a comprehensive product that contains praziquantel to kill flea and hydatid tapeworm, such asThe Big 5 Protection Pack.*

[1] Survey of 1,013 Australian dog owners conducted by PureProfile on behalf of Elanco Animal Health in 2019

[2] AMA Pet Ownership in Australia 2016 Report – 4.8 million dogs in Australia (47% travel once a year or more)