Fur sure: Study Reveals Pet Travelers’ Peeves and Challenges

AAA offers tips on travel petiquette


Tucson, Ariz., July 23, 2012 – Strapping your pup in the car and taking him along makes vacationing more fun, said 93 percent of respondents during a recent AAA/Best Western survey. Actually, more than half of travelers with pets say they would bring their pets along on every vacation if they could. A few things stop them from doing so, however.

“A lot of travelers have concerns about traveling with their pet, which is why we created the AAA PetBook,” said Amy Moreno, director of travel for AAA Arizona. “The book serves as a valuable travel resource for pet owners who don’t want to leave their furry, four-legged family members at home. After all, who wouldn’t want to take their best friend on vacation?”

Finding Welcoming Accommodations
According to survey respondents, it’s not always easy to find appropriately matched pet-friendly accommodations. The study noted problems among respondents such as finding places that accept pets (95 percent); learning about pet policies such as size limits and fees (49 percent); and getting details about available pet services (22 percent).

Pet peeves
Respondents also identified gripes about other pet travelers, pinpointing behavioral considerations for owners as well as their pets:

  • Owners not cleaning up after pets (77 percent)
  • Dogs that bark constantly (57 percent)
  • Unleashed pets (49 percent)
  • Pets not obedience trained (43 percent)
  • Owners not notifying others that pet is aggressive toward people/other pets (41 percent)
  • Pets not trained to relieve themselves outside (29 percent)


AAA would like to offer the following pet etiquette tips, many of which are featured in the AAA PetBook®:

  • Sit, stay, speak! Depending on your pet’s level of command response, an obedience refresher course might be a good idea. Teaching or reinforcing basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel can help prevent unacceptable behavior away from home.
  • Visit the vet. Get a clean bill of health from the veterinarian and be sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations. Bring copies of your pet’s health certificate showing proof of inoculations.
  • Call ahead. No matter the accommodations, be sure your pet is permitted at your destination. Even if staying with friends or relatives, make certain your pet is a welcome guest.
  • Buckle up! In the car, pets should be confined to the back seat, either in a carrier or a harness attached to the car’s safety belt. This is for the safety of your pet as well as all passengers, as an unrestrained 10-pound dog will exert about 500 pounds of force in a collision at 50 mph.
  • Heads up—and in! No matter how enjoyable it seems, don’t let dogs stick their head out the window. Road debris and other objects can injure their eyes and ears, and they are at greater risk for severe injury if the vehicle should stop suddenly or be struck.
  • Maintain control. Don’t let your pooch jump on strangers, and don’t allow unfamiliar pets or people to interact with your animal companion without your supervision. Always keep your pet quiet and on a leash – excessive barking will make you a poor hotel neighbor.
  • Keep it clean. Carry pick-up bags to ensure that you’ll be able to clean up after your pooch and properly dispose of their waste. Further, no matter your accommodations, don’t allow your pet on furniture, even if they are allowed at home.


Travelers can find tips for preparing four-legged travelers for the road or air, plus handy information on pet etiquette, insurance and emergency animal clinics in Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook and on the AAA.com/PetBook website. The 14th edition publication is available at many AAA offices and select booksellers for $18.95. The digital edition is available at online booksellers for $9.99.


About Best Western International, Inc.
Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 66 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 14 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can redeem at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, racecar driver Michael Waltrip, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western in 2011 was named AAA’s and CAA’s Hotel Partner of the Year and bestwestern.com was named the 2011 Compuware Best of the Web Gold award winner.

About AAA Arizona
AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. 


*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.