Dog information website Doggy Hongpo recently conducted a questionnaire on the theme of ‘traveling with pet dogs’ with more than 304 dog owners nationwide having taken part in the survey.
The questionnaire was designed to find out exactly what dog owners in Japan think about taking their pets with them when they go on holiday, why they choose to bring them and what reasons would hold them back from doing so.

Survey Question: Would you like to take your dog with you on a trip?

Perhaps the most interesting find from the questionnaire is that more than 80% of respondents would like to bring their dogs on holiday with them.
Whilst this information may not be all that impressive in western countries, in Japan there are quite a few challenges to overcome when travelling with dogs, such as the limited number of pet-friendly accommodation available across Japan, and the restrictions on using public train transportation with dogs heavier than 10kg in weight.

51.6% (157 people) said that they would ‘definitely bring their furry friends with them when going on holiday’, a further 35.2% said that whether they would bring their dogs along with them would ‘depend on the timing and location’, whilst only 13.2% said they ‘wouldn’t bring their dogs along with them at all’.
This means that as long as the timing and location works out, more than 80% of survey respondents would happily bring their dogs along with them on holiday

Survey Question: How many times a year do you travel together with your dog?

The owners were also asked how many times a year they travel with their pet dogs. The findings showed that as the number of holidays increased, owners took their dogs with them less.

Of the 304 people who took part in the survey, 51.6% said that they take their pet dogs with them ‘once a year’.
32.6% said they travel together ‘two to three times per year’. The percentage then takes a dramatic drop to 5.6% of people who take their dogs with them ‘four to five times per year’, and 4.9% who take their dogs with them more than ‘six times a year’.
13.2% gave no answer, or said that they don’t go on trips with their dogs.

Survey Question: What is your current household family composition?

When comparing the family composition of those who are willing to take their pets with them on holiday, it was found that 46.7% were married with no dependent children. This compares to 6.9% who answered that they are married with dependent children. This finding details how having children can impact choices made when taking pet dogs on holiday when them.

46.7% of respondents who are happy to bring their pets with them on holiday described themselves as ‘married and without independent children’.
27.3% answered that they were ‘married with children over 18 years old’.
19.1% stated that they were ‘single’ and 6.9% answered that they were ‘married with children under 18 years of age’.

Survey Question: What is important when considering accommodation to stay at with your pet dog?

The respondents were then asked what they consider most important when choosing a place to stay at when traveling with their pet dogs.

27% said that it is important that their dogs are allowed to be in the guest room with them, whilst 21% said that it is a must for accommodation to have facilities and equipment that can be enjoyed by both the owner and their dog (i.e dog runs).
19.4% stated that they would like to be able to eat alongside their furry friend, and 12.3% answered that it is important that their dogs are able to sleep on the bed with them.
The lending of pet supplies and services was recorded as being important to 10.4% of respondents, and 6.8% said that they would like to enjoy hot springs with their dogs whilst staying at accommodation.
A small 3.1% of people answered ‘other’.

Survey Question: Why do you want to take your pet dog with you on holiday?

The survey then went on to ask the reasons that owners like to bring their dogs with them when they go on holiday.

The most popular answer (32.8%) that the owners gave to answer this question was ‘I want to enjoy time with my dog’, this was closely followed up by 30.1% who answered ‘It is natural to bring the dog, because they are part of the family’.
15.8% answered that they ‘worry about leaving the dog at home alone’, 13% said ‘for the stress relief and health of their dogs’ and 7.3% said they would bring their dog ‘to deepen the relationship of trust’.
0.9% answered ‘other’.

Survey Question: Where do you leave your dog if you don’t bring them on holiday with you?

Those who answered that they do not bring their dogs with them when they travel were asked where it is, that they leave their dog when they are away. Interestingly, the same percentage of people choose to leave their dogs at relatives/friends houses and pet hotels.

33.3% answered that they leave their dogs at a relatives or friends house when they travel. Coincidentally, a further 33.3% answered that they leave their dogs at pet hotels. 8.3% said they leave their dogs with a veterinary hospital, whilst 2.8% said they use dog sitters, and 22.2% answered with ‘other’.

Some of the ‘other’ answers include ‘leaving the dog at a dog training center’, ‘leaving the dog at a dog nursery’ and ‘I choose not to travel at all’.

Survey Question: Why do you choose not to bring your dog with you when you travel?

As expected, a number of reasons came up, when the same owners were asked why it is that they don’t travel with their pet dogs.

35.8% stated that their reason for not bringing their dogs with them was ‘worries about challenges when travelling with the dog, such as rules in public transportation settings, and pet motion sickness’.
17.9% said that they choose not to bring their dogs with them because ‘my behaviour will be more limited when I have a dog with me’, and 13.4% answered that their trips are ‘long distance or overseas’.
Another 13.4% said that ‘there is no pet-friendly accommodation available’.
9% said that their dogs are ‘undisciplined and prone to barking and/or are not toilet trained’.
3% said that they can’t take their dog with them on trips because they are ‘too small, and won’t enjoy the trip’, and 1.5% said that they can’t bring their dog with them as ‘it has an illness’.
6% answered with ‘other’ and gave their own reasons such as ‘my dog is elderly’ and ‘I have more than one dog’.

Following the survey, the owners were asked to rank accommodation options as they would prefer. The top 5 in the ranking list is as follows;

1st place – Resort Hotel
2nd place – Hot Spring Inn
3rd place – Campsite
4th place – Pension
5th place – Cottage

Doggy Hongpo then finished off the survey by introducing a list of their top 10 recommendations for dog-friendly accommodation in Japan;

1st place – Wanwan Paradise
2nd place – Lucian Former Karuizawa
3rd place – Ubud Forest Izukogen
4th place – Kotani style village Doggy's Island
5th place – Wans Resort Lake Yamanaka
6th place – Gero Onsen Wanpaku-tei
7th place – Regina Resort
8th place – Biwadog
9th place – Angel Forest Nasu Shirakawa
10th place – Awara Onsen Gekka, Fukui Prefecture

By - Connie Sceaphierde.