Travel complications for pets and their owners are not helping. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


The number of pets is increasing at a faster rate than the number of births, whether for economic or social reasons, young Spaniards do not want, or cannot have children. This current scenario is directly influencing many areas, the travel agency has analysed how it is affecting the hotel and tourist accommodation sector, and how they are adapting to this trend of “kennels”.

The fact that there are now 1.5 dogs for every child born according to the INE National Statistics Institute has meant that tourism has had to adapt to the new situation, renew its policies, and create or adapt its facilities. Currently in Spain, there are some 350,000 tourist establishments, of which approximately 30% allow pets, according to the analysis carried out by the agency, based on the main databases of different accommodation booking portals.

Going deeper into each autonomous community, and looking at the variety of hotels and accommodation that allow pets, Castilla La-Mancha, Castilla y León, and Extremadura, have a higher percentage of pet friendly accommodation, between 43% and 46% of their offer. While Valencia, with some 5,000 accommodations and Andalusia with 8,000, take the medal for the highest number of pet-friendly accommodations.

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The Balearics and the Canary Islands are at the bottom of the ranking, being the least pet friendly as a % of their total offer. People who want to travel to the islands find 17% of options to go on holiday with their pets. The main reason for this low figure is a consequence of the difficulties and the few options that currently exist to fly or sail with an animal.

On, there has been a 14% increase in requests for pet travel compared to 2023. “If I had no choice, I would leave my dog in a kennel, but my idea is to travel with him,” said Marta Villar, a customer of the travel agency. Currently, there are several centres where pets can be left during holidays, but for many owners, leaving their “best friend” with a stranger is not the best option. There are also apps that allow you to contact pet sitters in their own homes, with prices ranging from €15 to €25, depending on the size of the animal. In contrast, kennels cost between €12 and €20, depending on the season and the number of pets.

When looking further into accommodation that advertises itself as “pet friendly”, it is found that many do not accept dogs, despite describing themselves as pet friendly. In practice, when asked, they report that only guide dogs are allowed. On the other hand, in the case of hotels and flats that do accept pets, there are different scenarios: travelling with your pet and staying for free, or paying a supplement per night of between €10 and €40, depending on the size of the animal.

The growing number of couples with pets, compared to those with children, is pushing to adapt to this new trend and to offer more tourism options that allow travelling with pets. This adaptation is already visible in the restaurant industry, where more and more bars and restaurants are now accepting pets and even including pet-friendly food and snacks on their menus.
It is becoming easier and easier for travel agencies to offer different options for travelling with the “furry ones” in Spain, but still the offer is not enough compared to the demand year after year. In 2023 there were 2% fewer births than in 2022 according to the INE. The trend is clear, fewer children, and more “perrijos”.