This year Britain’s dog owners are planning to make the most of the Summer months and lighter nights by taking more road trips with their dogs. However according to new research released from Confused.com, it comes at a cost.

New research of dog-lovers across the UK commissioned by Confused.com has shown that we’re paying a high price for being a nation of dog lovers, with doggy days out costing dog owners over £18 million  in fuel bills. The UK’s lucky canines can expect to enjoy road trips averaging just over 75 miles a time to be taken to their favourite pet friendly place across the country and costing owners nearly £10 per trip.

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In fact, almost a third (27%) of dog owners surveyed said they are planning to make round trips of up to 101 miles, with 26% to travel more than 201 miles.

Surprisingly, not only is man’s best friend increasing their owner’s yearly costs but they are also affecting the type of car they buy too. A huge 66% of dog owners admitted to changing their vehicles for a more pet friendly mode of transport with reliability for longer distances.

Forty-nine per cent of dog owners have considered the type of car they are going to buy with regards to the space it offers – and with 29% travelling almost every day with their dog, it is clear why this would be so important. If dog owners are thinking about space for their dogs they must also consider a dog’s safety.

The vehicle of choice must also offer some form of ventilation and the dog should also be supplied with water on a regular basis. A dog must be able to stand up, sit and lie down in comfort on their doggy day trip and if possible dog owners should feed their dog as far in advance of travel as they can.

With so many dog owners travelling hundreds of miles with their dogs they must ensure that their dog is looked after, and ensure they are healthy and clearly collared and tagged before they go on their road trips.

Kate Rose, Head of Pet Insurance at Confused.com, says: “With 1 in 2 households owning a pet and 22% of households now owning a dog, it’s clear we’re still a nation of animal lovers.

“It’s really encouraging to see dog owners wanting to care for their pets properly, by taking them out on a regular basis and understanding that pets need a vehicle that has room to move.”

“But it’s also important to be aware of the potential dangers when out and about with your dog on foot. Should your dog cause any incidents on its doggy day out, you as the owner are likely to be liable for the costs of any damage caused.”

“Purchasing a pet insurance policy that includes third party cover will protect owners should the incident result in any property damage or personal injury, and it will also cover any legal costs that may arise from the incident. Pet insurance is that essential safety net should anything go wrong, so shopping around on a price comparison site will ensure you get the right cover at a great price.”