NI dog owners worried about vet bills as cost of living crisis grows
A third of dog owners here have said the rising cost of living is making it more difficult to give their dogs all they need.
A poll carried out by YouGov on behalf of the Dogs Trust charity found 55% of dog owners in Northern Ireland said the financial climate was making it “more difficult” to give their dogs all they need.
Some 32% said they are “very” or “fairly “ worried about how they will care for their dog in the next year.
Vet bills were the main worry for 61% of dog owners, with 24% listing the cost of dog food as the second biggest concern.
This first pulse survey, carried out in the first week of June, found that over two thirds (68%) of dog owners in the UK feel worried, to some extent, about how they will care for their dog in the next year, with 30% either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ worried.
Owen Sharp, Dogs Trust CEO, said: “We know from the experience of the 2008 recession that economic crisis can and will lead to people needing to give up their beloved dogs. Sadly, many loving dog owners simply won’t be able to afford to keep them.
“At Dogs Trust we’re rehoming and fostering dogs as quickly as we can – but as soon as we free up a kennel space, there’s a dog to fill it again.
“We’ve already taken 13,000 calls this year from owners who need to give up their dogs – a 58% increase on last year.
“We know that dog owners need immediate help and we’re working hard to find ways to support them – but it takes time.
“If you’re really struggling, please contact Dogs Trust – even if we can’t take in your dog immediately, there may be other types of help we can suggest, like our Hope Project, which aims to keep anyone experiencing a housing crisis and their dog together, and helping people find other services such as pet food banks or local charities that could ease the burden.”
“We want dog owners to realise that they don’t have to wait until they are in crisis to call us for help.”