Pet ownership in UK is becoming a source of stress and impaired mental health due to the rise in the cost-of-living crisis.
A recent survey conducted by the national pet charity organisation, Blue Cross, suggests that the cost-of-living pressure and the need to care for pets leaves a negative impact on owners’ mental health.
The rise in demand for their essential services coupled with skyrocketing bills results in sleepless nights for pet owners across the nation.
The increasing cost of food, pet insurance and vet bills had a knock-on effect on animals.
Tsz Yan, 24, Oxford Road, Piccadilly said: “Due to the cost-of-living crisis, the pet fees also went up. One of my cats has been diagnosed with a heart problem, so it might need medical attention often, and we need to take daily medication. These all create stress in the family.”
Miss Yan, owner of two cats, added: “We had tried our best to save money for huge amounts of emergency fees for daily medications, checkups and also for the normal food and supplies for my cats.”
According to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the annual average expense of caring for a pet is around £2000.
Alongside rising prices of energy, interest rates, rents and mortgage, the cost of caring for a pet has doubled after the pandemic.
To get rid of the loneliness, anxiousness, and stress during the lockdown period, most people seemed it the ideal time for having a pet.
Around 3.2 million households in the UK acquire a pet mainly dogs and cats during the pandemic.
With the demand for pets now back to the pre-pandemic period dog rescue in the UK is in a “state of crisis never seen before.”
The financial crisis is the most common reason behind people particularly older people and middle-income earners, giving up their pets.
Pressure and uncertainty around the cost of living are detrimental to people’s mental health in the UK.
Large dog breeds like German Shepherds and Staffordshire Bull Terriers breeds were the most common breed given for adoption.
Due to raising concerns about health issues flat-faced dogs like pugs and French bulldogs have declined in popularity.
Cutting back essentials to feed their Pets.
Recent studies of vet charity People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) say that four million pet owners are supposed to cut off their weekly food shop to provide good care for their pets.
PDSA has warned that these findings reflect a “stark reality” of pet owners, who are being forced to adopt drastic lifestyle changes to save their pets.
In a statement, PDSA Veterinary Surgeon Lynne James said: “Now more than ever, the treatment we provide is a lifeline for families who face the horrible decision of being able to eat regular meals or provide their furry family member with their usual necessities.”
The charity surveyed 5,507 dog, cat and rabbit owners aged 18+ in the UK between 23 December 2022 and 18 January 2023.