Rising Cost of Pet Food Sees Nearly A Third Of Scots Making Financial Sacrifices

As previously reported in The Orkney News, pet owners are facing significant financial difficulties to pay for pet care and food. (1 in 5 Pets Not Receiving Timely Treatment Due to Cost of Living Crisis and Crisis in Pet Care As Cost of Living Bites)

Now leading charity the PDSA which provides free and low-cost treatment to pets in need has released more figures on how the rise in the cost of living is affecting pet owners.

PDSA states that:

  • 32% of owners in Scotland are having to make personal sacrifices to ensure they can continue to provide for their pets
  • 21% of owners in Scotland are cutting back on their weekly food shop in order to pay for pet food
  • 2% even admit to going without necessities, such as skipping meals to afford the costs associated with looking after their pet
  • 19% of Scottish pet owners are reducing how much fuel they use so they can pay for their pets care
  • 19% have given up luxuries
  • 9% will not be going on their usual holidays

For many people being able to go out and walk their dog provides both them and their pet with exercise. Pets also reduce loneliness and isolation – two issues which were thrown into the harsh spotlight during the two lockdowns of Covid.

And for pet care, 39% of Scots are worrying about the cost of treatment for their pet should it become ill or injured. For a few people that has meant they have had to give up their pet for fostering.

Diagram of PDSA Figures for the UK as a Whole

PDSA Figures for the UK as a whole

PDSA Veterinary Surgeon, Lynne James, said:

“Everyone wants the best for their pets and hearing the lengths loving owners in Scotland are having to go to so they can continue providing for them is heart-breaking.

“In 2022 we provided veterinary care for over 390,000 pets, whose owners would otherwise have struggled to afford the cost. Now more than ever, the treatment we provide is a lifeline for families who face the horrible decision of eating regular meals or treating their furry family member.

“It’s PDSA’s mission to keep people and pets together. Last year we helped hundreds of thousands of families. With more than half of those who rely on our services aged 55 and over, and 37% disabled or living with a serious health condition, their pet often provides vital companionship. For lots of our clients, their pets are their only companion, and their lives would be unimaginable without them.

“I’d encourage anyone struggling to afford the cost of veterinary treatment to find out if they are entitled to access our services by visiting the eligibility checker on our website. We also have lots of free advice on how to reduce the cost of caring for pets, while ensuring they remain healthy and happy.”

PDSA relies on donations to deliver life-saving treatment to hundreds of thousands of pets across its 48 Pet Hospitals in the UK. To help keep pets and people together, the charity is urgently calling on the public’s support to prevent vulnerable people having to make a truly heart-breaking decision. 

To find out more about PDSA’s vital work during the cost of loving crisis, or to donate, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/costoflovingcrisis.

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