One in seven pet owners are avoiding vet visits due to financial concerns

According to a survey by Dogs Trust, around one in seven pet owners admitted they would avoid a non-essential trip to the vet to save money. 


The charity also reported that a whopping 45,000 people contacted them about giving up their pet in 2023, amidst the cost of living crisis. 


Vet bills were ranked as the biggest financial burden to dog owners, followed by pet insurance, dog food, and dog-minding costs. 


Over 240,000 people took part in Dogs Trust’s second-ever National Dog Survey between May and June 2023.


The report, published on January 15, outlined the magnitude of the cost of living crisis, marking it as the most significant change in dog ownership since the charity’s inaugural survey three years ago. It highlighted the financial strain on owners, impacting various aspects of their expenditures.


According to the findings, 13.8% of respondents expressed consideration forgoing non-emergency care in the upcoming year. One dog owner stated they were “living on a wing, a prayer, and an emergency credit card” after cancelling their dog’s pet insurance. Another owner mentioned having to scale back on annual checks due to their unaffordability.


Despite ongoing concerns about veterinary expenses, a notably lower percentage of owners indicated contemplating reductions in flea and tick treatments (3.3%), vaccines (3%), and worming (2.5%). Additionally, only 6% reported cutting back on health insurance.


Owen Sharp, CEO of Dogs Trust, says:


“The results of our National Dog Survey spell out, loud and clear, how dog owners are impacted by the ongoing increased cost of living. The survey shows the extent of people’s worries about the inflated cost of basics like feeding their dog or having someone look after their dog while they’re at work – never mind the fear of unexpected costs like vet bills.


“It’s our hope that the next National Dog Survey, which we’ll run in May this year, might show that the pressure is finally starting to lift. Until then, Dogs Trust can help dog owners in need in a number of ways during times of financial trouble, including supporting owners with pet food banks and discounted behaviour training, and a free Behaviour Support Line.”