Inflation has hit Americans from virtually all sides, and a new report shows pet owners are feeling the pressure.
Veterinarians.org’s survey of 1,000 pet owners found that over the past 12 months, almost a quarter of respondents had considered giving their pets away or taking them to a professional. shelter in the face of rising costs for pet food, supplies, grooming and veterinary services.
Fifty-five percent said they canceled their pet food subscriptions on Chewy.com, Amazon.com, and other websites offering pet meal services, and 50% said they were looking for cheaper alternatives to pet food.
Linda Largo, who owns a Labrador Retriever and two cats, admits she is paying more than she would like for pet food these days.
“It’s probably 40% higher,” the Valencia resident said. “But there’s really nothing you can do. I already shop at Sam’s Club and Costco for pet food.
A report by PetFoodIndustry.com shows US pet food inflation hit a record high in August, rising 13.1% year-over-year. But that doesn’t take into account steeper price increases among boutique brands.
Additional data from TruthAboutPetFood.com shows that a 12-pound bag of Merrick Adult Grain-Free Chicken Cat Food rose to $41.98 in 2022 from $20.59 in 2020, an increase of 103.8 %.
The cost of a 30-pound bag of Royal Canin Labrador Retriever dog food jumped 52.4% over that same two-year period to $104.99, while other boutique brands posted price increases of 23.5% to 49%.
The Veterinarians.org survey also shows that 35% of pet owners have reduced grooming visits, 46% have had to delay or forgo veterinary procedures or treatments for their pet, and 22% have requested special services that help with animal costs. .
Pet Assistance Foundation, a Long Beach nonprofit that provides low-cost neutering and neutering referrals to pet owners, also sees the cost pinch.
“A lady called me on Monday asking if we had any pet food to donate,” said Delilah Rosales, director of the foundation’s office.
The non-profit organization participates in monthly wellness events held in low-income communities where free food bags and vaccines are distributed, she said, adding that the demand for food and of free pet services had increased.
Veterinary costs have also increased. Prices for veterinary services have jumped 10% in the past year, according to government data – the biggest spike in two decades.
Veterinary care, like many services, is labor intensive. Worker compensation is about half the cost of running a practice, and with wages rising nationwide at the fastest rate in decades, many clinic owners have had to pay more to find or retain employees.
Euclid Veterinary Hospital has faced higher costs for drugs and is also paying more for supplies to be shipped to the clinic, office manager Lisa Zabala said.
“Our prices for customers haven’t gone up too much – maybe a few dollars here and there,” she said. “But they will definitely start going up the first of the year.”
Other pet owners have expressed frustration with the rising cost of grooming their pets.
“Can anyone explain why the price of a bath and haircut for my 18lb mini Aussiedoodle has gone from a base price of $56 when I booked last week to a $94 base price now when I try to book in app? a dog owner complained on Reddit. “I know the prices of everything have gone up, but that’s ridiculous!”
Pasadena Humane, a community-supported animal shelter and resource center, offers pet adoption and placement through its Helping Paws program. He also operates a pet food bank for owners who are struggling to care for their pets.
“Our goal is to keep pets out of shelters,” said facility spokesman Kevin McManus. “We have a very good adoption rate.”