Pet ownership in an economic recession

There are more and more families losing their jobs and struggling to keep food on the table for the humans in the household that is becoming increasingly common for families to have to give up their beloved family pets. There is barely enough money for basic needs that it is becoming more difficult for many, especially the elderly, to keep up with proper care for their pets.

If you find that you are facing a similar situation, know that you are not alone. For many faced with the difficult decision to give up a family pet, it is a big source of embarrassment, leading many people to drop off their animals along the side of the road, rather than face shelter care workers. Even worse, there are reports of people who have lost their homes to a foreclosure who have simply left their pets behind in the vacant home. However, pride or embarrassment should not be superseded by your love for your dog or cat and turning them over to a shelter is the best way to save your pet if there are absolutely no other alternatives.

Before making any final decisions, it is important to consider all of your options for your pet. Since many shelters are already faced with problems of overcrowding and not enough public support, it is worth your time to investigate your other resources. No one can blame you for having to give up a pet because of financial reasons, provided you do it responsibly.

ASK AROUND – Many of your neighbors, co-workers, and relatives may be more than happy to take care of your pet, even temporarily. Even if there is no takers from the immediate circle of your friends, someone may know someone who would love to adopt your dog or cat.

POST FLIERS – These days it can be risky to advertise your pet publicly to total strangers but there are plenty of good people who may be interested in taking your animal. Consult with your local animal shelter and ask for their assistance in screening potential takers or even recommending quality foster parents.

GO GENERIC – Many people do not even realize how much luxury they lavish on their pets. Dogs and cats are happy to eat quality food but there is no need for the additional treats, snacks, and gourmet foods. Unless there is a medical necessity, you can probably cut back on some of the pet products you are currently buying. You can also skip the pricey vet bills for routine shots and instead seek out a clinic that offers discount rabies and other vaccines. If you cut back on the cash you spend on your pet, you may find you can actually afford to keep him.

If you happen to know someone struggling to get by who has a pet, drop off a few cans of pet food anonymously on their porch if you don’t want to cause them undue embarrassment or deliver some personally and let them know you care. For elderly people who can barely afford their own medication, their dog or cat may be the only company they have each day. If you can help them keep their beloved pets at home, you can really make a difference.

You can also donate food, money, or other necessities to your local shelters, which are filling up faster these days as more pets get surrendered. A few cans of dog or cat food can make a big difference and may only cost you a few bucks. Shelters can also used old blankets and shredded paper as bedding which doesn’t cost you a thing. My own mother, who is a nurse, donates expired baby formula that is not good enough for infants but works wonders with kittens. Every little bit will help.

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