The rising cost of pet health care

With the current economic crisis, we humans are not the only ones suffering, but our pets are too. The rising costs within stores mean that the prices of pet food, bedding, and medicines are increasing at a tremendous rate.

Pet owners are finding that their regular foods are too expensive, so are buying cheaper brands, which are not always as nutritional. There is also the risk of upsetting the digestive system of animals with such a quick swap in diet, instead of a steady change, which is normally recommended. This is more obvious in animals with specific dietary requirements, such as animals with diabetes, kidney disease or those that are on a weight watchers’ diet for obesity.

Bedding, especially shavings, hay and straw, has almost doubled in price over the past few weeks. This is affecting not only large animal owners, but also those who own smaller animals such as rabbits and guinea-pigs, and in particular, breeders. A lot of horse owners are now finding that they have to retire’, loan out or sell their precious equines because they cannot afford to keep the horses.

Veterinary surgeries have had to increase the prices of all medicines, which is affecting the parasite population. Owners are unable to afford regular parasite control, so worms, ticks, mites and fleas are reproducing at a high rate. As the winter approaches, and we turn on our central heating the eggs are hatching and we are unable to control the number of parasites.

Sadly the rising costs of pet care means that more animals are becoming homeless. Animal shelters are being inundated with unwanted pets, or pets that people can simply not afford to look after any more. The larger the animal, the more expensive the care, which means that it is the larger animals that are being sent to the animal shelters. The mainly affected animals are horses, donkeys and large dogs.

Some owners are going out of their way to ensure that their animals are still cared for, by going without’ themselves. By cutting back on unessential items, they find that they can still afford to keep their pets. Those with smaller animals will be finding this easier than those with larger animals as mentioned before.

We forget that we are not the only animals affected by crunches in credit, job-losses etc. We forget that our pets suffer just as much as we do, but they do not understand why they are having to suffer as we are. Hopefully, as the economy begins to turn round, these poor creatures will find a happier life, and hopefully people who cannot afford animals now, will not buy them in the near future.

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