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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Money

Pets in UK bearing brunt of hard economic times

Hard economic times are forcing some pet parents in the United Kingdom to try to save money by substituting table scraps for pet food and cutting back on medical care, according to a study.

The research, conducted for Petmeds, an online pet medication and product store, found owners are cutting back in all aspects of pet care.

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"It is shocking to see how UK pets are bearing the brunt of economic pressures," Petmeds official Ricky Thomas states in media release. "And we strongly encourage people not to cut back on medical care and food for pets as they can clearly cause their animals lasting harm by doing so."

The study found:
  • 17 percent say they will not be renewing pet insurance policies.
  • 14 percent are buying cheaper pet food.
  • 14 percent are buying fewer treats for their pets.
  • 10 percent are avoiding buying medication for their animals.
  • 6 percents have stopped taking their pets to the veterinarian.
  • 5 percent are feeding their pets table scraps.
  • 3 percent are considering generating money from their pets by breeding or showing them.
Pet parents in need should seek out financial help, Thomas states. "There are a number of charities that provide help with veterinary treatment and care for animals whose owners are struggling financially," he said.

Petmeds recently launched an online and telephone help service, staffed by trained animal experts and veterinarians, who can help those in need identify where they can get help, Thomas said.

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