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NOAH survey finds owners prioritise pets despite financial squeeze, but some are struggling
A survey commissioned by NOAH and conducted by Kantar shows the cost-of-living crisis is impacting on some dog and cat owners’ ability to continue to afford to care for their pets. Carried out in December 2022, it shows people are generally positive about pet ownership, but some groups are more likely to find caring for them a struggle.
The impact is greater for younger pet owners, those who describe themselves as having been highly affected by the cost-of-living crisis and those who may have additional responsibilities like a member of their household having a vulnerable immune system.
Ensuring pets get veterinary treatment remained a priority: vet visits are important to all ages of pet owners, but pet insurance and health plans tended to decrease in priority for older age respondents and pets.
Despite this commitment, there are some potential concerns for the future health of our cats and dogs. For example, the survey showed people’s financial situation had a significant impact on vaccination in the past year.
NOAH’s previous Kantar report was carried out in January 2022. It looked at the new cats and dogs joining households since the start of COVID-19.
The study found that approximately 3 in 10 cat/dog owners welcomed a new pet during the pandemic – of whom a third were first-time pet owners. Within these new owners, the most likely demographics to have acquired a cat or dog during the pandemic are young adults (18-34-year-olds) and parents with children under 10.
Read our report summary: Exploring the impact of the pandemic on cat and dog ownership in the UK
Vaccination of companion animals
Vaccination has long been an effective way to reduce disease burden in companion animals, and is key to maintaining pet health and welfare. Innovative research and the development of safe, effective and quality vaccines means that our pets continue to benefit from vital medicines that prevent or alleviate clinical signs of disease.
Take a look at our briefing documents on vaccination for companion animals
Protecting pets from parasites
A whole range of parasites can live inside or on our pets, affecting their health and wellbeing. Some parasites pose a risk to people too. As responsible pet owners we have a duty of care to proactively protect our pets and families from these risks. Authorised anti-parasitic veterinary medicines are widely available from veterinary practices, a range of pet supply stores and pharmacies to control common and important parasites.
See more on the on the use of anti-parasitics for companion animal health.