Industry News

Cost of owning a dog soars, data reveals

Dog owners are facing rising costs, as ‘dogflation’ soars to more than double the UK inflation rate, new data reveals. 

Dogs Trust and Oxford Economics have calculated that the current ‘dogflation rate’, which is based on collars, dog treats, the purchase of pets, dog kennel fees, vet fees, animal cages, dog food and pet insurance – stands at 9%, 5 percentage points above the headline consumer price index rate of 4% announced this week.  

The 5% gap was the same last month, and the charity has reported that higher costs mean a fifth of owners are considering switching to cheaper dog food.  

Owen Sharp, Dogs Trust Chief Executive, said: “Our Dogflation model shows that despite the surprise rise in inflation, dog owners – a third of UK households – are still disproportionately hit by the everyday costs of owning a dog. 

“As we continue to receive handover enquiries from desperate owners, our priority is to keep as many dogs with their families as we can, and we’ll continue to work with our counterparts across the animal welfare sector to try to ensure dogs won’t go hungry.”

The charity said it received 45,000 enquiries from owners asking to give up their dogs last year, with 3,277 in December. 

Dogs Trust is warning that the government needs to do more to keep dogflation under control.  

Sharp added: “This burden shouldn’t sit on the charity sector’s shoulders alone. We desperately need the government to step up and play its part for this country’s 12 million dogs and their owners, by cutting the 20% VAT on pet food, at least for the time being.” 


  • Susana

    It’s disheartening to see the impact of the current economic situation on pet owners. The challenges faced by individuals in providing for their dogs not only affect the well-being of these animals but also contribute to broader societal issues. We need compassionate solutions and support systems to help both owners and their pets during these difficult times.

  • Tom Holloway

    Local councils have hit dog walkers hard on numbers of dogs they can walk. For example Hammersmith and Fulham went from allowing 4 dogs per person to 4 dogs ONLY and not a group.

    This means if a walker was used to taking 8 with an assistant they can now take 4. This reduction in supply increases the price of dog walking by at least 50% as the dogs cannot travel together if they are expected to keep those dogs apart. Moreover a walk of 8 dogs now need’s two skilled trainers/ people to walk the dogs, not one skilled and one apprentice.

    The reduction in number of dogs allowed also reduces the supply of walking services because skilled workers e.g trainers, who now can’t earn a decent living with walking focus on just training or leave the industry.

    Moreover ULEZ meant a dog walker can no longer buy a cheap van and parking charges are soaring.

    Council and goverment need to factor in how their ‘safety’ measures will mean people cannot afford to get thier dogs needs met, leading to more behaviour problems, and more dogs being rehomed.

    There is of course a reasonable line but are councils getting it right or ultimately making uncessarily blanket rules at the expense of dogs being able to affordbaly get their needs met?

    I propose the goverment should remove VAT on dog training like healthcare. Councils should come up with Public Space Protection Orders that allow another walker to walk with another walker for safety, cost and to train up apprentices and that the number of dogs is based on size of park and how busy it is and the skill of the professional. Not a blanket 4 per person rule. E.g Parks over 100 acres: 6 dogs per person or 8 dogs between two people. Parks under 100 acres 4 per person. More dogs allowed during weekdays, when the big parks are scarecly occupied and less dogs allowed evening and weekends.

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