The cost-of-living crisis is causing Scots to cut back on caring for their pets, new research reveals.
The poll by YouGov and analysis by Citizens Advice Scotland shows an estimated 460,311 people have cut back on petcare in the past year.
The research finds one in ten adults are reducing their spending on dog grooming and vet appointments.
Emma Jackson, CAS Social Justice spokesperson, said: “People are having to cut back on spending because of rising energy bills and the wider cost-of-living crisis, and that might mean less care for household pets.
“For many, particularly pensioners or people living alone, their dog or cat is their best friend and a source of comfort against loneliness and isolation. Cutting back on vet appointments or grooming to keep them clean and healthy could be a really distressing decision for people.”
Gilly Mendes Ferreira, Director of Innovation and Strategic Relations at the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), added: “The cost-of-living squeeze is impacting animals as well as people and the Scottish SPCA is seeing first-hand how that squeeze, combined with rising vet bills, is making it harder for people to care for their pets.
“In 2022 calls to give up a pet trebled – that’s now quadrupled. Again often down to affordability of food and veterinary care or access to per-friendly housing.
“People are cutting back on essential care for their pet because of financial issues, and we don’t want that to lead to serious animal welfare issues. With 88% of people reporting that the cost of caring for an animal has gone up, this is a widespread problem.”