Dogs Trust has published research showing that 64% of dog owners would find it 'difficult' or 'very difficult' to pay an unexpected vet bill of £500. 

Meanwhile, the BVA has published the results of its latest Voice of the Profession survey which found that 99% of vets have seen pets in the last 12 months which should have been brought to them for treatment earlier, with 91% reporting that financial reasons were the main factor. 

52% of vets also said the number of clients reporting difficulty covering the cost of preventative veterinary care for their animal had increased compared to 2021.

This figure rose to 70% when it came to covering the cost of diagnostic care and treatment.

The Dogs Trust survey, which was carried out by YouGov, asked owners how easy or difficult they would find it to pay vet bills of varying amounts. 

10% of pet owners said they would find it fairly difficult to pay unexpected vet bill of £100. 

5% said they would find it very difficult.

Overall, 13% said they either cannot afford, or are struggling to afford, the costs of owning a dog in the current climate.

Meanwhile, the charity reports it is getting record numbers of owners asking to hand over their dogs: an average 188 handover requests per day in February compared to an average 141 handover requests per day in 2022, which was itself a record-breaking year (ending in over 50,000 rehoming requests).

In response, Dogs Trust has set up dog food banks at some of its rehoming centres across the UK, which are open to anyone struggling to feed their dog.

The charity has also started a petition asking the Chancellor to Paws the VAT on pet food and veterinary services: 

When pet owners were asked in the YouGov survey to what extent they would support or oppose the Chancellor removing VAT from vet care and pet food in next Wednesday’s budget, 61% said they would support it, with 36% of those saying they would strongly support it.

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