The animal welfare charity said a third of dog owners in Northern Ireland were concerned about paying veterinarians and dog food over the next year.

A new Dogs Trust study, based on a YouGov poll, says the cost of living crisis is putting extra pressure on families caring for their four-legged friends.

A total of 55% of dog owners in Northern Ireland said the financial climate makes it “harder” to give their dogs everything they need.

A third (32%) said they were “very” or “sufficiently” concerned about how they would care for their dog next year.

Veterinary bills were a major concern for 61% of local dog owners, with a quarter (24%) naming the cost of dog food the second biggest concern.

Non-dog owners in Northern Ireland were also asked whether the rising cost of living would prevent them from taking or buying a dog, and just under half (49%) said yes.

A study for the UK’s leading dog charity, the Dogs Trust, found that more than a third (35%) of dog owners in the UK believe the rising cost of living in the UK makes it harder. dogs are all they need.

Owen Sharpe, CEO of Dogs Trust, commented: “From the experience of the 2008 recession, we know that the economic crisis can and will lead to people having to give up their favorite dogs. Unfortunately, many loving dog owners just won’t be able to afford to keep them.

“At the Dogs Trust, we relocate and raise dogs as soon as possible, but as soon as we make room in the kennel, a dog will show up to fill it up again.”

He added: “This year we have already received 13,000 calls from owners who need to give up their dogs, which is 58% more than last year.

“We know that dog owners need immediate help and we are working hard to find ways to support them, but it takes time.

If you really have a hard time, contact the Dogs Trust – even if we can’t take your dog immediately, we can offer other types of help, such as our “Hope” project, which aims to keep those experiencing a housing crisis and their dog together, and helping people find other services such as pet food banks or local charities that could ease the burden. ”

“We want dog owners to understand that they don’t have to wait until they’re in a crisis to call us for help.”

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