Inflation bites as pet food and vet bills rise

“We pay about $30 for a week of dental care for Zeus, while we [now] get a bag of carrots that last longer.

Zoe Blank, a Bathurst vet who owns several dogs herself, said one of the drivers of higher veterinary costs was a lack of workers.

“It’s really difficult to have vets. We recently hired a replacement, we were paying her more than double what you would normally pay a vet, just to spin the wheels while another vet was off,” she said.

The cost of pets and related products rose 11.8% in the 12 months to June, the biggest price increase since June 2010.

ABS data statistics manager Michelle Marquardt said the main product driving the pet-related increases is food, given the sheer amount people have to buy.

Carolyn Macgill, executive director of the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia, said global and local pressures were affecting pet food prices.

“PFIAA members are experiencing increases due to a range of issues including increased fuel cost, ingredient cost and availability, supply disruptions, as well as supply chain increases. sourcing,” she said.

Liz Walker, operations manager at The Lost Dogs’ Home in North Melbourne, said most wholesalers and businesses had increased their products by 10-30%.

“This includes dog food, vet supplies, medications, bedding, PPE, cleaning supplies, harnesses, leashes, just about anything you need in a shelter,” he said. she declared. “So we obviously inherited that increase.”

RSPCA NSW data shows that the proportion of people abandoning pets due to cost has increased in recent years.

In 2019, 9% of people who entrusted their pet to the organization said it was because they couldn’t afford basic care. This figure has risen to 17% in 2021 and 13% so far this year.


A national spokesperson for the RSPCA said the organization is aware that the rising cost of living, particularly the rising cost of pet services, can affect people’s ability to care for their animals of company.

“At all times, the RSPCA encourages prospective pet owners to consider the potential costs associated with pet ownership,” he said.

Along with food and vet bills, Walker said those costs include board registration, regular parasite checks and pet insurance.

“Welcoming a new family member can be a commitment of up to 20 years and you will have those costs for the life of the animal,” she said.

Orr said getting pet insurance or setting aside money in a savings account just for pet-related expenses could help people deal with unexpected costs.

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