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We are all struggling with the cost of food and electricity right now. But what impact does the soaring cost of living have on our pets? Danielle Haase, director of a doggie daycare and grooming business in rural NSW, says domestic animals are often the first to be neglected in tough times. Here, she outlines the challenges facing our furry friends and what we can do to help.

As we enter tough economic times, we should reflect on the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One thing becomes clear: our beloved pets played an irreplaceable role in providing comfort, companionship, and solace when we needed it most.

Many of us welcomed new furry family members into our homes. Now, as our country faces an economic recession, it is crucial to remember the profound impact these financial hardships can have on our pets.

Increased Relinquishment Rates

When families struggle to make ends meet, the responsibility and financial burden of caring for pets can become overwhelming.

Sadly, this often leads to pets being surrendered to shelters or abandoned.

Economic recessions trigger a surge in relinquishments, stretching the resources of animal shelters and increasing the likelihood of euthanasia for those animals who aren't adopted quickly.

This distressing trend leaves countless pets vulnerable and in desperate need of immediate assistance.

Declining Adoption Rates

Simultaneously, potential pet adopters face financial uncertainties during recessionary periods, making them hesitant to take on the financial responsibility of a new furry family member.

Adoption rates often decline as people prioritise their own financial stability over the needs of a pet. This exacerbates the problem as shelters become overcrowded and struggle to provide adequate care for the animals already in their care.

Reduced Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary care is essential for maintaining the health and well-being of our pets, just as it is for humans.

However, during a recession, pet owners may postpone or even forgo necessary veterinary visits due to financial constraints.

Routine check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive treatments may be viewed as discretionary expenses when finances are tight. Consequently, pets may not receive timely medical attention, leading to the development of preventable health conditions or the worsening of existing ones.

Diminished Access to Pet Supplies

In times of economic uncertainty, families often tighten their budgets, impacting their ability to purchase essential pet supplies such as food, litter, and grooming items.

As families struggle to prioritise their own basic necessities, providing for their pets becomes increasingly challenging. Inadequate nutrition and subpar living conditions can have negative effects on the health and happiness of pets, resulting in a decline in their overall quality of life.

Emotional Toll on Pets

Pets are remarkably perceptive creatures, sensitive to changes in their environment and the emotional well-being of their human companions.

During a recession, when families experience heightened stress, anxiety, and emotional strain, pets are not immune to these effects.

The decrease in attention, affection, and interaction can lead to feelings of neglect and loneliness among our furry friends, who depend on us for love and care.

Failing to address their longing for attention and care, combined with the lack of physical exercise and mental stimulation, can have detrimental effects on their well-being.

What can we do?

As we navigate through economic recessions and reflect on the COVID-19 era, it is crucial to remember the vital role our pets played in providing comfort and companionship when we needed it most.

Now, as financial hardships persist, it is our responsibility to prioritise their well-being.

Neglecting the needs of our domestic animals during times of economic hardship is not only ethically wrong but also detrimental to their health and happiness.

Now, more than ever, we must rally together to protect the well-being of our beloved pets during economic recessions and beyond.

The challenges they face during these trying times are real and heartbreaking. Let us remember the invaluable companionship they provided us during the darkest days of the COVID era, when we craved their love and needed their comforting presence. It is our responsibility to ensure they receive the care, attention, and support they deserve.

Take action today by prioritising their needs, seeking affordable alternatives and fostering social connections within our communities.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our furry companions and create a brighter future for them, even in the face of financial adversity.

Let's stand up for neglected paws and safeguard their well-being today and every day.

Find out more about Danielle here:



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