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Animal charity offers tips for pet owners amid cost of living crisis

The RSPCA has issued eight top tips to help beat the squeeze.

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Beautiful brunette woman plays with two shiba inu dogs, looks away, thinks how to feed pets and teach commands, expresses caress, isolated on pink background. Human and animal connection, trust
(Cast Of Thousands via Shutterstock)

By Josie Adnitt via SWNS

An animal charity has offered up some top tips for pet owners who may be struggling amid the cost of living crisis.

A survey has found that more than two-thirds - 68 percent - of pet owners are concerned about the increasing costs of animal care.

And nearly one in five - 19 percent - say they are worried about how they'll afford to feed their animals as the pinch continues.

To help, the RSPCA has issued eight top tips to help Brits beat the squeeze.

Firstly, the charity recommends switching food.

It said that, as high-welfare pet food can make a significant dent in household budgets, switching to a cheaper brand that still meets pet's needs can help.

Mixing regular food with cheaper brands can also make it stretch further and dry food lasts for longer than wet, even if the upfront cost is higher.

Well-balanced diets specific to species and age, lifestyle and health can still be achieved on a budget – but the RSPCA advise owners to check with their vets first before swapping brands.

Secondly, the charity said online ordering can help.

Animal medication can be ordered online, sometimes at a lower price than buying direct from a vet.

The RSPCA said to ask your vet to write a prescription for a small fee and then search online for medication providers.

Thirdly, embrace community spirit.

The charity said pet-sitters and dog walkers provide a valuable service but the costs can be hard to control.

Experts recommend trying to ask trusted friends or family if they can help take care of your beloved pet while you're out working or on holiday.

via GIPHY

Next, payment plans.

Some vets have the option to split payments through credit companies if you need to spread the cost of your animals much needed care, the RSPCA said.

While not every vet offers this service, it’s always worth asking if the option is there – paying small amounts every so often can be easier to manage than a large upfront payment.

Insurance options are another way to cut costs, according to the charity.

As insurance premiums can rise, shopping around like you would for car or home insurance can be lucrative - it can also help with the costs of any surprise vet bills.

However, some policies can have lots of limitations and pre-existing conditions won’t be covered, it said.

Next, try and DIY it.

Pet toys and treats are another cost for pet owners – but many can be hand crafted at home.

Seventh on the list is trying prevention.

The charity said it’s cheaper and easier to solve a problem before it starts rather than trying to cure it afterwards.

Making sure pets have good early life experience can help avoid any behaviour problems and keeping on top of tasks like worming and flea treatments help keeps future costs down.

Finally, exotic animals.

Keeping animals that have specific heat and lighting requirements in one room can help keep the cost of bills down, the RSPCA said.

Turning down the heating or turning the lights off can have huge health implications for exotic animals leading to higher vet bills in the future.

Energy suppliers can also help if you’re struggling and may be able to offer you a cheaper tariff or payment plan.

The statistics have been taken from a weighted YouGov survey of more than 4,000 UK adults, the RSPCA said.

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