Salt Lake City, Utah – People who might be struggling to pay for groceries during high inflation, might have to make tough choices regarding their pets.
According to Temma Martin, spokesperson for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the non-profit analyzed data and found that between 2018 and 2020, about 7 percent of animals that were given up to shelters, were surrendered for a financial reason – mostly because of the high cost of housing.
Now, record inflation poses new concerns because Utah shelters are at capacity. “We don’t want people considering giving up their pets because they can’t feed them or provide cat litter or other supplies,” she said.
Pet food inflation, or “Petflation”, rose just over 9% from May 2021 to May 2022, according to petfoodindustry.com.
According to Martin, when you add food to the cost of vet visits, medication, and other pet needs, someone in financial hardship may not be able to take care of a pet right now.
Best Friends has a pet food pantry at its shelter in Salt Lake’s Sugarhouse neighborhood.
Older pet owners can have the food delivered.
For those not in financial hardship but who want to save money on pet food and supplies, subscribe to savings programs at pet stores like Petco, PetSmart, and chewy where you can receive special discounts on food and deliveries, Martin said.
Also, Martin suggests searching social media sites. She says if you try new pet food that your four-legged family member is not used to, in order to avoid stomach problems make sure to mix it with some of the old pet food.