In This Issue
UK pet wellness brand HOWND secures deal to accelerate growth in America
Opportunity to showcase UK pet products in Las Vegas
Pet superstore revamped with new grooming salon
BIRA calls sharp rate of shop closures 'frightening'
Basildon mayor opens new-look Vets4Pets practice
Mr Bug offers last word in head-turning instore POS
Hurtta goes 'eco' with use of recycled materials
Growing pet food business Vale Pet Foods adds new dog training treats to its range
Award-winning Furr Boost now available to the trade through Pedigree Wholesale
Get your own copy of Pet Trade Xtra
Plans to turn former museum into pet shop
Bookings now being taken for January consignment of PIF Export Scheme
Five vet-approved ways to beat the boredom this winter
The best of last edition of Pet Trade Xtra
Well-established pet store in Hampshire for sale
Dragons’ Den star features pet food firm in podcast
Pet tech brand sets ambitious targets for 2023
UK in animal welfare crisis, says Dogs Trust
Pets at Home launches pet food donation drive

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UK in animal welfare crisis, says Dogs Trust

As costs continue to spiral, the UK’s largest canine charity, Dogs Trust, has announced that it has crossed the sad milestone of 50,000 requests this year from desperate owners asking the charity to take in their dog. This is the highest annual number of handover requests in the charity’s history. 


The charity’s CEO, Owen Sharp, has long warned that the animal welfare sector is facing into a crisis, with more animals being given up than it has space to look after, since the cost of living crisis started to bite.


The UK’s largest canine welfare charity is the most stretched it’s been in its 131 years, dealing with an influx of dogs whose owners can no longer afford them as bills continue to skyrocket. It has voiced grave concerns that a further 350,000 dogs may need to find new homes as the cost of living continues to rise. 



Meanwhile, a new poll carried out by YouGov on behalf of Dogs Trust has revealed that a third (33%) of the UK’s dog owners are worried that, as costs continue to rise in 2023, the crisis will impact on how well they’re able to care for their dog next year.


Asked what their biggest financial worry had been about looking after their dog in 2022, almost half of the respondents said it had been vet bills (46%), followed by the cost of dog food (18%) and pet insurance (16%).


2023 certainly looks to be an extremely worrying time for animal welfare charities such as Dogs Trust, which normally cares for around 14,000 dogs across its network of 21 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Dublin. 


The survey shows that more than six in ten (62%) of people who don’t currently own a dog think the rising cost of living would prevent them from getting a dog in 2023, with over a third (36%) saying it ‘definitely would’ prevent them, and a further quarter (25%) saying it ‘probably would’. 


In an effort to alleviate the pressure on dog owners, Dogs Trust has set up temporary dog food banks at six of its 21 centres, so that dogs won’t go hungry this Christmas.

Anybody who is struggling to feed their dog is invited to drop in and collect supplies. 


Fewer dog treats under the tree this year

It’s perhaps unsurprising that Dogs Trust’s December poll found many people’s Christmas plans will be impacted. More than two in ten (21%) respondents to Dogs Trust’s poll said their pooches will receive fewer presents than normal this year, and more than one in ten (13%) owners said they won’t give their dogs a present at all this Christmas, despite giving presents in previous years.


Meanwhile, fewer dog owners will be ‘driving home for Christmas’ - nearly one in ten (9%) said they’d be staying home instead of going away for Christmas or visiting family this year, because they won’t be able to afford a dog sitter.


Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, says: “Although it was inevitable that we would reach 50,000 calls from owners no longer able to care for their dogs, it’s still a shock and a stark signifier of the animal welfare crisis the UK now finds itself in.


“Through our December poll, dog owners have told us they’re going to struggle this Christmas, and many more are really worried about what 2023 is going to bring.


“We’re doing as much as we can at Dogs Trust to reach out and help dog owners who have been worst hit by the crisis. We’re expanding our help and support all the time so, if you’re having a hard time looking after your dog, please reach out to us before it’s too late - there are lots of ways that we can help.


“Our utmost priority is to keep as many dogs with their families as we can – and stop people having to make that heart-breaking decision to give up their dog.”

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