The current UK cost of living crisis is causing a particularly significant impact on low-income individuals and families, who may struggle to afford basic necessities and may be forced to make difficult choices about allocating their limited resources. The cost of essentials has risen dramatically, and many owners are in a very different situation now compared to a year or two ago.
Many Cavalier owners are having difficulty with veterinary bills and are perhaps putting off taking their animals to the vet due to the cost. This will undoubtedly lead to the health concern worsening and perhaps an even bigger bill at a later stage or a condition that cannot be managed later. Very sadly, we are seeing many more cases like this currently.
Available support for veterinary care
Several organisations in the UK provide free or low-cost veterinary care to pet owners who may be struggling financially. Some options include:
- The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA): This organisation provides free or low-cost veterinary care to pets belonging to people who are on a low income, receiving certain benefits, or experiencing financial hardship. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/
- Blue Cross: This organisation provides low-cost veterinary care at its hospitals and clinics, as well as a range of other services, including behaviour advice, microchipping, and vaccinations. https://www.bluecross.org.uk/
- RSPCA: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) operates many clinics and hospitals that provide affordable veterinary care to pets belonging to people on a low income or experiencing financial hardship. https://www.rspca.org.uk/
Our concern is that many owners will not qualify for these services or may be outside of the catchment area.
There may be local charities or groups in the area that can offer support for veterinary care.
If you are struggling, contact your veterinarian and ask them if they know of any assistance in the area.
Food banks for pets
Several pet food banks in the UK provide free or low-cost pet food to owners in need of help. Here are a few examples, but to find services locally, you can search online.
- PDSA Pet Food Bank: The PDSA operates a network of pet food banks across the UK that provide free pet food and other supplies to people in need. To access the PDSA Pet Food Bank, you will need to be referred by a participating organization such as a local council, Citizens Advice Bureau, or social worker.
- Animal Aid: Animal Aid operates a pet food bank in the London area that provides free pet food and supplies to owners needing help. They also offer a delivery service for those who are unable to pick up the food in person.
- The Cinnamon Trust: The Cinnamon Trust is a national organisation that provides a range of services to support older and disabled pet owners, including a pet food delivery service. You must be referred by a participating organisation, such as a social worker or healthcare professional, to access this service.
- Your Pet Food Bank: Working with many other organisations, including social services, animal charities, and local food banks in and around Sheffield. Also accessible by self-referral. https://www.yourpetfoodbank.co.uk/