Supporting People and Pets in the UK

The aim of this project is to identify the challenges people in the UK are facing with pets due to the financial crisis and how the Blue Cross can better support people to look after their pets.

We know, for example, that changes in circumstances (financial, housing, relationships) can have a huge impact on people's ability to look after their pets as well as themselves and the rest of their family (financially or otherwise). Furthermore, pet-related challenges such as behavioural and/or health issues can lead to high levels of stress in owners and potential pet relinquishment. 

During the first year of the study, we carried out a nationally representative UK-wide online survey with adult pet owners (aged at least 18 years) who: 

  • were experiencing challenges with their pet/s (no matter how significant or small they seem); 
  • felt like they are struggling to provide the best care for their animal/s on their own; 
  • were thinking about giving up a pet, or  
  • had to give up a pet (and had to rehome, leave them, or have them put to sleep) 

An in-depth qualitative study was also undertaken between December 2022 and April 2023 with a purposive sample of 20 pet owners who were experiencing financial hardship and challenges with their pets.  

Read our initial summary of findings

We relaunched our survey during the summer 2023 with a view to comparing the situation for pet owners with last year's data. We will examine any change, as a result of the financial crisis, in the challenges experienced by pet owners, and highlight the various impacts on both people and pets.

Funded by Blue Cross.