Why Are More Australians Giving Up Their Pets?

The cost of living has soared around the world as the effects of the pandemic and the Ukraine war push up the price of food, fuel and other essentials. It is not just the food that we eat that is now costing more, prices for pet food and other products for domestic animals have also jumped. The cost-of-living pressures are a large factor as to why Australians are giving up their pets. But people are also having second thoughts about pets they adopted during the pandemic. What are your thoughts LiveTribers? Why are more Australians giving up their pets?

Posted by on 23 Nov 2022

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    I don't have any. Grew up with some tho.

    Posted by MS on 14 Aug 2023

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    We could never, ever think of giving up our pets. They are our family. Our five cats are our world

    Posted by Kitty000 on 14 Feb 2023

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    I think is relate to values. When you truly belief your pets are part of your family, you don’t give it away under any circunstances

    Posted by Gabi87 on 13 Feb 2023

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    I would not give up my pet for any reason. If I had to save money, I would do it elsewhere, rather than give up my pet. People should think very carefully about giving somebody an animal as a pet. People should choose a pet for themselves. We have had to adopt a number of kittens that were abandoned as Christmas presents. People get them for their children, but then later the novelty wears off. A pet is a pet for life, not just for a Christmas or birthday present.

    Posted by tassiegirl on 15 Dec 2022

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    I think the pet the had during the pandemic is now a problem for them as they no longer have the time to devote to the pet and the pet then misbehaves because of lack of attention. Things have changed.

    Posted by CILLY0 on 06 Dec 2022

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    I guess other than increasing cost, too much hassle would be another reason.

    Posted by Jay on 05 Dec 2022

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    Perhaps we require a licence to own pets - where all the relevant questions regarding one's capacity to meet the needs of their care for their entire lifespan could be considered seriously? People often do not give due consideration to their decision to have a pet, considering their own needs paramount to the other animal. Sad, indeed.

    Posted by Spiderwoman on 05 Dec 2022

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    increase in cost of living.

    Posted by ayuicyi on 05 Dec 2022

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    Pets are expensive and people are struggling to pay for essentials. They can't afford to have pets.

    Posted by merryl on 05 Dec 2022

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    I think it is very sad that some Australians are giving up their pets because of the rapidly rising costs. I know my budget has been affected but, fortunately, because my dog is small it isn't as bad as for owners of large dogs. I supplement her food with leftovers, carrot and other vegies which helps. Mental health has suffered a lot with covid, the war and now the cost of living, and pets are great stress relievers, but bills, mortgages and rent need to come first. Very sad :(

    Posted by sandra on 02 Dec 2022

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    It's getting too expensive to keep pets, especially for older people. Also if you have to take the pet to the vets it costs a fortune. People are struggling to afford it these days.

    Posted by vlee on 02 Dec 2022

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    I have had four cats until recently - I have two now. The cost of looking after them in the way they deserve is astronomical. The cost of litter has jumped 70% and their food just keeps going up every week. I don't believe the supermarkets can justify the price increases. They are just gouging.

    Posted by WILOLANE on 02 Dec 2022

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    Cost of pet food + food humans consume is becoming expensive. Bills, rent, Mortgages, fuel are going up too fast. Wages don’t want to move to help with living. Pets are family. If we can’t look after them this is why people have to get rid of their pets. They can’t afford to look after anymore. It’s sad very sad to see pets leaving home.

    Posted by danni24 on 02 Dec 2022

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    Having a pet is a lifetime commitment, not something to be taken lightly or for your convenience because of a lock down or boredom. Before considering getting a pet, think about the next 10-15 years of your life. Can you commit to providing a home, food, shelter, health care, training & love for the animal? If the answer is no or you're unsure then you're not ready for a pet & should not get one. It is the pet that suffers in the end, being abandoned. I see so many advertisements for pets claiming they are moving & can't take the pet with them it makes me wonder if they would abandon their children in the same manner. I would never even consider doing this, if our pets can't come with us then we just don't go. The cost of living has increased but there are ways of reducing food costs for your dog. Ours are fed a mix of wet & dry dog food along with dog meat, a bag of cooked cheap frozen vegetables & a little cooked rice or pasta. I also save our vegetable peelings & offcuts (not pumpkin skins or anything toxic to dogs) & toss them into the pot with the dog vegetables & rice to cook. This was recommended to us by a reputable breeder 14 years ago, all our dogs have been fed like this since & have had happy healthy long lives.

    Posted by Tess on 02 Dec 2022

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    Having a pet is almost like having kids, they have their expenses too which is hurting anyone earning an income at this current time.

    Posted by Yojimbo on 02 Dec 2022

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    The costs of vet bills are excessive there should government audits to ensure that there's no price gouging. Pets are a lifetime commitment. I know as I hav two aged cats

    Posted by tweety6674 on 29 Nov 2022

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    Yes. It is not only cost of living pressures. In Qld., there is a shortage of tick anti-venom & the cost is sky high. The ticks are a big problem this year. Vet bills are enormous, so Fidos are being taken to shelters in increasing numbers.

    Posted by Rosscoloco on 29 Nov 2022

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    With busy lives returning post pandemic people have less time to nurture & provide the care requured to pets. Added to that the cost of living increasing meaning people need to decide feed self, paybills, roof over their heads vs adding in cost of pet food, vets and stretching themselves financially

    Posted by Simone on 29 Nov 2022

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    I don't know anyone who got a pet during the pandemic and I don't know anyone who has given up their pet in recent times. I am distressed by owners who are giving up their pets now that lockdown is over for them and they are back at work with less time to look after a pet. They don't appear to be good planners if they didn't think ahead about what would happen once life returned to "normal'. I feel very sorry for those people who have had to give up their pets because they can no longer afford to feed them. I understand that this can happen - prices in supermarkets have gone up much more than the 10% or so that economists said would be likely to happen. I can't believe how much the price of some products has increased. Pet food has increased in price definitely. The cost of taking your pet to the vet has also increased. Overall keeping a pet must be more and more difficult for people on low incomes and on fixed incomes. It is a very sad situation.

    Posted by Hispania on 29 Nov 2022

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    Pet owners are beginning to struggle with the cost of food and non-food items for their pets. Not to mention vet bills, etc.

    Posted by Lisa on 29 Nov 2022

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    This is so sad! The cost of providing for a pet is definitely going up, I have personally noticed this with the food bill each week, and as one other commenter mentioned vet bills are ridiculous. But pets are so much more than an animal, they are comfort and therapy whether we realise we need it or not. They provide companionship and unconditional love, amusement, exercise and can be conversation starters. I guess people are giving them up because of the cost as a main factor and some people who adopted during lockdowns have found that they no longer have the time to devote to a pet. As a family with an extremely tight budget I sympathise on that score, we a going without other things to continue to provide for our pets - there’s no way I could give them up, we love them too much, so we’ll continue to struggle through and hope that costs ease sooner rather than later.

    Posted by DM37 on 29 Nov 2022

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    This is very sad, you feel for the pets. Please think about it seriously before getting a pet.

    Posted by Karen on 29 Nov 2022

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    I didn't realise more people were giving up their pets. i guess because they can't afford ihem or aren't able to take care of them.

    Posted by Ally42 on 29 Nov 2022

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    rising cost of living definitely a huge factor in people giving up their pets.

    Posted by Paul on 29 Nov 2022

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    The expense is ridiculous for pet surgery

    Posted by mooo on 27 Nov 2022

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    I imagine people have taken on more than they realised. Cost would be a major factor.

    Posted by yelsha42 on 25 Nov 2022

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    The costs rising definitely contribute towards people giving up their pets, I also think it’s the lack of proper research involved when selecting said pet

    Posted by MrsWalters on 25 Nov 2022

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    Think it’s a combination of those reasons, but mainly think people were lonely during lockdown, now they don’t need them they’ve given them up, selfish really. We had to give our cat up years ago. She kept attacking my son who was barely 1 at the time. It was unfortunate.

    Posted by tutti_cutie on 25 Nov 2022

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    Definitely the cost of living is a major factor. The increase in fuel, food etc has a massive impact on our daily lives. Although I know people love their pets, as they are a part of the family, they also have to take into account the rest of the household and unfortunately pets at times are not of paramount importance.

    Posted by Rachel on 25 Nov 2022

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    In my case I had to find another loving home for my dog as I could no longer give her the life she deserved to have. I had a 3 month stay in hospital followed by shorter stays. Thankfully there was a lovely couple who offered to adopt her. My dog now has a boyfriend and has four other small dogs and 2 cats to keep her company. The man and woman in the household also use computers so she's still got the opportunity to 'help' them with their computer keyboards.

    Posted by Jezemeg8 on 25 Nov 2022

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    Cost of living is definitely a factor in this issue but also people were isolated from the rest of society and that made a pet more attractive but people were not thinking of the consequences or burden they may impede on them selves there would be more underlying factors that are viable too one other being disciplinary issues being in lockdown and isolation you couldn’t get your dog or pet to services outdoors like walking services and training academies and so fourth if your at all a pet lover or have worked around animal shelters or care facilities and so fourth you experience all kinds of reasons why people do this but one things for sure we need more people’s awareness around educating and informing and perhaps stricter rules and regulations on adoption or purchasing of live animals of all species not just exotic and endangered species but a whole bunch of things need to be put in place as when we start to get more feral species it endangers our protected wildlife and animals

    Posted by Nunga on 25 Nov 2022

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    It's definitely because of the rise in cost of living. I have a cat and the price of cat food has jumped by $3 $4 even $5 ... not cents which is usually the way it does increase. It's sad and unfair. I cant imagine the pain of giving up your pet because you can't afford to feed it and yourself and pay your bills. Money is the root of all evil and such high price increases is just greed and not nessasary. I see on the news tonight people are running out of petrol on highways etc because of the price increase. I know my cars tanks on empty.

    Posted by Leelita on 25 Nov 2022

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    When people were imprisoned in their homes during the " pandemic" they were lonely and required the company of a pet. Now the "covid pandemic " which is really the influenza rebranded because the flu allegedly vanished during the pandemic is almost over people realise they don't need all the maintenance of a pet so they get rid of them.

    Posted by 7seven7 on 25 Nov 2022

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    Cost-of-living pressures are a large factor. Quite a few people are also having second thoughts about pets they adopted during the pandemic. During the pandemic we saw a rise in taking in pets as it was seen as away to avoid being lonely or wanting that connection with something new. However, now financial pressure is leaving people in desperate a desperate state.

    Posted by Jessica on 25 Nov 2022

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    People have to realise, when adopting a young pet they are committing to at least 10 years of ownership and care. Life has many ups and downs, hardships and inconveniences, but that pet is part of the family, and shouldn't be just given away or surrendered thoughtlessly.

    Posted by SEARS on 25 Nov 2022

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    The rising cost of living is having an impact on many households, but I also believe many impulse pet purchases made through the Covid lockdowns is now having an impact on many households as individuals are returning back yo work outside of their homes, leaving many pets stranded at home on their own and families returning or abandoning these pets. Either way not a great outcome for many pets an an issue that needs to be addressed.

    Posted by Tedskeeeeez on 25 Nov 2022

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    I think people do not realise the cost of looking after a pet the vet fees can get quite expensive.

    Posted by iwtw on 25 Nov 2022

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    ace bowler

    The power elites of this world are making it harder and harder to make a decent living for the humans. How are we supposed to pay for food and vet care for our pets?

    Posted by ace bowler on 25 Nov 2022

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    Many used pets to get out and about during Covid as this was allowed. Once no longer required the typical throw away society got rid of them. Nice people - NOT. Yes there is a cost to owning a pet but this should be recognised when taking one on. You can feed a pet cheaply and it does not require expensive dog food. Vet fees can be expensive but again if your dog is well cared for these should be minimal.

    Posted by coaster on 25 Nov 2022

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    Market guru

    A lot of people adopted pets during the covid lock downs so they get out of the house and take pets for a walk to parks and socialize and now since lockdowns have finished and people have returned to their normal jobs and lives they no longer have the time to care for them along with rising costs.

    Posted by Market guru on 25 Nov 2022

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    Maintenance has become more difficult to save them

    Posted by Indira on 25 Nov 2022

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    The cost of living is rising, inflation is happening. More and more people are looking for part time work outside of their full time jobs to support their families. They might find it hard to support themselves, their children, and then on top of that , their pets.

    Posted by Uzma on 25 Nov 2022

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    Yes we're all struggling, I walk my friends pets for them as they're older and no longer can. I will never give my fluffbag away. Luckily my children and I share the responsibility of our fluffybaby.. Yes vets are expensive, yes food is expensive yes it's hard to get accommodation with a pet luckily I qualified for vetpay. So I can pay an expensive vet bill and pay it back. And we routinely cut-down on our things just so my doggo can stay with us. He's already lived with my mum and my sister. He will stay with us, he's 11 now and has as much spunk and character as both my children.

    Posted by Helen on 25 Nov 2022

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    During lockdowns in Melbourne I observed many more people with dogs taking their animals for a walk. By the end of lockdowns I was sure the dog population was at a par with children with many people having 2 dogs out walking. Having had a dog in the past that i nick named the million dollar dog I did not even consider getting a dog. Animals are so so so expensive to keep and especially if they have diseases or terminal illnesses. So, I am sure in this financial climate a lot of people are financially stretched because of the cost in keeping animals and some of the purchase prices as well.

    Posted by Carol on 25 Nov 2022

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    It is sad, but the cost now is huge and people have less money with costs rising but wages not growing at all

    Posted by Doug on 25 Nov 2022

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    Tara Rata

    Not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Too many people jump into pet ownership without thinking if they can afford it. Makes me sad and angry to see abandoned pets because people don't organise their budget before buying/adopting

    Posted by Tara Rata on 25 Nov 2022

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    Unfortunately some people got a pet when they were working from Homeduring Covid19 , not considering what is going to happen , once they go back to work outside of Home, combine that with the ever escalating costs of food , petrol etc. the poor pets have no chance of keeping their Home .

    Posted by lotte13 on 25 Nov 2022

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    Another Gilly

    I have 3 cats and a dog. 2 of the cats are rescues and 1 cat and the dog are like me at the end of their lifespan. I treasure them but have to seriously consider euthanasia for them because on a fixed income it's getting to I eat or they do. It's all well and good to say if you can't afford pets don't have them but when they came into my family I could afford them.

    Posted by Another Gilly on 25 Nov 2022

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    I think the excitement of owning a new puppy or kitten causes new owners to overlook or not think about the ongoing expenses related to raising a pet. More should be done about informing the new pet owner of these costs at the time of purchase.

    Posted by Ana on 25 Nov 2022

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    People do not realise the commitment that a pet takes and are selfish with their time.

    Posted by Kayla on 25 Nov 2022

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    Everything is so much more expensive. I have always had pets but will need to make sure I do not acquire more in future as I am now on a limited income. I do not have the financial reserves to deal with a pet getting sick. I have one elderly horse left. The cost involved in regular trimming, drenching, dental care especially is huge. I love the horse, she has earned her care in her old age and will not part with her but the burden is enormous. People also have a hard time finding accommodation and pets are not welcome in rentals. That could change. People going back to work probably also no longer want the pet for company. Pretty short sighted and unfair to the animal

    Posted by Tracey on 25 Nov 2022

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    Hai, i think they didn't have time to raise the pet

    Posted by Daniel on 25 Nov 2022

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    They can't even feed themselves.

    Posted by Zi on 25 Nov 2022

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    If they didn't really want or love the pet then it's probably better to give it up now. However, I do feel sorry for the pets as they are abandoned twice.

    Posted by Paula on 24 Nov 2022

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    The initial Sugar Hit of a new pet combined with buyers remorse reality and outrageous veterinary charges have brought the hard truth about caring for, training and owning animals.....not for the poor and ignorant!

    Posted by mact on 23 Nov 2022

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    I think it is not only the cost of living it is other factors too. Here in Perth WA often the food that people want to give their pet on a regular basis is not available due to the transport issues with the floods in the eastern states. The RSPCA do not help out with food for pets which does not help. Another factor is because of low wages etc if the pet needs treatment by a vet the costs are way out of peoples reach, also people like me, who do not drive and may have had a pet whilst their partner was alive and could take the pet to a vet now find they cannot do that and so have to surrender their pet rather than have the pet suffer. More compassionate and available home visiting vets would help as would vets stating up front that they would have payment plans available if they are needed because the pet owner is under enough stress with having to take their pet to the vet without having to beg for a payment plan.

    Posted by meddler on 23 Nov 2022

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