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NAWT survey reveals small pet ownership comes at a cost

Small, furry pets are among the most popular of companions, but their love comes at a price, according to a new survey by the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT).

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Although up to 32 per cent of small pet-owners say their pets are their greatest companions – above even partners, children and best friends – they also admit that they’ve had to make sacrifices to accommodate the cost of their animals, such as giving up days out, holidays, going to restaurants and buying clothes and luxury food.

Small pet-owners are also tightening their belts in the ways they feed and care for their pets, such as switching to a cheaper brand of food (26 per cent of rabbit-owners; 23 per cent of guinea pig-owners; and 15 per cent of gerbil-, chinchilla-, hamster- and rat-owners) and shopping online for pets’ medicines (27, 19 and 18 per cent, respectively).

The NAWT national pet survey was carried out as part of the charity’s 40th anniversary celebrations in order to understand what “motivates, moves and inspires people to live with animals in 21st-century Britain.”

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