AS THE cost of living crisis continues, pet owners are also feeling the pinch.
The rising cost of pet care is resulting in a record number of dogs being abandoned or given up for adoption.
A pet food and accessory retailer in Totton says pet food stores have a duty of care to help offer cost-saving measures where they can.
Healthy Pet Store has reassured customers that it is possible to feed an average-sized 15kg dog for as little as 71p a day.
It comes as the Daily Echo runs Your Money Matters - our campaign aimed at helping you save cash.
Many pet stores around the UK offer multi-buy deals and Healthy Pet Store's store manager, Richard Wall, says this is a great way to cut back on costs if you are struggling to afford pet care, including food.
Richard said: "Recent talk about the cost crisis said that the average pet owner will spend £250 a month on pet care, with £50 of that budget going towards food. However, £50 is far more than what is needed to feed a dog with healthy food.
"It is heartbreaking to know that so many dogs are being given up for adoption due to the rise in the cost of living.
"We want caregivers to know we can help them provide their pets with good value, wholesome and healthy food.
"Dogs can be saved from being given up for adoption despite the rise in cost of living."
Richard said that it is possible owners could be overfeeding their cats and dogs, which he described as a "perfect opportunity straight away to save money".
"My advice is to ask a vet or a knowledgeable pet food shop for a realistic body score," he said.
"Ask them to double-check the amount which is fed each day.
"Then it could be a win-win for pet and purse. If 25 per cent less food is fed, that’s a 25 per cent cost saving."
Richard stressed that pet care is not just made up of food.
He said: "Another way of saving for unexpected bills is to start a bank account fund instead.
"Whilst I would never recommend forgoing inoculations as these are so important, there are other costs or all year round costs such as flea and tick treatments where a preventative 'just in case' approach may not be the most cost-effective."
He added that cat owners can "absolutely benefit financially from looking out for meaty deals".
Richard explained: "Cats hardly eat anything compared to dogs and since the domestic cat population, especially indoor cats, may also be exposed to overfeeding, caregivers can again easily save costs by switching to a highly digestible meat-only-based diet.
"Cost of living concerns aside, cats do benefit from chewing meat to help keep their teeth clean – which in turn may help to avoid veterinary trips in the future.
"My overall message is there are ways to save costs, most of which centre around giving our pets less to eat and not falling for those puppy eyes."
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