“I’m tightening my belt, but not touching the kibble budget”: inflation torments pet owners

How much does taking care of a dog or a cat cost? According to a recent survey, the average annual budget for a pet is €1,224, including €611 for food, far ahead of hygiene (€356), health (€148), toys and accessories ( €42), health insurance (€41) and care costs (€26). If they are satisfied with little, and will always prefer a good time with their master to the latest fashionable pouic-pouic, animals entail incompressible expenses which are inevitably impacted by inflation. Overview.

The pet food sector strongly affected by inflation

Animal feed, solid or wet, is subject to price increases linked to raw materials. The price of cereals has soared since the start of the war in Ukraine, and the bird flu is also undermining foods made from chicken, turkey or duck. The poultry index was thus 42% higher in May 2022 than in May 2021. “Given this situation, in order to continue to supply high-quality products, we must now pass on part of these additional costs, assures Nestle Purina. At the same time, we work continuously to improve the supply of our raw materials, in particular by supporting French agriculture. According to René Michau, president of PRODAF (union of pet professionals), “prices have skyrocketed but owners say they are ready to make sacrifices, rather than to change the habits of their animals”.

And indeed, the testimonies are without appeal. “I’m tightening my belt, but I’m not cutting corners on the kibble budget,” Emmanuelle assures us. Same speech for Christelle: “I feed (and take care of) my dog ​​and my cat, and I stop restaurants and cinemas”. Arielle does not say anything else: “I prefer to deprive myself, rather than taking cheaper and less good for my animals”.

Solutions but never to the detriment of the animal

To save money, there are still solutions. Felicia turned to big packs for her ferrets, Lilo and Lucky. “I now buy 10kg bags of kibble instead of 1kg bags. It is more expensive on the spot, but ultimately more profitable over time. » Provided you keep the package well closed, away from humidity and light so that the food does not deteriorate. Christiane does the same and buys 14 kilo bags online for her two pinschers. “It’s more economical and I earn points which give me a deduction on my future orders”. The physical signs meanwhile build customer loyalty by focusing on promotions (two trays purchased, one free), the opportunity for owners to build up a stock in advance.

For those who feed their animal with small homemade dishes, we also manage. “For carrots, I don’t hesitate to buy crates 0 mess at my primeur. And for the meat, I take large volumes when I can find it,” testifies Ingrid, Olympe’s mistress, a Cavalier King Charles.

A price increase also at the vet

More surprisingly, the prices of veterinary procedures have also increased, on average by 2.32% since 2021, according to a survey carried out by the Mammouth Unleashed site among more than 2,000 veterinary establishments in France. The clinics pass on the increase in the price of consumables or medicines that they suffer, as well as the revaluation of salaries. The minimum wages of ASVs, specialized veterinary assistants, were thus revised upwards by 3% in January and July.

Here again, according to Timothée Audouin, veterinarian and elected member of SNVEL (national union of liberal veterinarians), “even in a health or economic crisis, people continue to use top-of-the-range services for the health of their animal. and moreover, they are asking for an increasingly qualitative care offer, with necessarily the prices that go with it” . They prefer to arbitrate in other areas. “The animal is an essential companion to daily happiness, unlike 4k TV,” he adds. So in some veterinary clinics, solutions are offered, such as staggered payment for care.

As for Magali, owner of 2 cats, she took out a health insurance contract for them as soon as they were adopted, at the rate of around 20 euros per cat and per month. But “we really find ourselves there when one or the other has a health concern; and in any case, they will never lack for anything”.

*Survey conducted online by Harris Interactive from November 2 to 4, 2021. Sample of 1,015 people, representative of French people aged 18 and over. Quota method and adjustment applied to the following variables: sex, age, socio-professional category and region of the interviewee.)

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