Rising pet food prices affecting owners, adoptions

Rising pet food prices affecting owners, adoptions
Rising pet food prices affecting owners, adoptions
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 1:30 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Not even the family cats and dogs are immune to inflation-driven cutbacks. Higher pet food prices can also mean fewer adoptions from shelters and rescues.

The cost of pet food is up 15 percent year-over-year, and pets and pet products are up 12 percent, according to the January consumer price index, and owners are looking for ways to save.

“We’ve been watching the food prices go up for about a year and two years now they’ve been slowly increasing,” said Christina Babcock Ardoin, owner of Misha’s Pets in Lake Charles.

The cost of pet food ingredients has increased for large and small pets, but shipping costs are also playing a large role in the price hikes.

“The shipping cost I think is a big part of it too. I know that our shipping costs to have our products delivered has increased by double, so now we just we order differently,” Ardoin said. “Instead of ordering every single week we order every two to three weeks, so our orders are larger, but we’re consolidating and so that’s helping a little bit.”

Renee Smith with Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue said higher pet food prices mean less adoptions.

“It means that our adoptions are down a lot, in fact, we have had maybe two to four adoptions in about six months,” said Smith.

Nonprofits are depending more on donations because they are housing animals longer.

“Now we’re trying to not only raise an extreme amount of donations to pay our vet bills, we’re also having to house dogs longer, which costs us more, and then feeding them obviously and buying all the things that we normally buy,” Smith said.

Pet owners can save money by using frequent buyer programs, looking for coupons and keeping track of when certain food flavors are on sale. People can also get creative with other ways to save.

“My coffee that I get in the morning is less fancy than it used to be, you know, we vacationed a little closer to home, but you know, you just find ways to cut back and you don’t live above your means,” said Ardoin. “And so that you can provide for your children and your pets the same way you always have.”