Pet Food Banks in the UK
Pet Food Banks in the UK
With times being very difficult for a lot of people at the moment, many people are having to turn to food banks as a way to get through really challenging times. But many of these people will have pets – and how will they get food for their pets?
Some people don’t need help for long – they just need to get through a month, two months, six months or more, and they will be all right. If we can help pet owners get through this time, this will mean more pets can stay at home instead of coming into rescue.
Helping pets and pet charities
Please, if you are in a position where you can, please see what you can do to help and support, whether it's by volunteering, fostering, donating money or products, and driving, or any admin tasks. Adopt, don't shop for a pet if you want to have a pet. And if your pet has recently passed away, please give any left over unopened food to a local rescue. It could make a huge difference to another pet.
It maybe your local animal charity is also accepting donations of cat and dog and small animal food and has needs along the lines mentioned above – toys, blankets, treats etc – so why not get in touch and ask them? They may be running a pet food bank already or know of the one nearest to you, or you could contact a local food bank and see if they are taking in pet products as well, or at least ask if they could take some in. And if you're in the habit of giving your pet/s Christmas presents, why not give on their behalf to a local rescue instead? You could also ask pet shops and supermarkets if they have pet food banks or links to them or opportunities to donate pet food. Check local animal charities for Amazon wish lists and wish lists not on Amazon.
Please, if you can help an animal charity by fostering for a few months, please help. It means you have them at home and many animal charities (though not all) will pay for food and vet bills while they are with you - fostering schemes vary. You can make a huge difference in an animal's life and help them move on to a new, happy home. Contact local animal charities to talk to them about it.
Advice from the programme on ITV about the cost of living crisis
- Is your pet obese? Cut out the treats and you may also be feeding your pet too much anyway. The Pet Food Manufacturers Association has a pet-o-meter so you can see if your pet is overweight - this could be a good time to get them to lose weight which isn't good for their health
- Look for the word "complete" on the label - the most expensive isn't always the best. If you change your pet's food, change it gradually, blending new food in with the old. Buy small tins for cats to start with as they are very fussy eaters, as we all know!
- Bigger bags may have greater savings
- Go for a full life policy, not an annual one with pet insurance. You may be able to get pet advice online/on the phone before going in.
- See if your vet as an annual rate which you can pay monthly to cover check-ups and vaccinations
- Be honest with your vet and talk to them about meeting veterinary costs before procedures - there may be alternative ways of treatment
- Handling your pet e.g. regular grooming will mean you get to know their bodies well and can quickly spot lumps and bumps that are new so that you can get them checked earlier rather than later.
Here's a list of pet food banks - I'm adding to it !
More and more animal charities will probably open pet food banks over the coming months so check with yours, with your vet, with pet shops, to see if they know of any near you.
Edinburgh Dogs and Cats Home launched a pet food bank back in 2019. It provides food, jackets, collars, leads and bowls and bedding to owners in need. And they have staff on hand to give advice and support. Their goal is to enable owners to keep their pets at home. They have partnered with over 50 human food banks, to reach as many pet owners as possible. They have a list of pet food banks here. They urgently need small packs or multipacks of dog and cat food, dog and cat treats, blankets, toys and jackets. Their website tells you how you can donate. You can donate for the pet food bank and for the cats and dogs at Edinburgh Dogs and Cats Home. There’s a list of products they need here
The Blue Cross which also has lots of Q&As for owners e.g. is it okay to feed my pet scraps from the table? And it has a list of other organisations who can help. Find their pet food banks here Their pet food banks currently support dogs, cats, small pets, chinchillas, degus, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rabbits, rats. They also need donations. They ask that you call them if you have specific needs for your pets to ensure they have what you need.
Paw Food Bank is in Northumberland – they urgently need donations (food and £) and they need volunteers e.g. drivers to deliver and collect and to be a drop off/collection point
In Northern Ireland, there’s the 7th Heaven Animal Rescue Trust who have a food bank
There’s Noah’s Ark Pet Aid in Bury
What to do if you can't afford your pet any more - advice from ITV
Pet stores and vets may know of local pet food banks. Ask on social media – others may be wanting to know as well.
In Portland, Oregon, there’s the Pongo Fund
The Cambridge Humane Society, ON, has an emergency pet food bank
In Canada, there’s the Animal Food Bank - WINNIPEG SERVICES, please email [email protected]. For inquiries related to KELOWNA, PENTICTON, OLIVER, OSOYOOS SERVICES, please email [email protected]. For inquiries related to VERNON and LAKE COUNTRY SERVICE