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Cost of dog ownership up 23% since 2021: HelloSafe Canada – Global News Toronto

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Dog owners say they would do anything for their pooches.
Glenda Holt was out Friday with her three-year old shepherd, Gemma, at Sue Higgins Park in southeast Calgary. She said it’s unthinkable not to have a pet.
“I just love having a dog. I need a dog in my life.”
And yet the cost of such an enduring relationship is starting to add up.
“Vet prices are up and dog food, dog food is quite expensive,” Holt said. “It doesn’t matter if you have a big or little dog, prices are increasing.”
Joel Burke was also out in Calgary on Friday, with his two seven-year-old corgis.
“It’s not cheap. Dog food is expensive, pet insurance,” Burke said. “You don’t think of the money, right?”
HelloSafe Canada recently published its latest findings on the cost of dog ownership in Canada, which showed a 23 per cent increase since 2021.
According to the organization’s key data, the average annual expense for a dog in Canada is about $3,020. This ranges from $2,595 for smaller breeds of dogs, to $4,605 for the biggest ones.
Other findings of HelloSafe’s study include:
The Calgary Humane Society says it’s seeing a dramatic rise in the number of dogs people want to surrender, often because of  the unexpected costs of ownership.
Anna-Lee Fitzsimmons, director of public relations with the Calgary Humane Society, said it’s also getting harder to place dogs with new families.
“The wait list right now to surrender a dog to us is over 300. As of yesterday, we had 303 on the wait list,” Fitzsimmons said.
“We took in 23 animals yesterday. Out of those, seven were owner surrendered, and of those seven, five were surrendered because they could not afford the cost of care.”
She said the society has also noticed a big increase in the cost of taking care of pets.
“Food has increased, even our costs here at the shelter to feed our animals has increased about three times as much as it was four years ago.”
The humane society places a high priority on keeping dogs with their families and has a number of programs, from donating pet food to needy families on a short-term basis to more costly help for seniors, Fitzsimmons said.
“We actually have a senior’s program where if you are over the age of 65 and are faced with a vet bill you cannot afford, we can step in and pay the bill so you can keep your pet.”
The human society said anyone experiencing hardship is welcome to inquire about special assistance.
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