Showing posts with label dog product. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dog product. Show all posts

Friday 19 January 2024

Dogflation at 9% in Britain against 4% general inflation. Dog owners ripped off.

Image: MikeB

British veterinarians are killing the goose that lays the golden egg. And somewhat mysteriously and without transparency prices of a range of dog products have risen faster than general inflation. To me, being a rather cynical person 😇, the manufacturers and retailers are ripping off dog owners by jacking up their prices after the Covid-19 pandemic. They know that there are more dog owners out there in Great Britain and they want to milk them as much as possible.

Dogflation means the increase in prices of dog related services and products.

That certainly applies to veterinarians. The Times today reports that "125 owners a day give up on pets as dogflation bites". It's a good title with a hint of amusement but this is a serious matter. 😒

The information comes from Dogs Trust, Britain's biggest dog rehoming charity. They say that they are experiencing unprecedented demand. What they mean is that more people than ever are giving up their dogs to the charity.

And the biggest worry for dog owners is veterinary bills. The problem is that independent veterinarians have been bought out by big businesses to form veterinary clinic chains run by accountants who simply prioritise making a big profit rather than providing an excellent service to their patients. 

That's how it works for the big corporations. So Britain has lost those beautiful independent veterinarians. Well, there are still some around but there are far too many vet chains charging inflated prices and they are, as I mentioned in the opening sentence, killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

By that I mean they are reducing the number of pet owners because the cost of owning a pet is too high and because of that there will be less work for veterinary services. You can only charge so much. You can only rip off people so much before they give up and go away. This is beginning to happen.

The Times reports that, "Dogs Trust says record numbers of owners want to give up their animals and some of its kennels are so busy they have waiting lists."

And the problem is the rising cost of dog food, pet insurance and perhaps most importantly veterinary care. And because there are more people giving up pets which is the general trend at the moment, there are less people to adopt them because there are two sides to this problem.

If the mood in the UK is that it is too expensive to own a dog or a cat there are going be less people knocking on the doors of animal shelters looking for a pet to adopt in addition to, as mentioned, more people giving them up.

Last year Dogs Trust received more than 45,000 requests to give up their pet which is the equivalent of 125 per day.

The chief executive of Dogs Trust, Owen Sharp said: "The demand for us to take in dogs is outstripping our ability to meet it at the moment, so we have waiting lists. There is a direct correlation between people struggling to afford to have their dogs and the numbers wanting to give them up."

The charity commissioned Capital Economics, a research company, to work out the value of dogflation versus the general inflation in the country. Dogflation is at 9% while general inflation is at 4%. And Mr Sharp doesn't know why there is this disparity. I know why: it's rip off Britain.

These companies are taking advantage of people. And a survey by Dogs Trust found that veterinary bills are the biggest concern as mentioned.

Mr Sharp said that he was at a loss to explain the steep rise in prices. He said:
"You hear things such as manufacturing costs are higher or raw material costs are higher but you wouldn't really expect them to be disproportionately higher than the production of human food. So is there an issue going on in retail? I don't know. There is a lack of transparency around it, and I don't feel it's getting enough focus at the moment."
Dogs Trust has asked the government to intervene. They want the government to support struggling dog owners by removing VAT on pet food and veterinary services. Pet owners are being disproportionately hit by inflation.

The charity wants as many dog owners to keep their pets as possible and the same would apply to cats. Mr Sharp added that the charity "desperately need the government to step up and play its part for this country's 12 million dogs and their owners."


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 4 August 2023

Pets at Home reports higher sales because of Covid


Pets at Home
Pets at Home. Image in public domain.

UK - NEWS AND VIEWS: The Times reports that the pet products chain, Pets at Home, has reported higher sales because customers continue to splash out on cats and dogs that they bought during the Covid-19 pandemic and this applies despite the squeeze on incomes because of continuing inflation.

This is a reference to the fact that during Covid-19 a lot of people bought cats and dogs, mainly dogs, as companions during that long period of furlough when people were stuck at home, driven, you could argue, to adopting a companion animal to keep them company. They also have the extra time on their hands to go for long walks with their newly acquired dog!

And now of course these people need to purchase pet products for their newly acquired pet. The fact that they are spending money on their pets despite a squeeze on their income indicates that there is still a little bit of fat in the system in terms of family budgeting or they are prioritising the health and welfare of their companion animal over other expenditure.

The group reports that group revenue at the pet-care retailer, which also offers veterinary services rose 7.9% year-on-year to £436 million in the three months to July 20. Veterinary and retail sales rose by 16.3 and 7.1% respectively.

The group believes that they are acquiring new customers at an 'impressive rate' according to the chief executive.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Furbo 360° Dog Camera is potentially a failure for this reason

There's a new dog device on the block and it is called the Furbo 360° Dog Camera. It's being promoted as a way to keep your dog happy when you are away from your home. Where's the cat equivalent by the way?

It contains a rotating camera which allows you to glimpse of your pet pooch when they are at home alone. The camera has a smart sensor to track your dog when they move and when they bark.

You can speak to your dog through a real-time two-way radio. This allows you to soothe them while they are alone and becoming stressed.

It is said that the Furbo 360 "gives you peace of mind when you’re away from your pooches" (Picture: Furbo).  Yes, and in doing so it encourages us to leave them alone for longer. It can be a counterproductive device.

It has another interesting function. You can command the device to release a treat to your dog at the touch of a button or the swipe of a screen. Metaphorically speaking the device throws a bone at your dog. You control the device through an app on your phone. You swipe the screen to release the treat.

Promotional articles obviously state that it is a wonderful device but perhaps typically of me, I see it differently.

It may be good in some instances but knowing human nature as I do it may be a device which encourages people to leave their dog home alone more often and for longer. They might see this device as a means to assuage their guilt. To get around the problem that they have of not being able to be with their dog daily for long periods.

Of course, we all know that nowadays many more people work from home at least part of the week thanks to the extraordinary Covid-19 lockdowns which changed the way the world works forever. This is potentially good for dogs.

It is said, by the experts, that a dog should not be left alone in their home for more than four hours at a stretch. That's quite a tight time limit. I wonder whether people realise this. I doubt it.

The manufacturers of this device obviously saw a window of opportunity. A niche market as they say in business.

But I would argue that it is exploitative of a weakness in the human-to-dog relationship. Dogs need their humans around. Ideally at all times. The human is the pack leader; the alpha dog.

Among the gray wolf packs in the wild, the alpha leader is always there; leading, guiding and educating.

The human-to-dog relationship is a week reflection of the original wild dog relationship and we like to devise devices to make up for our weaknesses. That is the way I see it; slightly negatively admittedly but perhaps also realistically.

Separately, but incidentally, people also have a misconception about domestic cats being independent and therefore being able to accept being alone all day. This is a complete fallacy. You leave a cat alone all day, every working day, and you will have a stressed cat liable to mark territory with urine and liable to stress-related illnesses.

How long can I leave my cat ‘home alone’?

In respect of the need of a cat to be with their caregiver, they are little different to dogs despite the fact that the domestic cat's wildcat ancestors is solitary. This change in character of the domestic cat has occurred over 10,000 years of domestication. They've become sociable and connected to their caregiver. It is to be expected.

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