WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Inflation and an ongoing pet food shortage are burdening pet owners during a time when everything is more expensive.
Kimberly Kelsey comes to the City Paws Dog Park in West Palm Beach with her two dogs, Amber and Charlie, every day.
"I love my puppies very much. I would leave my house before I get rid of my dogs," Kelsey told WPTV.
It's a quiet, shaded park, making for a nice break from the financial stress that's burdening pet owners right now.
"A giant breed of dogs, they eat two cans a day, so that's like $6 just on wet food," Kelsey said. "If you do dry food, that's $40-$50."
Prices are up right now due to inflation and an ongoing pet food shortage due to COVID-19-related supply-chain issues that are still affecting the market, according to Pawtracks.com.
"He's allergic to chicken, so a lot of the foods have chicken in it. So to make it even harder, the foods are getting even harder to find. Because of his allergy, it makes it even 10 times more stressful," Kelsey said.
Contact 5 spoke with a financial planner Reshell Smith who said there are some simple ways to save money right now while also giving your pets the resources and food they need.
"Some of the pet items are definitely increasing," Smith said. "You can Google a shelter or a diversion program in your area for animals, and those diversion programs help with a few things. So, one, they can help with food. They can help with kibble, and they can also help with vet care."
Smith also suggests making adjustments in your life, like cutting out things you don't need.
"So, whether it be at the grocery store, whether it be on those discretionary items like clothes, dining out, maybe vacations or whatever, the little extra things that you would normally do," Smith said.
That is exactly what Kelsey told WPTV she's been doing to be able to feed her dogs.
"I had to cut a couple of things like I can't go out to dinner as much," Kelsey said. "[I] had to do other compromises to just make sure that they eat because you can't leave them starving."