School of Health in Social Science

Identifying optimal support for people and pets in the UK

A new project, funded by Blue Cross, examining the nature and extent of challenges experienced by pet owners across the UK


This two-year project builds on the Scottish project we carried out in 2021 and is funded by Blue Cross. The aim is to identify how the charity can better support people to look after their pets through in-depth understanding of the challenges that are currently being experienced. We know, for example, that changes in circumstances (financial, housing, relationships) can have a huge impact on people's ability to look after their pets as well as themselves and the rest of their family (financially or otherwise). 


A white cat resting its head against a person's head


During the first year of this study, we will be carrying out a UK-wide online survey with adult pet owners (aged at least 18 years) who:

  • are experiencing challenges with their pet/s (no matter how significant or small they seem);
  • feel like they are struggling to provide the best care for their animal/s on their own;
  • are thinking about giving up a pet, or 
  • had to give up a pet (and had to rehome, leave them, or have them put to sleep)

Recruitment for the survey will be through Prolific


Information for survey participants with be provided shortly.


A small-scale qualitative study will also be undertaken with a purposive sample of around 20 pet owners who are currently experiencing financial hardship and challenges with their pets. This will provide an in-depth understanding of the nature of pet challenges and support needs and will complement the quantitative survey data.