Campaigners say a temporary zero rating would help struggling owners keep their animals. 

A pet charity is urging the Government to pause VAT on pet food and vet’s fees. 

Dogs Trust says that more than one in ten owners are struggling to afford the cost of their dogs in the current financial climate. 

Its ‘Paws the VAT’ campaign hopes to reduce the cost of food and vets’ bills by removing the 20% tax to help more owners keep their pets. 

Currently, Dogs Trust is receiving record numbers of enquiries from owners asking to hand over their dogs. February saw a total of 5,566 requests.  

“The majority of dog owners now say they’d struggle to pay an unexpected vet bill of £500 and at Dogs Trust we’re receiving an astronomical number of calls from desperate owners who feel they simply can’t keep their dogs,” says chief executive Owen Sharp. 

Most animal food, including horse feed, is zero rated for VAT provided it’s not packaged as pet food. Working dog food is exempt from the tax. 

Animal bedding, meanwhile, attracts the standard rate of 20% VAT. 

In the past, some manufacturers of shavings attempted to market their products as suitable for domestic heating fuel which is VAT-able at the lower rate of 5%.

Find the Dogs Trust’s petition to ‘Paws the VAT’ here.

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