Millions of owners across the UK say they no longer buy pet food for their four-legged friends because they cannot afford to do so.
Around 24 million owners say they have resorted to feeding their pooch or kitty scraps and leftovers, research by The Blue Cross has revealed.
The animal charity revealed that two thirds of owners pay an average of £11.04 every week to care for their pets, while a fifth say they are dropping essentials such as trips to the vet in order to reduce their weekly pet bill to below £5.
Laura Sleight, head of media relations at The Blue Cross, said: "The sad reality is that some pet owners can either no longer afford to keep their pets or are unable to provide a suitable home for them.
"Animals add so much to our lives but it's important that people understand the cost, time and commitment involved before taking one on."
This research comes as The Blue Cross reports a 19 per cent increase in the number of stray and abandoned dogs it took in last year.