An Ekkie and Amazon parrot perching in an orange forest friendly eating.

Saving Money While Feeding our Companion Animals

Saving Money While Feeding our Companion Animals

Spoiler Alert, all things are more expensive, and getting more expensive than that, and harder to get before they started getting expensive. If you have a family, you are feeling it all right now. If you have companion animals, you are feeling it all right now. If you got up this morning, you felt it.

I wrote an article titled Waste Not, Want Not before prices went sideways, for that very reason. The coming years are going to be relentless in an ebb and flow of availability and cost fluctuations. It is what it is, because resources were wasted and dumped in landfills for decades. That's another article best saved for later.

Humans can change habits, spending, timing, eating, and what they eat with a nuanced understanding. We stop going out to eat so often. We don't buy expensive cuts of meat, or meat at all. We switch from one brand to a store brand. It's all responsive and understood. We know why food has changed, and we know why we're going to have to accept it. Our companion animals, not so much.

Parrots aren't flexible for a reason. They have opinions and they don't care about our reasons. Go ahead and hard stop treat time. Let the clock sweep right by that moment and do nothing. See what comes of it. Friendly tip; insert earplugs first.

Dogs are a bit more flexible because their primary goal is loving us. And making us love them back. Unfortunately, their digestive tract does not agree with any of that. Try hard stopping a favored brand of food and see what comes of it. Friendly tip; don't let your dog poop in your neighbor's yard. Soft serve is hard to pick up.

Cats are flexible if you define flexible as a superior being looking you straight in the eye with disgust, turning around and leaving the room without a meow. Their digestive tract isn't allowed to vote. And you, human, are an absolute disappointment. Friendly tip; there is no tip. They are cats, and we are seriously annoying to them.

Rabbits are flexible as long as you stay inside a routine with the changes. But do try to keep one item no matter what.

Guinea Pigs aren't flexible at all. You'd think fur sausages would be more accommodating, but it's not in their DNA. They are dying of starvation no matter what you do and when. So, you know, at the very least keep the hay, and guinea pig kibble coming. All else is negotiable and will lead to death scenes only found on Shakespearean stages, anyway. There's no winning with fur sausages. They are all drama.

Leopard geckos, as compared to say bearded dragons, aren't that demanding. Mealworms. Thanks. Beardies on the other hand, that's a level of eyeballing I personally am not strong enough to handle.

I offer up friendly tips for the global economic rash that will be acute and chronic until further notice.

  • Parrot's food requirements are less than we think. A companion parrot generally needs 20 - 25% of their body weight a day in food. A macaw weighing in at 1400 grams needs about 300 calories a day. That math is affected by activity levels, and what's in those calories of course. I'm just saying I totally offer way more food than necessary to all our birds just in case they may starve to death while my back is turned. I'm pretty sure I can stop sMothering to save money.
  • Dog food requirements are exactly what the packaging says they are and no more. Treats of all kinds are not necessary at all. None of them. That's a sMothering I was forced to accept when our Dante proved allergic to absolutely everything. Dogs do not need treats.
  • Cats. I'm not writing anything about them. There's a Cat Assassins group and we all know it. And I am not dying for an article on the internet.
  • Rabbits. You can boil a rabbit's food needs down to unlimited hay and Oxbow rabbit pellets. Fresh vegetables at one cup a day. Which is hard for me because Leonidas looks at me like some Elder Rabbit from a Louis Carrol book and I feel I've made some sort of mistake and am being educated. I'm compelled to add just a little more.
  • Guinea Pigs. You can boil a fur sausage's food needs down to timothy hay and fur sausage pellets. They need more Vitamin C than a rabbit, so make sure your pellets deliver that. This too, is hard for me, because Basil Exposition is a method actor of great skill. I'm convinced and totally sucked into his character's struggle to survive starvation at any cost.
  • Leopard Geckos. Our Rotini and Donatelli Gambini have been hand fed their entire lives. I hand feed hand fed mealworms to them. Lizards do not need lizard treats. They just don't. They need insects that have been gut loaded and they need calcium.
  • Bearded Dragons. Again, I just haven't been able to deal with the eyeballing. I've met a few personally, and both let me know they could tell by the look on my face there was no way I had the skills to handle one of their kind. Consult your vet, or a friend who has successfully survived a Bearded Dragon Eyeballing. I am not that person.
Spoiler Alert, we chose companions. They are a lifestyle choice. For life. Not for convenience, or economy. Friendly reminder: they are totally worth it.
Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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