Budgeting Tips

How to Save Money with Pets

May 10, 2016

How to Save Money

We have a cat. His name is Rambo. Yes, Michael named him.

The Story of Rambo

A few years ago, we heard little meows in the backyard of the house. A neighborhood cat had a litter of kittens in our backyard and was parading them around town. On one particular day when the cat and all of her kittens were off in someone else’s yard, we heard these little cries. And those cries continued on for hours and hours. The crying went on into the next day as well. But the mother cat and all of the kittens were nowhere to be found. Michael and one of the twins, Liz, went into the backyard. They saw the smallest of kittens crying in the back corner of the yard. And he cried and cried. His mom had abandoned him.

So then what happened?

Rambo was the runt of the litter. He was the smallest of the kittens, and he was left hungry, cold, and with so many fleas. It took a few hours of Michael and Liz chasing him around the yard to catch him. Finally they cornered him in the yard and were able to get him into the garage. We had all of Michael’s old shirts and plenty of extra blankets to keep him warm. We went out and bought milk replacer formula for kittens, and we bottle-fed him every 4 hours for weeks. Even at 4am, Michael and I would go down into the garage and feed him. Rambo purred so loud when he was just a little baby. The poor thing had so many fleas so we couldn’t bring him into the house just yet. We gave him a flea bath and the water was stained pink with all of the dried blood from the flea bites he had.

Poor thing…

Finally after about 2 weeks of flea baths, and using up all of our old clothing and blankets to keep him warm, we were able to bring him into the house. Since then he has gotten so big (he’ll be 3 in June!) not to mention he’s put on a little weight… But we now believe he is the only surviving kitten from that litter. We haven’t seen the mom or any of the other kittens since that day they left him in the backyard.

I want a pet!

Well let me tell you why he was the runt of the litter. Not only was he the smallest of the kittens. We also found out after bringing him to the vet to take care of his ability to create new litters of kittens… (sorry Rambo) we found out he has kidney disease. This has been the biggest expense of having a pet. Though having a pet may bring “expenses”- having a pet doesn’t have to be “expensive” Here are a few ways to save!

1- Adopt or Rescue a pet

You all just heard about how Rambo came into our lives. There is nothing more rewarding than saving a life. And that’s what we did. You can also go to a shelter and adopt a pet. I do not recommend searching for a designer pet. These animals usually come with health issues or just cost a fortune to purchase.

2- Pet food

After speaking with the vet, find the right kind of food for your pet. Sometimes different breeds of animals will benefit from different types of foods. Because of Rambo’s kidney disease, he needs prescription food. As a treat to him we cook up some non-seasoned chicken to snack on. Very small amounts! But try to ask your vet what kind of food your animal needs to be healthy and then look for these ingredients on the side of the food bags to make sure he’s getting the right nutrition and you may find that those big brand foods are actually just more expensive for the same ingredients.

3- Pet toys

It’s always fun to give gifts to people. It’s also fun to give gifts to pets. But pets don’t always like what their owners bring home to play with. Rambo hates crinkling sounds. He hates plastic bags and hates foil because of the loud noise it makes. A lot of cat toys have crinkling cellophane inside of the plush toy. We found out after buying a few of these crinkly toys that he wont play with them. The same goes for toys with bells. He hates the sounds of those too… Took more money and more trial and error with the toys. Finally we noticed him playing with one of those LiveStrong rubber bracelets. We found out that he LOVES those. They are very inexpensive and we know we can’t go wrong with them. Once they break, we go to Walmart and pick up a cheap rubber bracelet pack and he now has 3 or 4 toys for a fraction of the cost of 1 toy he will hate. He also plays with twist ties from loaves of bread. A free toy with every loaf! Just like with children, you buy them an expensive toy and they only play with the box? Yeah… Rambo is like that too.

These are a few ways you can save if you’re looking to bring a pet into your home and into your family. Pets need love like humans do, so in deciding to adopt a pet, please be sure that you are able to give it love and attention.

And as a side note: Never buy a pet as a gift to someone not in your immediate family. They may not have the means to take care of it!

Any other ideas of ways to save money with pets? Leave a comment below

-Emily

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