05 December, 2020

Pet Spending Management During the Pandemic

This post will look into my personal journey into how this pandemic changed my spending habits, and how I try to save due to these events. I'm not stating one way is the right and wrong way of doing things, but this is just how I attempted to tackle this. 

Ever since owning about 20 Guinea Pigs, I'd say I almost became like a Guinea Pig expert. I learned about their behavior, care and the cost of owning them. What I came to discover from currently owning 2 dogs, 1 snake, 1 bird, 1 mouse, and 2 rabbits, our 6 Guinea Pigs are the most wasteful pets in the house. Majority of their food, grass and treats purchased weekly, well, it never gets eaten. I try to wait a bit longer until they eat it, but eventually I have no choice but to clean out their cages, thus, most of it being unsalvageable. I try to painstakingly pick out each grass from the bedding, every treat and pellet, but it's time consuming and I learn it's soggy. Once Guinea Pigs potty on their food, well, ours refuse to eat it afterwards which I feel is a waste. I have to throw it away. This I really hate. I don't like throwing away money. 

As you may know, buying these things add up really fast. So I have been trying to find more ways to cut spending for our pets. I noticed after the pandemic, I stopped buying the special treats I would order for our Rabbits and Guinea Pigs. Many of them came from Chewy.com or Amazon, but I now exclusively buy them from Walmart and occasionally Petco. A part from buying this, we still do feed them lettuce, celery, bananas, grapes and other vegetables/fruit though when we're able to.

I read this year how Guinea Pigs and Rabbits are actually meat animals. Meaning, not really designed for pets, but food. In this case, they are capable of eating anything. Guinea Pigs are rodents. This is contrast to many other sources that tell you Guinea Pigs must be given a superior diet of only fresh fruits, veggies, grass and Guinea Pig pellets. We began giving our pets whatever we were eating. I am a vegetarian and my mom's a vegan, so we eat a lot of fruit and vegetables anyway. However, whatever else we eat, we share it and our pets eat it. We can share raisins, nuts, dried fruits, which is already in their treats. The companies try telling you that it isn't the same thing, but IT IS. However, they are able to eat food like bread, rice, meats, crackers, cakes (no frosting), cookies, popcorn and leftovers. This is while maintaining their health. These things are given to them more like treats than a meal though. 

In order to help with food waste, our Rabbits, the Mouse, and also having a Guinea Pig pack is better. I prefer pet Mice and Rats really because they are less picky eaters, who would eat anything you give them. They tend to waste less as well. Guinea Pigs on the other hand are more picky, and must be trained to eat specific things. If they are not use to eating something, they won't eat it. What we do however is keep reintroducing new food to them. Eventually, they try it; most of the times they like it. Whatever one pet won't eat, the other one will; this is how we've been doing things. 

Let's talk next about bedding, which is another costly item. Guinea Pigs and Rabbits are grazers, they eat constantly all day. Well these pets being grazers are another reason food can be an issue. While they do waste, they also eat quite a lot. They're greedy animals to own. Ours can consume four lettuces in a single day. So we had to cut back on how many they were actually eating. Due to how much they eat, you can image how much they potty. This is why we hoped to potty train our Guinea Pigs, but our new ones seem to think their toilets are seats instead of toilets! So, it's not turning out well. Online, it states you're suppose to change their bedding about everyday. That's about right. So, we go through lots of bedding. Too much actually. All I do is try to get the cheapest one I can find. I just don't like the fleece idea. It's pretty gross when I tried it. So I prefer bedding. However, you are able to give Guinea Pigs fleece instead of bedding. You just keep rewashing it. However, Guinea Pigs have a very bad strong odor. It wasn't really working out giving them pads and blankets. 

I'm still working on how to help with the spending for their bedding. I'll update this with a new post when I discover it. I just didn't realize the cost of owning these animals were until I became owners of them. It wasn't until the pandemic did I start cutting down on spending. I will like to further this discussion on pet spending in future posts. Thanks for reading this... 

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