My middle daughter and I have been volunteering at an exotic animal rescue for several months. We have scooped a lot of litter boxes, snuggled many bunnies, discovered the softest animal in the universe, researched animal sounds and meanings, and learned so much about animals, breeds, and pet care along the way.
No one knows pet care like those who do it all day every day. And no one knows inexpensive pet care like a non-profit animal rescue. It wasn’t long before we had completely changed how we manage our own household. Here are five awesome tips that have saved us plenty of money already:
Buy food in bulk. This one sounds like a no brainer, but I still wasn’t doing it. Now that we’re feeding three cats, three chinchillas, two rats, two gerbils, two ferrets, one dog, and a rabbit, I don’t have much of a choice.
Think outside the box to find the best prices. Even with a houseful of furry friends, I don’t do much shopping at the pet store. I get food on Amazon, hay from Tractor Supply Company, and our recycled pet bedding from the grooming salon that hosts our rescue. Pet stores are usually pretty far out of our budget.
Use what you have. We zip-tied a plastic basket I found in the garage to the rabbit cage and filled it with hay. This was free. Real, live hay mangers are not. The ferrets nap in scrap fleece instead of a pricey bed, and they LOVE it. The chinchillas and rodents love burrowing in and chewing on empty boxes from the pantry.
Cut down on what you can. We mix shredded newspaper with the small animal bedding in the litter boxes. It cuts our litter purchases in half, while still remaining absorbent and useful. We also use old towels and fleece instead of bedding for any animal that is litter box trained. It’s washable instead of having to throw it away each week.
Rembember everything doesn’t have to be new. I get a lot of general cages and supplies through garage sales and Facebook groups. Thrift stores are a great source for food bowls and crocks. Check the glass aisle and look for heavier crocks that animals can’t easily tip.
Using these tips, we have cut way down on our monthly animal expenses. Or at the very least, we’re not spending much more even though we now foster seven other pets. What’s your favorite pet care tip?