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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Our Pets' Feeding Habits Run Our Lives


Seph begs for food by scratching at the closet door.
Seph begs for food at the closet door
Every morning, our cat Seph wakes me up anywhere from 1-3 hours before my intended wake-up time, usually as soon as the sun comes up.  I try to ignore it, but his persistence is unmatched, and he consistently finds new ways to force me to get out of bed. Some of his favorite tactics are scratching at the bed, standing above my head, knocking things down, meowing loudly enough to wake up the puppy, etc.
Pearl loves to eat.
Pearl loves to eat
Pearl, our puppy is next.  After we go outside in the morning, she wants food immediately and then wants something to chew on.  She always scarfs down her meals very quickly and needs to eat anything that Kita eats or she throws a temper tantrum.  She also gets very protective over her food if she thinks any of the other pets are too close, which is a behavior that is worrisome and hope to change.

Zoey begs for food with his eyes.
Zoey begs for food with his eyes

My cat, Zoey, doesn't bug us for food so much but he certainly can eat.  He is a little overweight so we try to limit his meals, but he has a habit of stealing all of the other pet's food if he is hungry and has access to the food.  This extends to any of our food that he can find in the garbage or on the counter, so we limit his access to the kitchen.  The only way that this is possible is his fear of the dogs and they are between him and the kitchen.

Kita as a puppy drinking water.
Kita as a youngster
Our Husky, Kita, is the most well-behaved pet when it comes to food.  He is allergic to chicken, so we have to be very careful that nothing we give him has any chicken in it at all, or he vomits.  Often, his food can sit out all day without him touching it sometimes, but then other days he eats it immediately.  On the rare circumstances that he wants more dry food, he will hit the empty bowl until it flips over in order to get our attention.  He is also crazy about treats, rawhides, and wet food.  Luckily, he doesn't beg for these items, but gets extremely excited about them.

The collective eating habits of the 4 pets combined can get expensive.  To combat this, we collect pet food coupons, watch for sales at the stores, and have loyalty cards for each of the pet stores that are nearby so that we can get discounted prices and coupons in the mail or by email.  We purchase rawhides, bones and toys online when we find sales on Amazon or other sites.  I also have signed up for email alerts for the pet foods we buy most often by visiting their websites, and occasionally they will email coupons and sales.  I have my family members look for coupons for our favorite pet products and they clip and send them to us or give them to me when I see them.  Regardless, their food is costly, so I'm always open to new tips on saving money without buying lower quality food.  They are valued family members and are too important to let them eat anything that could shorten their lifespan or make them sick.