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I’m not sure where we would be without our Mad Money pets. As most of my longtime readers know, we have a total of 4 furry companions in our household. And, we mostly love every minute of it.
When Mr. Mad Money Monster and I joined forces, we also multiplied our pet count. The more the merrier, right? If you’re just tuning in, here’s the quick pet rundown. We have 2 Mad Money Pups and 2 Mad Money Cats. They all make cameo appearances on the blog from time to time – mostly with an
insightful wisecracking comment towards the end of each post.
Before we get into our healthy pet food hack to keep our pups playing fetch and our cats chasing lasers, let’s do a quick photo refresher to get you reacquainted with the furry side of our family!
I’m not sure why, but our Mad Money Cats seem to make it into more posts than our Mad Money Pups. This certainly isn’t due to any preferential treatment – probably more so because our cats seem to be a bit more expressive and, therefore, photogenic :). And, here they are…
Keeping Our Pets Healthy
Keeping our pets healthy is one of our top priorities. We try to do everything with frugality in mind. They all get plenty of exercise and even enjoy our in-home, DIY grooming treatments, as needed. It’s safe to say our furry companions want for nothing and are spoiled rotten.
However, there is one arena where we don’t skimp to save a buck. And that’s their food. We are fortunate to be in a position where we’re able to provide them with a higher quality, grain-free food that’s better for their overall digestion and health. We’re completely okay with not being frugal when it comes to their food – and we have a really good reason for it.
The Original Mad Money Cat
Many of my longtime readers will remember the original Mad Money Cat. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to him before we were ready. But let’s face it, you’re never really ready to say goodbye.
Although it’s true that Mad Money Cat was no spring chicken, he was healthy in EVERY way, except his digestive system. The last year of his life was a bit of a struggle. We made a ton of trips to the vet for many diagnostic tests, ultrasounds, you name it.
I adopted Mad Money Cat from a shelter when I was in college. And because I was in college, I didn’t have the financial wherewithal to buy expensive pet food.
So, what did I do? I fed him what I could afford. I bought him an inexpensive cat food from the grocery store. As time went on, I graduated, got engaged, obtained gainful employment, and started to buy the more expensive, grain-free food for him.
But then life got in the way. My fiance and I broke up, my father died, and I had to reboot my life. Not surprisingly, rebooting one’s life can be really expensive. So, it was back to the inexpensive grocery store food for Mad Money Cat. And on and on it went for many years to come.
The Digestive Decline
Mad Money Cat started to have issues in early 2016. When we took him in for an exam, our vet told us he either had extreme Irritable Bowel Disease or cancer, and it was nearly impossible to distinguish the culprit. So, despite the ultrasound, we ended up treating the symptoms because, ultimately, it really wouldn’t change the outcome.
Immediately, we switched to a grain-free food at the recommendation of our vet. And almost immediately, Mad Money Cat was back to “normal” digestive health. His symptoms disappeared overnight and he lived as he always had for the next 6 months, until the symptoms started to creep back again.
Slowly but surely his digestive system started to fail again, despite the grain-free food. But thanks to that grain-free food, we had another 6 months with our beloved Mad Money Cat.
We spent thousands of dollars on his healthcare that last year, and I can’t help but think that his outcome could’ve been a lot different had I fed him grain-free food for his entire life.
Does The Quality Of Pet Food Really Matter?
It’s true, we can’t definitely say that feeding our original MMC a higher quality food over the course of his life would’ve significantly extended it. But, I do think it’s safe to assume that it wouldn’t have shortened it.
In my opinion, the old adage, you are what you eat, certainly rings true for humans just as it does for animals. And the closer we can get to a natural diet, the better our bodies will respond. Of course, it’s not realistic for us to allow our pets to roam free and actually eat a natural diet, or for us to prepare fresh meat each day for them. So, we do the next best thing!
Other articles you might enjoy:
- A Celebratory Final Farewell To Mad Money Cat
- The DIY Pet Grooming Hack You Need To Know About
- Pet Ownership: A Frugal Guide To Happy, Healthy Pets
- Owning A Pet Sucks!
- There Is Never A Good Time For A Surprise Vet Bill
- How We Save Money By Having Our Groceries Delivered
Our Healthy Food Hack
Since our beloved companions are all stuck inside the confines of our home and fenced-in backyard, the next best thing in our opinion is to provide them with high-quality, grain-free pet foods. After our experience with the original MMC, we truly value being able to give our pets a more natural, easier-to-digest food option.
And since we order most of our groceries online, we do the same thing for our pet food! It saves us time. And as we all know, we really value our family time around here. Unfortunately, we’re unable to order our pet food with our groceries, so we use Amazon.
Our Mad Money Pups enjoy Whole Earth Farms, Grain-Free Recipe with pork, beef, and lamb. We tried switching them last year to another brand that was a few dollars cheaper, but Mad Money Pup 1 had major gas issues. And…that’s pretty much all you need to know about that. Back to Whole Earth Farms we went.
Our Mad Money Cats enjoy EVO, Grain-Free Turkey and Chicken Formula. In full disclosure, this food isn’t the least expensive grain-free option out there, but our two fools have gone on hunger strikes (not even joking a little) in the past when we tried to switch brands. So, back to EVO we went.
Overall, feeding our pets grain-free foods isn’t the least expensive option around, but we consider it one heck of a hack when we compare it to the extravagant longterm health care costs we could face instead.
Pro Frugal Tip
Amazon isn’t always the cheapest way to acquire our healthy pet food. Sometimes our local, specialty pet store runs a 2 for 1 special on their food. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s definitely worth checking out from time to time to save some major money. Last year I was able to stock up and buy enough 2 for 1 bags to last us for about 3 months. Woot!
What do you feed your pets to ensure they’re eating a healthy diet? Please share your frugal tips in the comments!