How to Feed Your Pets While on Food Stamps
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It’s a proven fact that having a pet can improve a person’s entire outlook on life. That makes family pets even more important in times of trouble, such as during job layoffs or losses of resources due to fires, floods or other emergencies. That’s why it is so important not to lose your pets when you find yourself in need of food stamp assistance. But, since pet food is not covered by food stamps, keeping your pets well-fed may become a challenge. Listed below are some ideas and resources that can help you.
Don’t Sacrifice Your Pet’s Health by Buying Bad Food
The first thing to remember when trying to feed your pets on a budget is that their health should be your priority. Sometimes, the cheapest pet foods are not necessarily the healthiest. So, even if you find a pet food that is inexpensive, be sure to read the label carefully. Check to see that it will meet your pet’s dietary requirements and that isn’t loaded with unhealthy additives. There are ways to find healthy food on a budget, too. You don’t need to settle for sub-standard pet food just because it is cheap.
Find Pet Food Deals and Coupons
If you use your food stamps wisely for your own food, then you may have some actual money available to buy pet food. If so, you can make that money last longer by waiting until you find deals on pet food or pet food coupons. There are websites that specialize in pet food discount tips and coupons, as well as some websites that explain in which area stores are having pet food sales at any given time. You can also find pet food coupons in the fliers provided when you walk into some grocery stores or in those sent to your house in the mail or as part of your weekly newspaper.
Buy Pet Food in Bulk
An extension of looking for deals on pet food is that you should try to buy it in bulk when you can. For example, dry dog kibble is often less expensive when you buy a big bag instead of a small one. Dry dog and cat foods also tend to be less expensive than canned food. Assuming that there is no conflict with your pet’s dietary needs, you can often save a lot of money by just buying the dry kibble.
Make Your Own Pet Food
One excellent way to feed your pets on food stamps is to make your own pet food. You may not be able to buy pet food with food stamps, but you can often by the ingredients for it. For instance, common human foods that can be used to make home-made cat and dog foods and can be bought with food stamps include salmon, bananas, berries, kale and turkey. But, other types of pets, like birds, might require different ingredients. You will have to do some research to find out what human foods are safe for your particular type of pet to eat prior to concocting your own homemade pet food recipe.
Visit Pet Food Pantries
If you still don’t think you can feed your pet on your own because you are on food stamps, then you can visit pet food pantries in your local area. They are most often located in larger cities, but you can also find some in more rural areas. Sometimes, pet food pantries are part of regular human food pantries, and other times, they are run by stand-alone organizations devoted solely to collecting pet food for needy family pets.
Contact Pet Assistance Foundations
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and many other organizations and animal shelters can be a wealth of resources when you are trying to find ways to feed your pets on a tight budget. Some of those pet assistance foundations might be able to just give you pet food for your pet. Others might provide you with resources and tips to help you feed your pet. In either case, your pet and you will be much better off after you ask for help.
If you use all of the resources available, then you should find it easier to feed your pets on food stamps. But if you are still finding it impossible, then you should also know that there are organizations that may be willing to temporarily house your pet until you get back on your financial feet. However, it is a better idea to ask a family member to temporarily care for your pet, instead. Then, your pet will be well-cared for and properly fed, and you will still be able to reunite with your furry companion in the future.