Gourmet Feeding 101
So, you are here because you'd like to attempt to instill some taste in your pet's palate? Or perhaps you and your pet are "hungry" for a new trophy? Well, good luck with that. Gourmet foods are quite a bit more, ah, expensive than you look like you could afford. Yes.
Wait right there! They ARE NOT! You can feed your pet gourmet foods for as little as 15 neopoints! Yes! 15 neopoints! There are hundreds of foods that are buyable. You can get an honorable mention from the gourmet club and never have to set foot in the Trading Post to do it! The truth is that ANY food with a rarity between 90 and 100 is a gourmet food, and plenty of those are cheap. I'm not saying they're necessarily appetizing, but cheap.
You may now be tempted to go out and buy up every gourmet food and feed now, but STOP! Wait... there's a little more to it than that.
First things first. You need to set a budget. Would you like to feed several times a day, perhaps in hopes of a trophy someday? Maybe you'd only like to feed gourmet foods when your pet is hungry, simply because they have exotic tastes in foods. If you're in it for the latter reason, go right ahead and buy and feed whatever you wish. If, however, you want to get on the high scores feeders list, read on!
Feeding Tips for Trophies
It might wind up costing you nearly 9 or 10 million NP to get a gourmet honorable mention. Now, once the wooziness wears off, remember that you're not feeding all of these things in one day. It's going to take a long time to feed these hundreds of foods to your poor pet, so relax! If you can find 10k NP for it for the first week or so, you'll be ok. What I like to do is about once a week or so, I buy up some foods. As time goes on, and the foods get more expensive, I buy several foods a day instead, but I'm not in a big hurry to get on the list. The heavy feeders will feed every couple of hours, but we'll get to more on that later. You decide how much you can buy at once, and, unlike gourmet foods in real life, these will all keep in your Safety Deposit Box for a very long time. *wink* (Was the wink creepy? Really? Good.)
Still with me? Let's move on, then ...
Now comes the hard part. Choose which neopet is going to be your eater. If you've had the pet a while, you'll know if they have any food allergies, but, in case you're not sure, keep an epipen on hand.
Ok, I'm just kidding, but, seriously, some pets won't eat certain foods. Uneeecia, for instance, didn't make it as my gourmet eater because she proved to be too finicky for it. Go figure. These are supposed to be the best foods, and she wouldn't touch them. Pffft. But Adonciah will eat pretty much anything, so she made it!
So, if your neopet of choice has a history of being a finicky eater, they may not be the best choice. This doesn't mean you can't use them, as you can always just change your language to eat the items, but, if you're like me, that's just too much work. *wink wink* (Still creepy? Good.)
Ok, next step: If your neopet of choice is in the neolodge, get them out, or at least don't put them back in. This may seem silly to say, but you'd be surprised how many people forget all about it and try to feed and can't understand why their pet won't eat!
Once your pet is out of the Lodge, there's a very difficult thing you must do. It's terrible to say, but I have to say it.
DON'T feed them anything until they say they are "dying". We all know that neopets don't really die, but their Hunger status will say "dying". Don't be alarmed! This won't cause any lasting psychological damage! I promise! Adonciah still loves me, even though she's nearly always dying or starving! *nods sagely*
The reason for this is so that you can feed your pet one food every two hours. Every time their status goes back to dying, you can feed again! ^-^ Exciting, isn't it? If you keep your gourmet eater as your active pet, you can easily see when it's time to feed again, now that we have that nifty neopet module on most pages in Neopia. So as you chat it up with your guildmates, wander around the world, or read an article in the Neopian Times, you can keep an eye on your pet's hunger! ^-^
Your main job from this point on is to keep your pet hungry. Earth faerie quests are not your friend, since she often fills up your pet. I've even had Coltzan fill my pet up before, so I don't keep Adonciah active to visit him, and I don't usually complete Earth Faerie Quests.
Keep in mind that pizzas will often fill your pet up, so if you want to feed on a regular basis, save the pizzas in your SDB until your feeding habit is more expensive, and you'll appreciate the break between feedings! *wink* (Sorry. I had to throw one more in there.)
As you move forward with your feeding, keep an eye on the high score list! Check http://www.neopets.com/gourmet_club.phtml to see how many foods you'll need in the end.
A Few More Quick Notes
Would you like to see what foods your pet has eaten? Copy and paste this link, then add your pet's name to the end of it: (Note that when using Internet Explorer, your foods show up all in one row. If you view it using Firefox, it will wrap around the screen, making it much easier on the eyes.)
Well, that's about it! I now deem you ready to start buying up those gourmet foods! Bon Apetit!