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10 Budget-Friendly Petpets to Avoid and 10 Alternatives


by missbeasty

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The low price tag on some Petpets makes them a tempting option but cheap does not mean easy! New Petpet owners are frequently shocked by how much investment these "cheap" Petpets require. All too often, once the excitement about an adorable new Petpet fades, these poor creatures end up abandoned at the Money Tree.

     Petpet shop owners will insist their Petpets are quiet, well-behaved, and low-maintenance. These unscrupulous merchants are happy to sell Petpets with challenging care requirements to first-time Petpet owners, no questions asked.

     In short, some Petpets are not for everyone. Here is a list of some common Petpets that require more complicated care, and a list of comparably-priced, lower-maintenance alternatives.

     #10

     Think twice about:

     Altachuck

     The Altachuck, an emblem of Altador, is an adorable and loyal Petpet. Many people don’t realize that they are actually scared of EVERYTHING: "loud noises, sudden movements, and anything that starts with the letter D". Do you know how many things in the average Neohome begin with the letter D?? These poor nervous creatures live in terror more often than not. Chronic fear takes a toll on the Altachuck’s health. Many Altachucks suffer from stressed immune systems, "accidents" on the carpet, and fur loss. Would-be owners of Altachucks need to carefully prepare and control their home environment, for the health and happiness of their Petpet.

     Consider instead:

     Angelpuss

     For a more rambunctious Neohome, or for Neopets who collect Dung or Darigan tchotchkes, consider the Angelpuss. Angelpi have big, shiny eyes with nothing in between them. They are not afraid of anything, because they are not smart enough to recognize danger. As a result, they are well-suited to home environments that would be stressful for more nervous Petpets. Got an affectionate Baby Neopet who doesn’t have a firm grasp on "gentle hands"? Get an Angelpuss. Blast your Twisted Roses record and practice Yooyuball all you want; your Angelpuss will purr and happily stare into space just the same.

          #9

     Think twice about:

     Baby Space Fungus

     Babies captivate us with their huge eyes, tiny feeties, and general inability to care for themselves. Do not be deceived by their small size. Babies grow up, and sometimes little babies become really, REALLY big adults. The Baby Space Fungus is a classic example of a Petpet commonly adopted by owners who are not prepared to care for a giant Petpet. Shopkeepers will tell you that a Baby Space Fungus is a "teacup" variety, or that it will only grow to the size of your Neohome. These are both lies designed to make money from unsuspecting shoppers. Please ONLY adopt a Baby Space Fungus if you are prepared to care for it at its gigantic full-grown size, preferably in a large open pasture and/or outer space.

     Consider instead:

     Icklesaur

     The Icklesaur is a little Tyrannian Petpet that is guaranteed to stay small, no matter how much it eats. That is a rare trait, despite the claims of various shopkeepers. If you simply need to pinch chubby baby cheeks, consider this pint-sized Petpet. Shy and perpetually baby-faced, the Icklesaur has all the cuteness of a baby Petpet even into adulthood. Behaviorally, they are quiet and calm, preferring snuggles over the rambunctious play of some other Petpets. Icklesaurs are suitable Petpets for any size Neohome; no Neogarden required.

     #8

     Think twice about:

     Babaa

     Who can resist a Babaa? Small and round with a soft, fluffy coat and big blue eyes, this Petpet has stolen the heart of many Neopets. However, Petpet shopkeepers may neglect to inform you that this Petpet requires frequent grooming. Babaas should be brushed daily to keep their wool fluffy and tangle-free. At least once a month, they should be shampooed and trimmed (a full shear helps Babaas stay comfortable in summer months and in warmer locations, like the Lost Desert). Home grooming is possible but time-consuming, and professional grooming is a costly ongoing expense, but in either case, regular grooming is absolutely critical to the health of your Babaa.

     Consider instead:

     GX-4 Oscillabot

     Robot Petpets have many perks, including a lack of fur. GX-4 Oscillabot is a polite and helpful Petpet that does not require grooming. (Indeed, it requires very little care overall.) Optionally, owners may polish their robot Petpet for that "fresh off the assembly line" shine, but their tough, galvanized metal exoskeleton naturally resists rust and corrosion and does not require any special care. Additionally, these resourceful little fellows can monitor and change their own oil as needed. Warm and fuzzy Petpets tend to dominate the spotlight – don’t overlook the clever, low-maintenance robot Petpets in your search for your newest family member.

     #7

     Think twice about:

     Pirate Charnie

     Charnies are known for their hearty appetites, but you might not realize until you’ve already adopted a Charnie that they are also very LOUD. When your Charnie wants your attention – and it will, frequently – it will make a "horrible wailing noise". Their behavior is so disruptive and embarrassing that Charnie owners tend to avoid bringing them out in public. Neopets who leave their Petpet at home should get used to noise complaints from their neighbours. It can help to leave a radio on while you’re gone, or to distract your Charnie with frozen treats or a puzzle feeder, but this will only delay the inevitable wailing for a short time. They are a Petpet best suited to a homebody, like a retired Elderly pet desiring a constant companion.

     Consider instead:

     Wadjet

     The Wadjet, native to the Lost Desert, is a great Petpet for busy Neopets on the go. This cold-blooded Petpet’s favourite place to be is draped around its owner’s neck, and they will happily ride along there all day without complaint. They’re so quiet and still, you’ll forget they’re even there – and others will assume your Petpet is actually a fashionable statement necklace. Unobtrusive and easygoing, the Wadjet is a truly underrated budget Petpet.

     #6

     Think twice about:

     Symol

     Symols are beloved Meridellian Petpets known for their deep, labyrinthine burrows where they stash their shiny found trinkets. Symols were made to dig, and they are going to dig, whether you’re ready for it or not. Cushions and carpet are easily shredded by their sharp, curved claws. If you’re going to try to keep this Petpet indoors, you’d better have great Neohome insurance. The ideal environment for a Symol is a home with a big Neogarden where it can tunnel to its heart’s content. Their burrowing is destructive to plant roots, so be advised before letting a Symol loose around your prized flowers.

     Consider instead:

     Mibblie

     The Mibblie – a sentient piece of meteor, as far as we can tell – is one of the lowest-maintenance Petpets in existence. A Mibblie could not harm your Neohome unless you were to pick it up and chuck it at a window. You can leave it alone and trust that your Neohome will stay in pristine condition. This Petpet makes a handy paperweight indoors, or a lovely Neogarden decoration outside. It doesn’t even shed. Just don’t take your Mibblie on your daily obsidian errand, or you might lose this slow-moving rock look-alike at the Quarry.

     #5

     Think twice about:

     Airax

     Airaxs are friendly little Petpets who love to perch on their owner’s shoulder. They are also fast and acrobatic flyers, which poses some challenges in the context of a Neohome. A Neohome must be "Airax-proofed". This Petpet has a sensitive respiratory system and can be harmed by the fumes from smoke, candles, sprays, and non-stick cookware. An Airax can be injured by accidentally flying into a window, mirror, or ceiling fan. Some Neopets clip the feathers on their Airax’s wings for their Petpet’s safety. It is a generally controversial choice, and opponents argue that flight is necessary to the physical and mental well-being of these Petpets. In either case, flight is definitely a trait to take into consideration when purchasing a Petpet.

     Consider instead:

     Ukali

     If you want a Petpet that will stay out of trouble, consider a Ukali. You don’t have to "Ukali-proof" your Neohome. They don’t mind any kind of smoke or aerosols in the house – in fact, they sometimes breathe a bit of smoke themselves. Ukalies have wings, but they seldom fly. They spend most of their time curled up in bed, looking sad. The Ukali is a great choice for a busy Neopet who doesn’t want to worry about leaving their Petpet home alone, but also wants a cuddle buddy with whom they can eat ice cream and cry through romantic movies.

     #4

     Think twice about:

     Fangy

     The Fangy is an adorable Tyrannian Petpet named for its usually long and sharp canine teeth. Not for nothing – this Petpet loves to use those fangs for chewing. Left on its own, a Fangy will quickly get to gnawing on any nearby objects (or furniture, or door frames). New owners unaware of this behavior may come home to a nasty surprise. While challenging to deal with, Fangies’ chewing is necessary to their dental health, as well as an enriching, soothing behavior. Simply put, they need to chew. Fangy owners are advised to provide their Petpet with plenty of wood- or paper-based toys meant to be chewed to bits. Flavoring and food-safe coloring may entice a Fangy to chew its toys instead of your slippers, but ultimately its owners should be prepared to live in a Neohome with some bite marks.

     Consider instead:

     Spyder

     The humble Spyder is often overlooked, since it gives many Neopets the heebie-jeebies. This fear can be irrational, since the Spyder’s fangs are too small to bite, even if it wanted to. The worst it can do is tickle your Neopet with its several furry little legs. They are an ideal Petpet for any size Neohome, and owners of expensively decorated homes needn’t worry about leaving their Petpet home alone, since a Spyder will happily spend the day sitting on its web in the corner. As an added benefit, Spyders will catch flies, supplementing their own diet and removing pests from your home. Gaze into a Spyder’s four shining eyes, and consider opening your heart to a less popular (but wonderful!) Petpet.

     #3

     Think twice about:

     Ghoti

     The Ghoti is a beautiful, graceful aquatic Petpet. It is also a source of embarrassment at the Petpet shop when Neopets learn that ‘Ghoti’ is not pronounced the way they expect. Aquatic Petpets have a reputation as throwaway "beginner’s" Petpets, but they need much more care and attention than most Petpets. To begin with, the glass bowl sold at the Petpet shop is far too small to keep these creatures healthy and happy. Ghoti need a very large tank with plenty of space to swim around. The tank alone can be shockingly expensive, and on top of that, Ghoti require a water heater, filter, aeration, live plants and lighting to simulate their natural environment. Owners must carefully monitor the water chemistry and clean the tank on a regular basis to keep their Petpet healthy. Additionally, Ghoti will sometimes jump out of the water for fun – so keep the "splash zone" around their tank clear of anything that shouldn’t get wet.

     Consider instead:

     Rashpid

     The Rashpid is another unusual Petpet brought to Kreludor on a falling meteor. (It turns out that Petpets adapted to the cold, dark vacuum of space need very little to thrive in Neopia.) Being part plant, it can photosynthesize to feed itself with sunlight. It can even crawl on its leaf-hands to move itself to the sunniest spots in a Neohome. The only real care this floral friend needs is a bit of water. Just give your Rashpid a nice soak in the bath when its leaves start to droop. Let your Petpet dry completely between dunks – overwatering can harm its roots. Fun tip: try feeding your Rashpid kitchen scraps, like coffee grounds, Negg shells, and Zeenana peels. Rashpids are great at recycling food waste into beautiful, lush foliage.

     #2

     Think twice about:

     Abominable Snowball

     The Abominable Snowball never fails to charm visitors to Happy Valley. Some are persuaded to adopt an Abominable Snowball, and quickly discover the harsh reality of keeping a Petpet made of snow. Abominable Snowballs unfortunately require below-freezing temperatures to keep their form, otherwise they… let’s say… get a free Desert paint job. As one might imagine, it is tricky to keep one of these Petpets outside of Terror Mountain. The alternative, in an average Neohome, is to keep one’s Petpet in the freezer, or in a frequently restocked ice bucket – which is as inconvenient and high-maintenance as it sounds. As adorable as the Abominable Snowball may be, it is best for everyone that it stays happily frozen in the year-round snow of its home village.

     Consider instead:

     Ghostkerchief

     Ghostkerchieves are generally viewed with some suspicion, both for their playful attempts to scare Neopets, and for the uncomfortable question – is it used?? Underneath the mischievous cover, though, is a Petpet that just wants a loving home. It is very common for a stray Ghostkerchief to "adopt" a Neopet by simply hopping into their pocket. There is no Petpet lower maintenance than the Ghostkerchief. It requires zero care and thrives in any conditions, since it is made of ghost and cloth. All it wants is a pocket of its own to haunt. Also… if you feel a sneeze coming on…

     #1

     Think twice about:

     Gruslen

     Common in Tyrannia, the Gruslen is a precious little Petpet with a gorgeous striped coat, dainty paws, and a big fluffy tail, which may distract you from its sharp claws and the huge, saber-like teeth sticking out of its mouth. There’s a reason Jhudora keeps a pair of loyal Gruslens – their bite packs a punch. This is absolutely NOT a Petpet for novices. Gruslens require careful socialization and training from a young age to prevent aggression. A Gruslen in the hands of an inexperienced Petpet trainer can be very dangerous for both its owner and the general public. Without getting into grisly details, it bears mentioning that Gruslens are responsible for the majority of Petpet-related Neopian Hospital visits.

     Consider instead:

     Melvie

     If you’re after a tough-looking Petpet which won’t actually send you to the doctor’s office, consider a Melvie. This furry faerie Petpet has an intimidating appearance: broad shoulders, a barrel chest, a thick neck. One flex of its muscular forearm, nearly the length of its whole body, would scare off any bully. However, Melvies are gentle giants, and when faced with a fight-or-flight situation, they instead choose the fetal position. They will remain fearfully curled into a little ball until they sense the danger has passed. While Melvies are perhaps not the best guard Petpet, their owners can rest assured that their Petpet is completely harmless and safe to have around Baby and Elderly pets.

     –

     In conclusion, Petpets are complex beings with unique needs – not merely an accessory to a Neopet. They may require complicated care and exhibit challenging behaviors that many owners are ill-equipped to handle. Choosing a companion based on appearance or popularity can make Petpet ownership a harrowing experience.

     Adopting a Petpet is a lifetime commitment, and as such, should be approached with careful research and consideration. I encourage you to learn as much as you can about the Petpets you’re considering – talk to folks who keep these species, and specifically seek reasons why you might NOT want to adopt these Petpets. I hope that you will consider these suggestions, and wish you well in the journey of choosing your forever friend.

 
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