I love my dogs, I really do. Even after that one time my German Shepherd took a dump in my car. It was nitty. It was gritty. It was all up in my fingernails and the smell was in my nostrils for days.
We have three dogs; Bailey, Benson and Bentley. As usual, the smallest (4 lbs) thinks he’s in charge. No matter who is really in charge, they all have one thing in common: they have to eat. And pet food can be expensive especially if you’re dealing with allergies or joint issues, like our big girl, or if you simply want to feed your furry family members the best of the best.
The American Kennel Club estimates that it costs an average of $446 per year to feed your dog. Of course this varies based on the brand of pet food, the size of your dog and their appetite. It is also important to note that buying cheaper dog food may eventually raise the cost of caring for your pet. While you’re saving money buying the cheaper dog food now, it could lead to a whole slew of vet bills down the road. Which pet food is best for your furry friends? That’s for you and your veterinarian to decide. We are here to help you save on whatever brand that may be.
12 Creative Ways to Save on Pet Food
1. Pay for ingredients, not the brand
We check ingredients for our own food, why not for our dogs? If you find a similar ingredient list, take photos of each and discuss with your veterinarian. Sometimes the non-name brands are just as good, if not better, for your dogs.
2. Check the brand’s website, social media channels
Sure, you can find coupons for a multitude of pet items on coupon websites like Coupons.com, but many times pet food brands will offer coupons or savings on their website or on their social media channels. Always check their websites, Facebook and Twitter before heading out the door.
3. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk doesn’t necessarily mean you’re buying 500 pounds of dog food at one time. It could just be comparison shopping between Petco, Petsmart and Sam’s Club. You might spend $40 at Petco for a 40 pound bag of dog food, whereas Sam’s Club might have the same brand in an 80 pound bag for just $20 more. That’s a $20 savings right off the top!
4. Calculate price per pound
Speaking of buying in bulk, always check price per pound before committing. This may be on the shelf sticker itself, but if you have to do the math, just divide the price by the number of pounds in the bag. A 40 pound bag of dog food that costs $28 would be 70¢ per pound.
5. Join Rewards Programs
Is there a rewards program for your pet’s food? There might just be! We buy our dog food at Petco when it goes on sale with our Petco Pals rewards card. Many times we save $10 or more per bag just by watching the sales, and if you have any manufacturer’s coupons you can use those on top!
One thing we love about Petco is that they offer a Free Food rewards program in addition to their sales and coupons. Every 10th bag (of the same brand and size bag of premium dog or cat food) is free! They mail you a coupon and you take it in, pay $0. Zero, zilch, nada!
6. Check for samples
Looking to change your dog’s diet because of food allergies or otherwise? Always check with your veterinarian first to see if they have samples of that dog food. Check different brand’s websites or do a simple internet search for “free pet food samples” and see what pops up. You’d be surprised!
7. Keep up on Target’s pet deals
Not to toot Target’s horn (okay maybe just a little) but they seem to have some of the best deals on national brand dog food. They often offer threshold pet department coupons (ie: $10 off when you buy $40+ in pet) and you can use any manufacturer’s coupons on top of Target store coupons, on top of Target Cartwheel (their savings app) AND if they are offering any gift cards on top you’ll earn those as well.
Yeah, I’ll toot that horn. 😉
8. Check for subscription savings
If you’re not planning on changing dog food anytime soon, look into what a subscription service could save you. Amazon’s Subscribe & Save option saves 10 – 15% and they’ll deliver as often as you tell them to. Bonus: you don’t have to lug it around the store and into your car etc! See all of the eligible pet items for Subscribe & Save on Amazon.
9. Feed your dogs the right amount
Are you over feeding your dogs? We were for years. I wonder how much we overspent by feeding our big girl too much per feeding. Actually no, I don’t want to know. Ask your vet how much you should be feeding your dog and that right there may save you money.
10. Make your own treats
I’ve been making homemade dog treats for our pets for years. They love it, I love it AND it’s cheaper!
11. Pay with discounted gift cards
One of my favorite ways to save on just about anything (including going out to eat, shopping at Lowe’s etc) is to buy gift cards for discounted rates online or at our local grocery store that offers discounts on gas for buying gift cards. Heading out to Petco? Stop by the grocery store on the way, buy your gift card there and pocket the fuel savings.
12. Check Farm Supply stores
If you live in a rural area, definitely check the farm supply stores first. In my area, Atwood’s offers a similar list of ingredients at a deep discount. Where my sister lives, Rural King offers the best price (by far!) on the allergy-friendly food her dogs need.
More ways to save:
That One Time My German Shepherd Took a Dump In My Car
16 Ways to Save at Michaels
Easy Homemade Pumpkin Dog Biscuits
9 Easy Ways to Save Money Without Using Coupons
12 Craft Supply Items to ALWAYS Buy at Dollar Tree
18 Alternative (and Clever) Uses for K-Y Lubricant