This article shares 8 real ways to save money on good dog food. For many pet owners, the question isn’t how to save money on dog food, but how to save money on the good stuff.
Increasingly, dogs and other pets are part of the family. In fact, according to research published in Psychology Today, 81% of pet owners consider their dogs family members.
For these dog owners, it’s not about trying to skimp on “man’s best friend.” At the same time, there are ways to save money on high quality dog food, keeping more in your wallet while making your pet as happy and healthy as possible.
Pet owners can save money on dog food by making their own, chipping in on bulk orders with friends and ordering through a vet. You can also save money on dog food by making good use of leftovers and using autoship and subscription services. Finally, frequent buyer programs and some surprising ideas from rural areas round out our list of ways to save money on dog food.
Also see: Your New Pet Dog Could Cost You $50,000
Save Money on Dog Food by Making Your Own
One great way to save money on good dog food is to make your own, then freeze it in daily serving bags.
Here’s a tip from Gwen Hagaman of California:
“I think pet owners aren’t as concerned about the cost as the quality of food without paying for the moon. Remember that dogs do not need to eat packaged dog food. Chicken with rice and a small amount of veggies is one of the best things you can feed a dog – of course coupled with something hard to chew on to clean their teeth. Rice is very cheap and you can use some of the veggies from your own dinners. So when chicken is on sale, buy up and put it in your freezer. I have a 15 pound dog so when I cook and debone chicken for her dinners I go ahead and add some rice and veggies and then put serving size packets in plastic freezer bags. Then on days I don’t have time to prepare her food, I have some ready to go.”
Chip in With Friends to Save Money on Dog Food
Most people can save money on dog food by chipping in on bulk orders with friends.
Buying dog food in bulk isn’t the first thing most pet owners think of, but most people who own dogs know other people who own dogs. Facebook makes it easy to link up with other local dog owners too. Anyone who can link up with 10 other dog owners can save 25% on dog food, amounting to $100 or more in savings per year.
For example, PetAndKennelSupply.com offers high quality Diamond brand premium dog food at a cost of $30 per bag with free shipping when you order 40 bags. The bag cost may vary depending on shipping area. The same food normally costs $40 or more per bag in a store.
Pet & Kennel Supply also offers other popular premium dog food brands like Inukshuk, Nutri-Source, Tuffy’s and others.
Other online stores that let customers save money on dog food by buying in bulk include Wag.com and CarnivoreCarryOut.com.
People looking to save money by buying dog food in bulk can also do it through Amazon, Sam’s Club and Alibaba.
Someone who buys dog food in bulk with ten friends wouldn’t have to have a closet full of dog food either. Splitting the 40 bag order ten ways leaves each friend with only 4 bags to store.
Don’t have ten friends? Creating a local Facebook group is easy and can create a local partnership to save money on dog food.
Also see: 19 Unexpected Money Tips from Moms
Use Auto Ship and Subscriptions to Save Money on Dog Food
“Some websites like Chewy.com have discounts if you sign up for auto ship. The regular rates are less than at stores too. Most of them are the higher end dog foods which makes it pricier but for better food.” -PJ Stevenson, West Virginia.
Below are a few online stores that offer discounts on dog food with auto ship and subscription programs:
- PetCo Repeat Orders: 15% off dog food and free shipping for repeating orders over $49. Customers set their own delivery schedule. There’s also a $20 gift card for signing up.
- Amazon Subscriptions: Subscriptions save 15% on dog food. Free shipping on orders over $35. Customers set their delivery schedule.
- Chewy.com: Customers set their own schedule and can skip shipments, 5% off dog food. One customer on Facebook reports that when she had to put her beloved Bichon to sleep, Chewy sent her a lovely condolence letter. They refunded her last two bags of dog food and asked her to donate them to her local shelter.
Frequent Buyer Programs Can Save Money on Dog Food
Most pet owners can get one or two free bags of dog food every year by taking advantage of frequent buyer programs.
“My old pet store in Denver did the buy 12 get your 13th bag free. I’d save $60 every 5 months.” -Michael Crenshaw, Colorado.
Like auto ship or subscription orders online, frequent buyer programs for dog food can save money for loyal customers of certain brands or stores.
Lots of local mom and pop pet stores and feed stores have frequent buyer programs. Some pet food companies have their own loyal customer deals too. For instance, Natural Balance dog food offers a “buy 12 get one free” program. Pet owners just save the UPCs from the dog food bags to save money.
Save Money on Dog Food Through Your Vet
This tip on saving money on dog food comes from vet tech Sarah Beider of Ohio.
“Always check at your vet for deals and delivery options,” Beider says.
Many vets order pet food in bulk and pass at least some of the savings on to their customers. It’s a good idea to check with your vet to see if they sell dog food. If they do, double check their prices online to see if they’re selling it at a discount. Buying in bulk from the vet is often a good way to save money on dog food too. Plus, vets often carry high quality dog food, so you know you’re not skimping.
Save Money on Dog Food With Leftovers
Some pet owners save money on dog food by saving leftovers like rice, chicken, eggs that have gone by, vegetables and other foods and feeding them to their dogs. Note that many human foods like onions and walnuts are poisonous to dogs, so it’s always a good idea to check with a reputable online resource like PedMD first. Pet owners should also avoid giving leftovers that are heavily seasoned or salted to dogs too.
Some pet owners feed dogs on nothing but leftovers, while others cut the leftovers in with high quality dog food to make it last longer.
Also see: 18 Big Ways to Save Money at Amazon
Save Money on Dog Food With Free Shipping
Most pet owners will already know about this way to save money on dog food, but we’d be slacking if we didn’t mention it: most online dog food stores offer free shipping for orders above a certain amount. Amazon offers free shipping for all orders above $35. PetCo, PetFoodStation and Chewy.com give free shipping for orders over $49.
My wife and I buy our dog food at Chewy.com. We buy high quality Fromm family dog food, which costs $44 per bag at Chewy. That’s $6 cheaper per bag than we used to pay at Amazon. To get up over the $49 free shipping cutoff, we buy some inexpensive toys or treats. Now instead of paying for shipping, our dogs get goodies, and you should see the tails wag every time the dog food shows up on the doorstep.
Rural Ideas for Saving Money on Dog Food
The following ideas to save money on dog food work best for people living in rural areas.
“My friends have laying hens that produce a surplus of eggs. The dog gets the old eggs, pretty much her entire diet consists of eggs.” -Scott Wooten, Spring Hill, Virginia.
Butcher Shop Castoffs
“We bought a butchered pig from a farmer last year. My dogs get the livers (they gave us extra since no one wanted them) and hearts.” -JoBeth Stamm, West Virginia
Save Money on Dog Food by Combining Methods
The good ideas listed above to save money on dog food don’t have to be used by themselves. Someone who buys in bulk, cuts the food with leftovers and butcher shop castoffs and makes some of their own food to mix things up a little can save heaps of money on their pet. Alternately, a dog owner can set up autoship on their favorite brand and add in eggs and other leftovers from time to time.
If that doesn’t work, follow this tip from a faithful dog owner with a sense of humor:
“Start with smallest dog you can and let it out to hunt game.”
Do We Treat Dogs The Same Way As Children In Our Modern Families? – Psychology Today