How To Save Money On Dog Food? [Plus Savings On Raw Dog Food]

For most of us pet owners, our furry friends are part of the family. We don’t want to skimp on providing them the best care but we also want to keep pet care within a reasonable budget. Some pet expenses are big, one-time expenses, like vet bills.

Others are ongoing and offer more chances to save, like dog food. There are plenty of ways to save money on dog food while still giving your four-legged family member the very best.

You can save money on dog food by looking for sales and subscription plans on the food you already like, trying a generic store-brand version of your dog food, or finding ways to save on specialty diets at the vet’s office.

For those who embrace a raw dog food diet, you can make your own to save a lot of money over the pricey prepared versions at the store.

How To Save Money On Dog Food?

There are plenty of ways to spend less on dog food, whether it is finding a great deal on a brand you already love or trying something new that is cheaper. Discounts, subscription plans, and loyalty cards are all great ways to save money as well.

Buy Generic Brands

This is a great way to save on just about anything, including dog food. Store brands are often made with the same ingredients (sometimes even in the same place) as the more expensive name brands.

Look at the ingredients list of the generic brands to compare it to the name brand that your dog likes. If it is the same, why not give the cheaper option a try? PEDIGREE Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor Dog Kibble, 33 lb. Bag

Get A Subscription

Taking on the responsibility of a pet is not a short-term commitment. You will need to feed your dog for years. Once you find a food that works for them, see if the company offers a subscription club.

By signing up for a subscription, you can enjoy savings as well as the convenience of having food delivered right to you periodically.

Some clubs cater to pets, while others offer deals on a variety of products. Shop around to find which one works the best for your situation. Popular choices include:

  • Chewy
  • PetFlow
  • Petco
  • Amazon
  • PetSmart

Some of these subscription clubs and plans offer discounts and extra savings for first-time customers. They might charge shipping, which can be expensive for a bulky item like dog food. Make sure to meet the minimum purchase requirements to get free shipping, if applicable.

You might need to go through some trial and error to see how often you should reorder your dog food. Many subscription plans have one-month, three-month, or six-month restock options.

Some also offer an on-demand reorder plan. To get the best savings, you almost always have to sign up for an automatic shipment.

Pay Attention To Sales

Many pet stores offer periodic sales on dog food. By checking their sales flyer, you can stay up-to-date on the best savings. If you’re worried you may miss a great deal, sign up for the store’s email list.

They will send you a sales flyer directly to your email inbox. Some even include exclusive coupons and sales for their email subscribers.

These sales flyers can also be found in the front of the store when you walk through the door. It can pay off to take an extra minute or two to browse through the flyer for good sales.

If you find your preferred dog food on sale, stock up on the larger bags or more bags, as long as you have a place to store it.

Dog food can typically last for 12-18 months unopened. The manufacturer will mark each bag with a “best by” date. You can store the dog food until this date without any worries of spoilage. This applies to dry kibble-style dog food, as well as unopened cans of shelf-stable wet dog food. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb

Get A Store Loyalty Card

Many stores offer free customer loyalty programs. All you need to do is scan a card or enter your phone number at checkout to get savings on many items, dog food included.

It works best if you have a store that you frequent, but you can have cards for multiple stores. These loyalty discounts are in addition to other sales, coupons, or deals.

If you don’t want to carry around a wallet full of store cards, register your card at the store or online using your phone number. This is still a free loyalty program, but now you can use your phone number to access your store loyalty card rather than having the physical card on hand at the time of purchase.

Is Buying Bulk Dog Food Worth It?

Many pet owners like to shop at warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s Club for their dog food. While the prices on dog food can be great, there are a few other things to take into consideration.

In order to make the most of the cost of your Costco or Sam’s Club membership, try to look for other items that you can buy in bulk. Memberships to warehouse stores have an annual cost, usually around $100. If you buy dog food just a few times per year, the savings can outweigh the membership.

The best value on items purchased at warehouse stores can be found on their store brand products. At Costco, this means opting for the Kirkland’s Signature dog food. Sam’s Club carries their own line, Member’s Mark.

You will also need a place to store a large bag of dog food. If you are unable to keep the dog food fresh and away from bugs and pests, you won’t be able to use it and will waste the money that you spent on the bulk purchase. Kirkland Signature Adult Formula Lamb, Rice and Vegetable Dog Food 40 lb ES

Savings On Raw Dog Food

If you want to feed your dog a raw diet (similar to what they might get in the wild), it can get very expensive very quickly. Prepared raw dog food is one of the priciest options. It is generally sold in small quantities that need to be refrigerated.

This makes it hard to buy in bulk and take advantage of any savings through coupons or other discounts.

You can make your own raw dog food to save money on this kind of diet for your pet. Before you get started, make sure that you have done your homework and know what nutrients your dog needs from their food. Some vets will help you tailor a raw diet for your dog’s needs and lifestyle.

Raw dog food consists mainly of raw meat, grains, and vegetables. You can purchase these at the store right alongside your own food. While your meal cooks, you can chop and mix up a batch of raw dog food for your furry friend.

Every dog owner should be aware of the off-limit foods for dogs. This is especially true when you are making their raw dog food yourself. Foods that can make a dog sick include chocolate, onions, garlic, coffee, and grapes.

Tip: Put the ingredients for raw dog food into your slow cooker to soften them. This can be a great way to save money on wet dog food by making your own, especially for older dogs or those with issues chewing.

Finding Deals For Raw Dog Food Ingredients

A lot of the foods that are great for dogs are actually very economical. Mashed sweet potatoes are full of fiber and vitamins for your pup. They are also very cheap to buy.

To save money on meat, look for scraps and cheaper cuts that people might not enjoy as much due to their toughness. Dogs love to gnaw on their meal, so they will eat these pieces up (literally).

Getting Prescription Dog Food On A Budget

If your dog has medical issues that require a certain diet, you might need to buy specialty food. This can get quite expensive quickly.

Talk to your vet about cheaper alternatives. You might be able to mix the expensive stuff with a less expensive dog food you can purchase at the store and still get the benefits your pup needs.

If your dog has a health issue that needs to be addressed in another way, you can try medication or other treatment to keep them in the best shape.

Some dogs only need to be on a specialty diet for a short time. Talk to your vet about how long you can expect this need and only purchase the amount of specialty dog food that you will actually use.

Some vets have samples of specialty dog foods that they can give out for free. If you are considering switching your dog to one of these foods, it’s a good idea to try it for a while before spending a lot of money on a large bag, just to make sure that it is the best option for your pet.

Final Thoughts

Saving money on dog food doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or caring for your pet less. By looking for cheaper prices on the food you already like, comparing name brand and generic brand options, or making your own dog food (raw or cooked), you can take care of your pet and your budget at the same time.

While often more expensive than standard options, even specialty dog foods can be found for a good price.

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