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Did you ever sit down and calculate how much you spend on dog food?
Whether you have a Boxer, Beagle or Bull Mastiff, food is an ongoing expense. That’s why it’s important to get the most for your money when buying dog food.
Here are 5 Ways to Save Money on Your Dog Food Bill
The most consistent way to save money on dog food is to buy the biggest bag or number of cans together at once.
Here’s one example of how you can save almost $420 a year on dog food buying big.
Taste of the Wild’s Grain Free Pacific Stream Canine Recipe Dry Dog Food is available on Amazon in three sizes:
5 pound bag = $13.99 (includes free shipping for Amazon Prime customers – get a 30-day free trial here)
15 pound bag = $29.99 (includes free shipping)
30 pound bag = $48.99 (includes free shipping)
Let’s break down the cost per pound (rounded up) for each bag size:
$13.99/5 = $2.80/pound
$29.99/15 = $2.00/pound
$48.99/30 = $1.63/pound
By buying the 30-pound bag, you save 37 cents per pound over the 15-pound bag and a whopping $1.17 per pound over the 5-pound bag.
If you buy one 30-pound bag each month, your dog food cost for a year would be $587.88. However, if you purchased the same amount of food buying 15-pound bags only, your cost would be $719.76. And if you buy 5-pound bags only you would shell out $1,007.28!
Subscribe and Save
You can put your dog food deliveries on autopilot and save money by starting a subscription for dog food on Amazon or elsewhere. The subscription works like a magazine subscription, except you can choose how often you want automatic deliveries of dog food. You can get food delivered every month or stagger it anywhere from 2 up to 6 months.
For this example, let’s look at a monthly subscription on Amazon for a 24-pound bag of CANIDAE Grain Free Dog Food Fresh Duck Formula.The normal price for a one-time purchase is $64.99. If you subscribe, the price drops to $61.74 – That’s a savings of 5%. Again, if you buy one bag of food each month, you could save an additional $39 per year with a subscription. You can save even more (15%) if you subscribe to 5 or more products.
First-time subscribers who use PETCO’s repeat delivery subscription service can save 40% on their first order.
CHEWY.com offers a 30% discount for a first Autoship order.
Many brick-and-mortar pet retailers offer rewards programs that provide savings for regular customers.
My local PETCO store offers its Pals Rewards program. It’s free to join and you can earn 1 point for every dollar spent on merchandise. After you accumulate 100 points, you earn 5 Pals dollars that can be used for $5 off future purchases.
Likewise, PetSmart has a rewards program called “treats.” Members earn 8 points for every $1 spent in stores and online. After earning 1,000 points, you can redeem points for merchandise. Treats members also save 5% when they buy online and pick-up in store.
Both PETCO and PetSmart offer mobile apps to help members track spending and points.
All dogs have their own food requirements, and as owners we need to find that sweet spot where they have plenty to eat without being overfed. Dog foods have recommended daily feeding guidelines based on a dog’s size and activity level. These guidelines can vary widely as you can see in this example using the CANIDAE Grain Free Dog Food Fresh Duck Formula:
You will obviously go through a bag of food much faster if you’re feeding your dog 3 cups of food per day versus 2 cups, so it’s important to feed the right amount for your dog. Consult your veterinarian if you have questions about feeding your dog.
Don’t Pay for Empty Calories – or Worse!
The old saying, “You get what you pay for” is certainly true when it comes to dog food. It can be tempting to buy a bargain brand dog food to save money, but most times you’ll be paying for ingredients that are more filler than substance.
Some dog foods include preservatives such as ethoxyquin, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and food dyes. BHAs and BHTs are added to preserve fats and keep food from going rancid, even though safer alternatives such as Vitamins C and E are available.
And believe it or not – some dog foods are treated with propylene glycol to keep the food moist. Propylene glycol is derived from ethylene glycol, aka antifreeze.
I’m not here to bash any particular dog food, but I would NEVER feed my dogs food that contains preservatives or potentially unsafe chemicals.
Read the Label
It’s an education in itself learning to read and discern a pet food label. And it can be very confusing. PETMD has an excellent resource, titled The Science of Pet Food Labels,that I would recommend to every dog owner.
Bottom line: the better the ingredients, the better for your dog. In my opinion, it’s cheaper to buy the best food you can afford for your dog to promote a long and healthy life.