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How to Save Money on Dog Food (10 Clever Ways in 2023)


Mar 6, 2023
man checking dog food label

Costs are rising on most things we need. Groceries, gas, clothing, rent, and utilities are insanely priced. Unfortunately, this issue is even beginning to affect pet food. Our dogs need to eat just like we do. Luckily, there are ways we can save money on dog food to help us stay on budget and keep our pups happy. Let’s take a look at 10 clever ways you can do this so your bank account doesn’t take such a huge hit each time you go shopping.


The 10 Ways to Save Money on Dog Food

1. Speak With Your Vet First

More often than we want to admit, we pet owners simply buy the most popular brands or those we’ve used in the past. When it comes to saving money on dog food, that may not be your best bet. Before you toss down a ton of money on the most popular choice everyone raves about, speak to your veterinarian. If you explain your budget restraints and worries about your dog’s nutritional needs, they will definitely have recommendations that may make things easier.

However, speaking to your vet about recommendations on dog food won’t help your dog or your bank account if you don’t take their suggestions to heart. Your vet wants the best for your pooch. Listen to them when they give advice.

dog owner talking to vet
Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

2. Homemade Dog Food Is Always an Option

After speaking with your vet, the two of you may feel that homemade dog food is the way for you to go. While meat is expensive, like everything else currently, you can find sales, meats that honor your budget, and even bulk options. Using your vet’s advice, you can add veggies and other extras to give your pooch the best nutritional balance possible.

When it comes to money, however, homemade food can be helpful. You can pre-measure feedings and properly store the food you make. If the nutrients needed to make your homemade dog food well-balanced for your pooch get too expensive, you can always use kibble to mix in and help with the costs.

3. Properly Measure Your Dog’s Feedings

Many pet owners are guilty of not measuring their dog’s food portions. Instead of providing veterinarian-recommended feeding measurements, we simply pour some kibble into the bowl a couple of times a day. Properly measuring your dog’s food can help you save money, and keep your pup healthy. Too much food can lead your dog down the road to obesity or even an upset stomach.

When it comes to saving money, providing your pup with the right amount of food helps you keep kibble on hand, reduce the money you spend on it, and even fight waste. If your dog isn’t a guzzler, it may leave uneaten food in its bowl throughout the day to go bad. If you measure things out, this shouldn’t be as big of an issue and help you save money in the long run.

shih tzu dog getting wet food from owner at kitchen
Image Credit: chaoss, Shutterstock

4. Buying in Bulk

When comparing the prices of dog food, you’ll notice that larger bags of kibble cost less per ounce compared to smaller bags. This price difference can equal hefty savings throughout the year, especially for people with multiple dogs or larger breeds.

Unfortunately, people with small dogs, or single pooch families, don’t feel they can take advantage of these savings. That isn’t the case, however. Even with fewer mouths to feed, or only one, you can still buy in bulk. The key is to make sure you purchase food your dog enjoys and is good for them. After that, store the food in an airtight container to avoid issues with it going stale or attracting unwanted pests.

5. Discount and Loyalty Programs Are Beneficial

Lots of people are creatures of habit. This means we prefer sticking with places and people that make us feel comfortable. If you have a favorite store where you purchase your dog food, reach out and ask if they offer any loyalty or discount programs for customers. You’ll find that most stores have some way of helping you get more bang for your money.

If this is the case, make sure to use your discounts when you need dog food. If you use the above suggestion of buying in bulk, this can help you save even more money with each purchase you make.

a couple with dachshund dog at a pet store
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

6. Yes, Coupons Still Exist

When you sign up for discount and loyalty programs, you’ll likely be asked to provide an email. Pay attention to those emails. Often, your preferred store will send coupons you can use on purchases both online and in person.

Whether it’s saving 10% off a purchase or a coupon that is directly related to your dog’s preferred dog food, saving a few dollars each week or monthly will add up by the end of the year.

7. Autoship Can Help

Certain companies such as Chewy offer autoship for items you purchase routinely. If you know you’ll need dog food each month, it’s a great option to help save some cash. Normally, stores offer a discount if you sign up for their auto-ship program.

You’ll see the biggest break in price with your first shipment but will see smaller savings each time your scheduled order ships. If you live a busy life, you’ll be thankful for the convenience and your pooch will be thankful its bowl stays full.

online shopping
Image Credit: Pixabay

8. Mix Dog Food Brands

Wanting the best for our pups is expected. If you can’t find a lower-priced dog food that offers the nutrition you want for your pooch, don’t panic about buying the pricier brands. Grabbing both high-priced and affordable kibble is an option.

When you feed your pup, mix the foods in the bowl. The lower-cost filler food will help fill your dog up, while the high-quality kibble gives them the nutrition they need. For you, this means you won’t be using all the higher-priced kibble as fast.

9. Consider Store-Brands When Shopping

Most of us are well aware of the big names in the dog food world. We also know the big prices that come attached with purchasing their products. Luckily, there are store brands out there that are great options.

Chewy has its own, American Journey. Even Wal-Mart offers Ol’ Roy. While these dog foods may not be on par with premium dog foods on the market, they can easily compete with most brands out there.

online shopping
Image Credit: Pixabay

10. Use a Cash Back Credit Card

If you shop online or use a credit card when visiting your local store, consider using one that offers cash back. If you pay the bill at the end of the month, you’ll get a few bucks back for buying something you’ll need anyway.



If you’re on a budget, taking advantage of these 10 clever ways to save money on dog food can help your bank account. As always, no matter the cost involved, make sure your dog is receiving balanced nutrition no matter what food you purchase. If you’re unsure of how to choose a food that is good for your pup, reach out to your veterinarian. They want the best for you and your dog as well.

Featured Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

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