It has become essential to save money on dog food. It is estimated that the overall cost of owning a dog can fall between £10,000 and £16,000, depending on the dog's breed and lifestyle.
Of this, a good percentage is spent on food. Proper nutrition is an essential part of keeping your dog happy and healthy over the years, but prices of commercial dog food can vary widely.
How do you know which food offers the best nutrient blend and which is charging a premium for fancier packaging? Do you really need those organic dog treats? Just as there are ways to save money on your own food bills, you can also use a few tools to save on dog food. The following tips will ensure that your dog eats well for less.
Buy in Bulk
One of the best ways to save money on dog food is to buy in bulk. Kibble tends to cost less per ounce when you purchase it in the largest bags. You'll save even more if you can buy these bulk bags on sale, with a coupon, from a major supermarket chain or a bulk retailer like Costco.
Pet owners can find great deals on food dishes and
dog accessories at sites like Dogscorner.co.uk,
so they may look for bulk food deals online too. Learn how to save money on dog food.
However, shopping online may not be the best idea. A 2011 study from Consumer Reports found that online sites priced their food as much as 50% higher, not including the shipping costs.
Compare Ingredient Lists
You may assume that the generic brand will be lower in quality than the name brand food, but this isn't always the case. One way to see the difference yourself is to compare ingredients on the back of the bag. It's surprising how similar they can be, despite vast price differences.
Pricier brands may claim to have "organic" ingredients or contain "human-grade" meat, but there are no official legal definitions of these terms for pet food, so take these terms with a grain of salt. Generally, food with a higher calorie count, more protein, and less fillers may cost more up front, but your dog will feel full for a longer time period. Food blends listing meat as the first ingredient are ideal for this reason. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do decide to switch your dog's food, it's best to do so gradually over the course of a week to avoid digestive problems.
Hunt for Discounts
Many of the larger pet stores offer membership programs and rewards. You might get discounts or cash back for your purchase simply by signing up. If there's a particular brand of food that your dog tolerates well, you could also look for manufacturer coupons on the brand's website. Follow the brand on social media for further offers that may not be available to the public. By signing up for an electronic mailing list, you may be able to take advantage of these discounts.
Your dog needs a complete, balanced diet to thrive. By taking the time to shop around, compare prices, and look for manufacturer discounts, you can provide all the protein and vitamins he needs while cutting costs at the same time.
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