As is the case with any animal, being a good pet parent to dogs means feeding them the proper diet, which can become quite expensive.
As the owner of four large-breed dogs, I can attest to just how expensive feeding your fur babies can become. It’s vital for me to save on the cost of owning dogs, and food is one of the biggest expenses I have.
If you’re spending thousands of dollars per year on pet food, it’s time to learn to find the best deals when shopping for your fur babies.
The Best Places to Buy Cheap Dog Food
Our overall best place to buy cheap dog food is Amazon due to a mix of convenience, options, and quality customer care.
But the other places to buy dog food all shine in their own respect, whether it be for offering quality, human-grade food, or low prices coupled with fast delivery.
Best Overall: Amazon
Amazon is one of the world’s largest online retailers, and whether you’re shopping for pet food, toys, or parts for your car, chances are it will be one of the cheapest places to find what you’re looking for online.
While the website isn’t solely focused on pet food and other pet products, there’s a long list of options available, with the vast majority available at lower prices than you can find at brick-and-mortar pet stores.
Amazon shines in terms of convenience. In addition to some of the best prices available on pet food, the website offers just about everything under the sun, making it a one-stop shop for anything you need in your home.
And Amazon Prime members enjoy free delivery.
The company also offers Amazon Subscribe & Save, a flexible subscription service that automatically delivers your most commonly used staples, including dog food, on a schedule you choose. Subscribing saves you anywhere from an additional 5% to 20%, depending on how many products you have scheduled and what you buy.
Best for Same-Day Delivery: PetSmart
When it comes to dog food, PetSmart offers relatively low prices and plenty of options, including options for dietary restrictions for dogs with sensitive stomachs and conditions that require grain-free and gluten-free diets.
The one drawback is that the vast majority of food and treat options are from well-known name brands like Canidae and Hill’s Science Diet, which are more expensive than lesser-known brands. However, lower-cost brands like Iams are still available.
PetSmart really shines when it comes to delivery options.
The company uses DoorDash to offer same-day delivery for most customers. The one drawback is that you have to pay delivery fees unless you have DashPass or an unlimited DoorDash subscription.
On the plus side, you can pick up your order on the same day free of charge. You also have access to free standard ground shipping on orders totaling $49 or more.
Best for Convenience: Chewy
Chewy is one of the world’s leading online pet supply outlets. The company offers pet care products ranging from food, chews, supplements, and treats to dog toys, leashes, and everything between. That makes it a one-stop shop for all your pet care needs.
There are several other reasons this online retailer made the list:
- Shipping. Chewy makes nurturing your dog easy, offering autoship orders for products you need on a schedule you choose. The company also offers free one- to three-day shipping on all orders totaling $49 or more.
- Autoship Discounts. When you take advantage of autoship, you receive a 35% discount on your first order and 5% discounts on select items after that. You also get free access to talk to licensed vets seven days per week.
- Price. As an online-only retailer, the company doesn’t have to deal with the overhead expenses of having a brick-and-mortar storefront. Those savings pass to the consumer.
- Food Options. The website offers access to more brands and options than just about any other pet food retailer. When shopping, you can narrow your options with numerous filters. Major brands like Blue Buffalo, Merrick, Taste of the Wild, Pedigree, and Purina are available alongside lesser-known health pet food brands and low-cost alternatives.
- Promotions. Chewy is nearly always running new promotions. For example, as of this writing, pet parents can save 35% on their first autoship order.
Best for Rewards: Petco
Petco focuses on the largest and highest-end brands in dog food, which means paying a higher price tag than you would on off brands, but there are perks to buying from the company.
First and foremost, the company offers a wide range of shipping options, and if you need the pet food the same day you order it, simply order online and take advantage of curbside pickup to save an extra 15% on your entire order.
However, the biggest perk to shopping with Petco is Pals Rewards, the company’s rewards program. Get rewards for every dollar you spend. You can use them to purchase dog food and other pet supplies, saving you money in the long run.
Best for Fresh Dog Food: Ollie
Ollie isn’t necessarily the cheapest place to buy dog food. You won’t find dry dog food or even canned wet dog food. But if the dog food you buy is fresh human-grade food cooked to perfection and specifically blended for your dog’s health, Ollie is one of the lowest-cost options.
When you feed your dog out of a bag, you’re giving your dog dried kibble with little flavor and fewer nutrients than a freshly cooked meal. And that’s how most people feed their dogs.
Ollie aims to change that trend.
The company offers relatively inexpensive cooked meals for dogs. It delivers the meals to your doorstep, and preparation is a breeze. It’s by far one of the healthiest ways to feed your pets.
Moreover, as of this writing, the company’s currently running a promotion, giving you the ability to save 55% on your first box of fresh dog food. While the company suggests the promotion is a limited-time offer, it’s been active since I considered Ollie a couple of years ago.
Best for Low Prices: Local Feed Stores
Local feed stores are generally mom-and-pop shops. You won’t find the lowest prices on name-brand foods at these stores, but local dog food manufacturers generally come with steep discounts.
Overall, these discounts can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
However, when shopping at local feed stores for low-cost, off-brand dog food, research what you’re giving your pooch. Fortunately, it’s not uncommon to find food formulated similarly to brands like Blue Buffalo for half the price, whether you have a large breed or small breed in any life stage.
Methodology: How We Select the Best Places to Buy Cheap Dog Food
When determining the list of the top places to buy cheap dog food, we took four main factors into account, including price, brand availability, convenience, methods, and other products available.
You want the most bang for your buck, and that’s one of the key factors that determined whether a company made the list. These companies offer some of the lowest prices on the specific brands available at each retailer.
Brand availability is crucial when shopping for dog food. Canine stomachs don’t do well with change, and it’s essential to ensure the brand your dog is used to is available where you shop.
It shouldn’t be a hassle to get your dog’s food. So convenience played a major role in the options we chose. In particular, we looked for options that offered subscription services that automatically ship food on a schedule you control.
Shipping Costs & Delivery Methods
Some websites claim to offer cheaper dog food, but always consider shipping times and costs. Many retailers offer lower sticker prices on certain brands but charge exorbitant shipping, especially if you can’t wait, resulting in a higher overall price.
We also gave weight to retailers that offered fast shipping or same-day, in-store pickup.
Other Products Available
Dog food isn’t the only product you need to care for your pups. When buying dog food, it’s easiest to buy from retailers that offer other pet products like treats, toys, leashes, and hygiene products.
Best Places to Buy Cheap Dog Food FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)
Buying dog food is an important task that will play a role in your dog’s overall health. But price and convenience aren’t the only factors that play a role in deciding where to buy the food. These are the answers to some of the biggest questions about buying dog food.
Is It OK to Go With the Cheapest Brands?
The old adage, “you get what you pay for,” is true for just about any product, including pet food. While you don’t want to break the bank buying the most expensive brands, it’s best to stay away from the lowest-cost brands.
Higher-end brands use higher-quality ingredients and often pay closer attention to the saturation of those ingredients in each and every kibble, resulting in better overall health for your dog. If you’re not sure what to look for in quality dog food, check out the American Kennel Club’s guide.
It’s important to buy the best dog food you can afford because better overall health means fewer trips to the vet, saving you money in the long run.
Should I Add Supplements to My Dog’s Food?
Vets often recommend supplements to treat pain and gastrointestinal disorders, but overuse or improper use can make problems worse. If you think your dog needs a supplement, talk to your vet about the benefits and risks of adding one to its diet.
How Often Should I Change My Dog’s Food?
According to research by iHeart Dogs, 70% of dog owners make the mistake of not rotating their dog’s food. Failing to do so can lead to nutritional deficiencies and, in rare cases, allergic reactions due to overexposure to ingredients.
To avoid these issues, rotate your pooch’s food once every three months. Note that some dogs have sensitive stomachs and may not take to sudden changes well. To avoid gastrointestinal issues, change the food slowly over a week by subbing in increasingly larger amounts of the new food each day until you’re only feeding the new food.
How Much Should I Feed My Dog?
Most pet food packaging comes with specific instructions regarding how much food your dog should eat in a given sitting and throughout any given day. Stick to these instructions when feeding your dog. If you feel the instructions are leading to under- or overfeeding, speak to your vet about a healthy, balanced diet.
Should I Feed My Dog a Special Diet?
Special diets are necessary for some dogs, but most dogs don’t need one — and sometimes, you should avoid it. For example, grain-free dog foods have increased in popularity. But according to a 2018 Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas study, it’s also linked to canine heart problems.
Only feed your dog a specialty diet if instructed by your vet. If you think one of these diets is necessary, schedule a vet visit to discuss your options.
How to Choose the Best Place to Buy Cheap Dog Food
When looking for dog food, pet owners should pay close attention to both quality and price. Choosing the highest-quality food you can afford is one way to save money on vet costs. While it may seem cheaper to go with the lowest-priced foods, low-quality foods can lead to long-term health problems that cost you more money in the long run.
If you have questions about feeding your pooch, schedule a wellness check with your vet to discuss your options.