Frugal Tips For Buying Pet Food and Feeding Pets

Here are some tips for saving money on pet food.

  • If you buy your dog high quality food, this will save you money in the long run as many pet health problems are related to poor nutrition due to low-quality food.

  • Resist the urge to "free-feed" your dog/cat, meaning don't leave lots of food out for your dog and refill when he runs out. Instead feed according to the package directions, which is normally around 2 cups per day for medium dogs, and significantly less for cats. This will save you money by having to buy less food, and it will prevent many diseases and problems that arise from pet obesity.

  • If you purchase from Petco, after 10 bags you get one free if you are a member. As always, check your receipts and weekly ads for coupons.

By Clare from Washington, DC

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March 30, 20070 found this helpful

I agree with your tips except that with the recent tragedies with the pet food poisonings, it was revealed that one company makes the food sold under 95 different brand names. So essentially people paying extra for Iams were getting the same food as I get with my WalMart brand food.


At least that's the way they made it sound on the news. I've only ever given my cats dry food because it is both cheaper and better for them and their teeth.

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March 30, 20070 found this helpful

Although companies make several different brands of things, ex. makeup companies, food etc. However, if you look at the animal food (just for example) there ARE differences sometimes in how much of a certain ingredient is in one food vs. another. There might be WAY more corn filler in a cheaper brand, than say Iams. So despite the fact that a lot of companies make the food in the same plant, this is NO guarantee they are the same food. And sometimes (especially in the makeup lines) you are ONLY paying for the "froo froo" name!


That being said, Iams isn't even a really good food. When you see By-product on a label, that can mean ANYTHING of the animal, bones, guts, lips, etc!!! Pretty gross if you ask me. I too found out the hard way that cheap food, is just that CHEAP! But it can be a risk to your animals health. One of my kittys has IBS, while not caused by the food, cheap food wasn't helping. I use Natural Balance (Dick Van Patten's food {yep, Eight is Enough guy, who also does food for zoos!}) and while more "expensive" was cheaper in the long run.

#1 They eat less (I do free feed because of the dynamic between my two cats) and I buy less (when a cat eat poor quality food, they will eat MORE of it until their body is nourished, higher quality food, means less to eat!)


#2 They make less "mess"

#3 Their coats are healthier

I just changed to a single protein source food for my IBS kitty that Natural Balance thank goodness makes! I bought an 8# bag from the vet for $28 last time!!!! She was surprised when I told her that there was an over the counter single protein food now (not lots of different meats, or different parts of meats).

More money doesn't always mean better, basically the rule of thumb is...If you can buy it at the grocery store, it's not really a good food. Ask any vet that, regardless of the brand they carry in their office, they'll tell you, you'll get better food if you shop the specialty stores or website (Dr. Fosters and Smith). If you MUST feed them cheaper food, try a Omega supplement to help them out with some nutrients they need and are missing out by eating the byproduct, corn filled food.

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By Lynda (Guest Post)
March 31, 20070 found this helpful

WELL-l-l-l, now more folks will BELIEVE what I've been saying for so long, ever since I lost three pets in a row from bad pet food! The FDA confirmed my worst suspicions that it made of diseased animals, so why would ANYONE want to EVER give it to their pet? Gamblers, perhaps? AND FYI, pets don't NEED


Vitamins unless they are vigorous, outdoors, sickly,
or not eating. Vitamins do a modicum of good things and a WHOLE lot of BAD things to our pets, from making them go into heat too often to make them WAY too hungry ! It takes less time to microwave a lb of ground meat/fish than it takes to
open a can with a canopener BECAUSE, remember that you're NOT trying to cook the meats so well, just to the grey stage and include the juices for the pet. A little garlic salt and frozen veggies, or chopped bologna added really makes it good. God bless you. : )

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July 29, 20080 found this helpful

Our vet told us a good pet food's 1rst ingredient should be real meat/fish.

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July 29, 20080 found this helpful

There is another chain (I find Petco and Petsmart) very high in prices) We have a Pet Supples Plus in our area that is way way cheaper than those large chains.

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October 20, 20140 found this helpful

I believe that obesity in pets is a killer. I keep a "food diary" just like a person on a diet does. Each and every treat, food, table scrap gets written down with the number of calories. I also cook for my dogs, mostly meat with some rice, frozen for fresh vegetables. Sometimes I put 1/2 can of real premium food (I prefer Triumph) in the mix if I run out of meat.


It is surprising how the calories add up. Especially if your dog follows you around and you are in the habit of sharing food with them. I lost weight as well because I cut down on snacking between meals to avoid those sad, hungry eyes. Another tip is to break the treat into smaller pieces. Dogs can count how many but do not have the concept of the size of the pieces.

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