Dogs are expensive.
This article provides some tips on how to save while shopping for your best friend.
1. Buy from one or two good vendors
There are two main classes of items you need to get regularly for your dog:
- Food (kibble and treats) and,
- Grooming items (toothpaste, greenies, towel wipes).
You generally want to try and get everything from as few vendors as possible so you don’t have to pay too much extra in shipping and handling costs.
There are two main vendors on Amazon.com that have a good variety of high quality dog kibble,
- Pet Food Direct and,
- National Pet Pharmacy.
Both vendors have comparable prices. I recommend going with National Pet Pharmacy because Pet Food Direct is pretty awful when it comes to returning items. I have done returns to them on three separate occasions, and in each of those times it took them at least a month, and many phone calls before getting my account credited.
** In the interest of full-disclosure, we are now an affiliate of National Pet Pharmacy.
National Pet Pharmacy is a good place for getting a a variety of kibble and dog treats.
- Orijen Adult (15.4-lb),
- Orijen 6 Fresh Fish (15.4-lb bag),
- Innova EVO Small Bite(28.6-lb Bag),
- Nature’s Variety Instinct (13.2-lb bag), or
- Wellness CORE (26-lb bag).
Canned wet food:
- Innova EVO Chicken & Turkey (12/5.5-oz cans)
- Innova EVO Rabbit (12/13.2-oz cans)
- Innova EVO Venison (12/13.2-oz cans)
- Innova EVO Duck (12/13.2-oz cans)
KV Vet Supply is also a great vendor at Amazon. They don’t carry my kibble brands, but they have a much wider selection of toys compared to National Pet Pharmacy, and they usually only charge $5 for shipping and handling.
** All this food is wheat free and corn free.
** Note there have been several food recalls from food made in China. If possible, it is best to get treats that are made in the USA, which has more stringent FDA rules.
A big expense in grooming is in dental health.
Greenies can get to be pretty expensive, so I buy them in bulk from PetEdge. Unfortunately, they are not an Amazon vendor, but it is well worth your while to create an account there because they have the best prices on Greenies. Order 6 boxes or more at a time to get their super savings.
For other grooming needs, KV Vet has better prices than National Pet Pharmacy.
National Pet Pharmacy
KV Vet Supply
2. Browse for items on the main vendor sites
If you are searching for a particular item, go to your favorite vendor’s Amazon store front (National Pet Pharmacy and KV Vet Supply) and try doing your search there first. If it yields no results, then try the vendor homepage.
Sometimes, the items are just described differently and Amazon search misses them.
If you are interested in browsing classes of products (e.g. toys, collars) I would just go to the main vendor pages. The browse product links on Amazon store fronts are often not set up properly, and return an error when you click a product group.
3. Look for good deals on toys
Amazon often has some super discounts on products. These discounts are a great way to save money while buying toys for your dogs.
Toys are unlike food and grooming products. There is usually a wide range of good quality toys to choose from, and toys do not need to be bought on a fixed schedule.
Cheap dog toys:
- 50%-70% discounted items,
- 25%-50% discounted items,
- 70% or more discounted items,
- 25% or less discounted items.
I have found many good deals this way. For this to work well, you may want to join Amazon Prime to save on shipping and handling costs.
If you want to do this yourself, here are the steps:
- Go to Amazon.com and select the Home and Gardening section in search.
- Enter in the search term "dog toy". In the top left column, there should be a Category section; just click on Pet Supplies, and then Dog.
- Right below the Category section, there is a Shipping Option section, click on Can be shipped within one business day. This will only show you Amazon Prime products.
- Towards the top right of the screen, right below the shopping cart, there should be a Sort by box, with the term Relevance in it. Go there and change the option to Price: Low to High.
- Now you can quickly look through the products and pick the toys you like. You can also scroll down and look for the Discount category on the left column. Then click on 50%-70% or 25%-50%. There usually are not too many products in the over 70% range, but you may try that as well.