How pet owners can cut costs on pet food in 2024

Pet food can get expensive, but there are ways to save even in 2024.
Loyal friends' excitement for treats
Loyal friends' excitement for treats / Anadolu/GettyImages

Pets make amazing additions to the family, but they can be costly. Pet care, especially pet food, can take up significant expenses. If you’re looking for a way to cut pet food costs this year, being mindful of your spending habits is crucial. Explore these cost-saving tips to save money without compromising your pet’s well-being.

Why Is Pet Food Expensive?

Many factors contribute to the rising pet food costs. Inflation is seen and felt everywhere, so raw ingredients, such as fish and meat, are becoming more expensive — including those that go into your pet’s food. A so-called “premiumization” of dog food is also on the rise, prompting pet owners to purchase higher-priced pet food from brands that consider “humanization and sustainability.” Some consumers also prefer non-GMO ingredients and human-grade products, which cost more than mid-range products.

According to the American Pet Products Association, consumer spending on pet food and treats increased 16.2% in 2022. Given the vast inclination for pet food with health claims like “natural,” “scientifically studied” and “vet recommended,” you can expect a rise in market demand that will further drive prices up.

How to Cut Pet Food Costs

Fortunately, there are many ways you can reduce your pet food expenses. Here are some strategies to try out:

1. Buy in Bulk

Bulk buying is a proven strategy for getting more pet food for less. While it means spending more money upfront, it translates to bigger savings in the long run. Additionally, pet foods in larger bags usually cost less per kilo than average-sized bags. Buying in bulk during promotions or sales is best to enjoy more savings. For instance, wholesale stores like Costco have bulk purchasing options that make stocking up on your pet’s monthly food supply easier.

Before buying in bulk, ensure your pet has already tried and loved the brand. Buying a 20-kilogram pet food that your dog didn’t bother eating can lead to feelings of regret. If you want to try a new brand without spending much money, inquire for samples. 

Investing in larger bags of pet food requires you to implement smart storage solutions. Poor storage can expose your pet’s food to moisture, pests and air. These problems may only compromise the quality of pet food, meaning you need to spend more money to buy a new one.

Consider airtight containers that provide quality seals to prevent enticing smells from unwanted pests.

2. Collect and Use Coupons

Collecting coupons and comparing prices on different websites can help you identify which brands offer the best bang for your buck. Here’s how you can score great deals both online and offline:

  • Follow pet brands online: Your favorite brands might host contests, giveaways and limited-time offers to enjoy.
  • Subscribe to newsletters: Many popular pet shops send newsletters with promotional offers.
  • Visit websites and apps: To get discounts on pet items, consider visiting sites like Coupon Cabin, Retail Me Not and Coupon Mom. Mobile apps like Coupon Clipper can also help you cut costs on pet food.

3. Find the Right Nutritional Balance

As your pet ages, remember that developmental stages require different nutritional requirements. Consult your vet to determine the appropriate diet for their life stage to ensure you’re not giving too much pet food.

Consider your pet’s unique nutritional needs when looking for the right food. For instance, wet pet food might be ideal if your cat doesn’t drink enough water. This product typically contains 75%-78% moisture and can help fill your cat’s hydration needs.

4. Make Pet Food at Home

Sometimes, the best action is to make your pet’s food using table scraps. Use this list of pet-friendly foods and ingredients from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as a guide when creating treats for your pet.

You can also use TrustedHousesitters’s new cookbook, “Dine With Your Dog - Trusted Treats & Recipes,” to create affordable, yummy treats. Around 29% of U.S. pet parents noted they enjoy giving their pet human food a few times a week. Along with the ASPCA’s guidelines, the best part about this cookbook is that it features recipes that are good for you and your pet’s tummy. 

5. Subscribe to Services

Many pet food brands provide discounts on scheduled food shipments and other deals. For instance, a brand may offer a shipping discount on your first order when you sign up for automatic shipping. The same is true for pet-caring services — subscribing to a specific service, such as pet sitting, can help you save money and time.

Get Quality Care & Savings with TrustedHousesitters

TrustedHousesitters was founded in Brighton, UK, in 2010 and has over 185,000 members in more than 140 countries. A subscription to its pet-sitting service starts from $129 yearly, allowing you to arrange as many sits as you like. It provides access to verified and reviewed sitters, giving you the peace of mind to work and travel without worries.

Cut the Pet Food Costs, Not the Love

Pet food doesn’t have to be expensive. Quality care can be affordable with the right tools and tricks. With these cost-saving strategies, you can give your pet quality food while cutting costs.

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