It’s that time of year again when we’re encouraged to buy, buy, buy. However, it’s also that time of year when people are counting their pennies, and for good reason – everything is getting more expensive.
Finding ways to save money on all of life’s necessities, including pet products, is top of mind. So here are some suggestions for finding discounts on pet products and saving money. Presenting, the dogtrotting.net guide to finding pet product discounts:
How to Save Money on Pet Products and Services – 10 Money-Saving Ideas You Might Not Know
1. Gather up gift cards
Every year, I dig through purses, wallets, and catch-all bowls through the house looking for unused or partially used gift cards. For some reason, I like to ‘save’ these for a special reason then I forget I have them.
I found a $25 PetsMart card in the side pocket of a handbag I hadn’t used in a while. Add that to my loyalty points, and I stockpiled some dog food for a month or two.
2. Cash in loyalty points from retailers to save money on pet products
Maybe you do this often, but I usually let the points accumulate both because I forget they are there and because I like to sometimes get an entire purchase for ‘free.’
That’s what I did recently when I realized I had $30 in PetsMart points after a year of buying what I needed online. (I might never carry cat litter to my car again if they continue to deliver it to my door).
Therefore, cash in loyalty points now for some bags or cans of dog food and save your cash for another purchase.
3. Stockpile products that do double and triple duty
I buy a lot of pet products for all three cats and one dog – too many products. First, I’m going to be more frugal about what I really need versus want, and second, I’m going to look for products that do double, if not triple, duty.
For instance, I’m a fan of earthbath® pet products, and not only because I’ve been sent products for review. Earthbath is a good company that develops Earth-friendly natural products, often sourced from renewable sources. Included on this list is the earthbath treatment balm is made from fair trade shea butter and organic aloe vera.
Entirely plant-based, earthbath treatment balm is smooth non-greasy balm is easy to rub on a dog’s nose and paws to avoid – or treat – cracked skin on either nose or paw pads. Also, it proports to work on hot spots, which I plan to test at length next spring, because I spent several hundred dollars running my pup to the veterinarian for what turned out to be ‘hot spots. If there’s a way to treat hotspots cheaper, I’m in! (What for review on dogtrotting.net soon).
4. Dehydrate your own dog treats
I spend a small fortune on dehydrated treats for my dog – she’s particularly fond of dehydrated beef lung and beef liver. My plan this year is to utilize a state-of-the-art dehydrator I was given for a gift and produce my own dog treats, at least for my dog and maybe for sale … eventually.
Watch for an upcoming article about how to dehydrate your own dog treats soon on this site. Spoiler alert: there’s a few things you need to know to keep things safe, especially when dealing with meat and organs. But dehydrate correctly, and you will save money on pet products.
5. Enter online contests
Granted many contests exist to get your email for newsletters, but it can be worth it – and you can always ‘unsubscribe’ later. However, many online contests on blogs and company sites receive fewer contest entries than you might think, so it’s an opportunity to get some free stuff. (Yes, there are more contests coming up on this dogtrotting.net too).
6. Look for discounted bags of dog food close to expiry
I’ve been scanning pet store shelves, especially in big box stores, for bags of both dog and cat food with 50 per cent off stickers. These are usually bags close to the printed expiry dates.
Note the food doesn’t go bad the moment of expiry – that is that date that the manufacturer can’t guarantee 100% nutritional value. So close to ‘expired’ food is good to both pour into a bowl immediately and keep for a little longer past the ‘use by’ date.
7. Groom at home … but carefully
Clearly, bathing at home rather than spending money on groomer baths (which I have done when my pup’s gotten extra dirty) is out now. But you’ll need the occasional regular groom, especially if you’ve got a breed with fur that grows rather than sheds.
However, some grooming at home might be possible with the right equipment and knowledge. Some dogs, like my springer-cross, needs to be clipped with scissors rather than shaved or the feathers will grow back frizzy. Don’t ‘shave’ off the feathers. But home grooming equipment might still be useful such as a Neabot, poised to be the Dyson of dog grooming.
The Neabot original, and the updated smaller, quieter version with more attachments, hovers in price around $200, depending on sales. The Neabot is essentially a vacuum that collects your pet’s fur, when you use an attachment to brush them or a shaver-like attachment to either trim or thin their fur. Thanks to a demonstration I participated in at SuperZoo 2022, I’ve seen the machine in action, and a full review/evaluation is up soon on dogtrotting.net.
8. Check human pharmacies for pet medicines
Sometimes the prescription you need for standard medication such as antibiotics are human medication in different dosages. Some can be purchased at human pharmacies cheaper than at the Vet’s office (although you’ll need a prescription from the vet).
However, never give your pet over-the-counter human medication the Vet has not prescribed – many are toxic to pets.
9. Print Discount Coupons
Yes, many online sites claim to provide consumer discount coupons, but in my research many of those sites don’t lead where they suggest. However, company websites are more reliable. Purian, for instance, offers printable coupons for pet food and treats both on its Canadian website and US website.
Similarly, IAMS Canada offers coupons here, including a $5 off dog food bags I collected recently at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario.
10. Take advantage of Senior’s Discounts to Save Money on Pet Products
Ok, this might not apply to everyone, but I was recently surprised to find out many senior’s discounts start at age 55 – which puts a few more of us in the running than I originally thought. Here’s a few pet products and services discounts:
- Global Pet Foods Senior’s Discount – If you are 60 years old or more, Global Pet Foods offers a 15 per cent on in-store purcrehases on the last Tuesday of every month, according to the company’s website.
- Pet Valu Senior’s Discount – Similarly, Pet Valu offers a 10 per cent discount on the last Thursday of every month for those 60 plus.
- Petland Senior’s Day and Discount – According to the company website, those 60 years and older are eligible for a 20 per cent discount on regular priced items on the last Thursday of every month – at ‘participating’ stores. You will have to sign up for a ClubPet membership, which is free.
- Dog-friendly Sandman Hotel Seniors’ Discount – One of my favourite dog-friendly hotels, the Sandman and Sandman Signature hotels, offers a 40 per cent off seniors’ discount to those 55 plus. However, that’s 40 per cent off the standard rate, and there’s often many deals available, so rarely would anyone book the standard rate.
- According to the Sandman hotel website, seniors also receive a $10 gift card per person, per night for on-site restaurants, free parking, early check in and late check outs, and free room upgrade. It’s not clear if these perks can be added to a sale rate, but you can bet I’m going to give it a try next time I’m at the Sandman.
Finally, if you do have the money for travel, price compare hotel rooms on sites like Kayak … and there is an option to limit your hotel search to ‘pet-friendly’ only:
Writer bio: Sherri Telenko has been a professional writer for decades and travel writer for the last two. She’s a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America, and travels almost weekly with her canine companion, Victoria.