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Nutrition is one of the most important elements in giving your dog their best life. The right food can prevent health issues, alleviate chronic allergies, give your dog lots of energy and help them live a long and happy life. Although premium food comes at a premium price, it can prevent expensive vet bills related to health conditions from an unhealthy diet.

I feed my dogs a premium dog food brand and we go through bags pretty quickly! That’s why I’m always looking for creative ways to save money on our dog food bills.

In this post, I’ll explain 5 dog mom-approved hacks to help you save money on high-quality dog food:

  • Sign up for Rewards Programs at Independent Pet Stores
  • Look for Influencer and Ambassador Promo Codes or Coupons
  • Save Manufacturer’s Coupons
  • Stock up on Premium Dog Food and Treats During Sales 
  • Supplement Your Dog’s Food with Mix-Ins

I’m happy to share this info because dog moms need to look out for each other! All dogs deserve to have healthy, nutritious food. I hope these tips, hacks, and advice help you.

Switching To Stella and Chewy's Raw Blend Kibble

Is premium dog food worth it?

If you just started comparison shopping for new dog food, you might be asking yourself if premium brands are really worth it? There can be a huge price difference between basic brands and premium brands. Frankly, they’re expensive! Are the ingredients really that much better?

Basic grocery store brands might list a protein-source like beef, bison, chicken, pork, or fish as the “main ingredient.” But it’s important to read the label and see what ingredients come after that. Ingredients on dog food and treats are listed in order of weight in the recipe. You should always buy dog food and treats that list a healthy protein source as the first (and main) ingredient.

What sets premium dog food brands apart, is that they will often have the first, second, third and sometimes fourth ingredient listed as a protein source. 

Dogs by nature are carnivores, so they need a protein-rich diet. You can find many premium brands that offer frozen raw, freeze-dried raw, canned and dry kibble. Whatever formula you go for, make sure to read the label and look for protein (not carbohydrates) as the first 2-4 ingredients.

Another thing that’s great about premium dog food brands is that many are approved for all of your dog’s life stages (for example, there’s no specific puppy food or senior food). That’s because they use quality, whole foods (and frequently human-grade ingredients) that are species-specific.

>> This post is part of a money-saving series to help you provide the best life to your dog at the lowest cost. I also have great tips to save money on your dog’s medication.

Where to Shop Local for Stella & Chewy's

5 Hacks to Save on Premium Dog Food

Sign up for Rewards Programs at Independent Pet Stores

I belong to customer loyalty rewards programs at several independent and franchise stores in my area. I give them my phone number and my email address. In exchange, I get some marketing emails, but I also get a ton of coupons and notifications about sales and events.

Some stores will give you money off a purchase once you reach a certain threshold. Others will use a points system. They might have a program like “Buy 10, Get 1 Free.” Don’t be shy about asking what kinds of rewards program your store has in place.

While I love to shop around and support a few different stores in my area, keep in mind that the more you shop at one store, the more points you will accumulate there. They call them loyalty rewards for a reason!

ways to make dog food more affordable

Look for Influencer and Ambassador Promo Codes or Coupons

Before I buy anything, I usually check out the brand on Instagram. Since I’m a pupfluencer myself, I like to click on their tagged photos feed and see if they work with other influencers. I’m often able to find social media partners that have ambassador coupons or promocodes listed in their bio or Instagram highlights.

For example, I work with Stella and Chewy’s, and with my ambassador link, you can get a $5 off coupon that’s redeemable on Stella and Chewy’s at local stores that carry them.

This tip isn’t just for saving on expensive dog food and treats… I look for influencer and ambassador codes for dog bandanas, collars, toys, and more!

Take the BEST Photo of Your Dog

Great photos last a lifetime and remind you of every sweet moment with your pup! My free e-book teaches you how to take professional style photos using just your phone.


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Save Manufacturer’s Coupons

Manufacturer’s coupons often come inside a bag, or might even be printed on the bag itself. These are great coupons because they often don’t expire for a long time and they can be redeemed at any store that carries your favorite premium dog food brand.

Whenever you find one for $2 or $5 off, clip it out and put it in your kitchen drawer so you don’t lose it.

Although I’m no extreme-couponer… I believe you can “stack” manufacturer and store coupons to get a deeper discount. Check the fine print and ask your local store if that a possibility.

Stock up on Premium Dog Food and Treats During Sales 

You might think that expensive dog food never goes on sale. But there’s always a loophole! One of the best loopholes is customer appreciation day! Most independent pet supplies stores have a customer appreciation or anniversary event. Check out your favorite store’s website or social media to see when they usually hold these events.

Special events like this might be might mean 10-20% off one item or your whole purchase. Sometimes the independent premium food brands will have specials that they collaborate with the store on, so you can really save. I make a point of shopping during these events and stocking up on a couple months worth of food.

I bought these metal shelves for my basement to store my dog food and treat stash. They were really easy to put together and make it easier for me to buy in bulk and save money.

save money on expensive dog food

Supplement Your Dog’s Food with Mix-Ins

One of my followers asked… If I can’t afford premium dog food, is there anything that can be added to less expensive dog food that can boost its nutritional value?

I think there are two solutions to this!

One, you can buy frozen raw or freeze dried raw patties from premium dog food brands and use them as a topper for your existing dog food. That would give your dog a great supplement of nutrient dense food.

But, if the base food you’re using isn’t high quality, that would just be lipstick on a pig! 

The solution I would recommend is to use the dog mom hacks I listed above to save money on a premium, high quality dog food. Then… supplement that food with your own affordable toppers. This will stretch the premium food to make the bag last longer while still giving your dog the best nutrition.

Some of my favorite affordable mix-ins are: canned sardines in water, whole raw eggs, plain baked chicken, chicken gizzards, beef liver, lean ground beef, sweet potatoes, green beans, dark leafy greens and coconut oil.

Try This: Super Healthy Goat Milk Pupsicle Recipe

My mix-ins might depend on what I’m making myself for dinner that week. If I’m making salmon for myself, I will save the skin for the dogs. If I’m making chicken, I’ll set aside a piece with no seasoning to cook for the dogs. This recipe from Dr. Judy Morgan is a great place to get ideas for what you can use.

These ingredients aren’t a replacement for my dog’s food because they don’t contain all the minerals and supplements they need. But I’ve found that they are a good way to stretch a bag of dog food and make it last longer.

Take the BEST Photo of Your Dog

Great photos last a lifetime and remind you of every sweet moment with your pup! My free e-book teaches you how to take professional style photos using just your phone.


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What’s the Best Premium Food for My Dog?

When it comes down to it, there isn’t one best food. The best way to nourish your dog is to give them a food that contains whole, healthy ingredients without starchy or sugary fillers.

There are so many great premium brands to choose from. The best way to learn about them is to visit a locally own pet supplies store. The people who work there have often been educated by the brands and use the product for their own pets, so they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

I choose to feed Burt and Lucy Stella & Chewy’s and we all love it. Check out my ambassador page to get a $5 coupon! In addition to producing high quality, protein-focused food, they’re also a socially responsible company and give back to dogs in need (especially senior dogs) all the time.

I also learned a lot about picking the best food for my dogs from this video by Dr. Karen Becker. I highly recommend it!

Did you like this post? Check out this other content:
Podcast: Using Food Therapy To Help Your Dog Live a Healthier Life
Choosing the Best Food for My Dog
Canine Enrichment: Doggy Cannoli Recipe
The Best Dog Chews for Mental Stimulation
Save Money on Your Dog’s Medication

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