Hey guys! I need your all’s help on prices 🙂
Normally, I coupon for dog food, usually paying no more $1 a per pound for brands like Wellness and Blue Buffalo (but usually its more like pocket change for 4-6 pound bags). However, if you’ve never tried couponing before, it takes tons of time– matching up store, manufacturer and competitor coupons to sales, as well has having to actually have the money to spend on the food when I don’t actually need it in order to take advantage of the sales to save money down the road. I work and go to college full time and with season coming, work is getting more and more busy (dang snow birds), and I’m having less time to keep up with coupons and sales. I have about 2 months of dog food stored away, so I figured while I have the time, I’d do some research and look around for some good food that fits into my limited college budget for when I don’t have the ability to use coupons.
What I’d like in the food is to be grain free (preferably, but no corn at the very least), available at Walmart, Publix, PetSmart, Pet Supermarket, and Petco, no more than $2 a pound (less would be much much better, though), and I’d like varying meat sources, as well as being no less than 3 stars (as I know you do get what you pay for). One thing to keep in mind is that I’m vary rarely near Costco and Tractor Supply, but those don’t have to be completely counted out. My grandparents are near Costco usually once a week, so I could give them money to pick me up something there.
I’m not too adverse to feeding Diamond foods, but I don’t want it to be a regular thing. Once every couple months is fine. So if any of these fall into my range, feel free to list them. And anything that gets manufacturer coupons would be super awesome, but its not necessarily overly important.
Also, Pet Supermarket does buy 10 get 1 free on ALL their foods, except Diamond (the actual labeled Diamond food in the white and orange bag). This is a plus, but doesn’t have to be a driving force.
I know prices vary across the country, so don’t worry too much! Just keep it close according to what’s available around you. Thanks bunches!
Nutrisource grain free chicken and lamb formulas are 1.67/lb on petflow. You can find this at retailers as well. Tractor Supply’s 4Health grain free food (not made by Diamond) is 1.23/lb. Merrick Whole Earth Farms 1.23/lb (not grain free). I’ve also heard Victor is reasonably priced. http://www.victordogfood.com. Dr. Tim’s with grain 1.50/lb. Fromm 4 Star Nutritionals Chicken a la Veg 1.80/lb. And Hit-Tek Naturals grain free.
Nutrisource I don’t think is available here (going to check out websites right now). I MAY be able to ask my local pet store to order it, but I’m fairly certain he’d want me to order and pay for a whole case. Also, I’m not home durring the day much, so I don’t think ordering online is an option as of right now.
The grain free 4Health was on my list, so if I’m ever in that direction (it’s almost an hour away) that is an option.
Merrick is available at PetCo, so that could be an option. Does anyone know if Petco or Merrick does the buy 10 get 1 free thing?
Fromm I’ve seen at a not-so-local pet store (up by Costco, an hour away). *Could* be an option. I’m rarely up that way, though, and I’d rather not send my grandparents on a wild goose chase LOL However i put in a lot of interstate driving, and pass the exit several times a week, so maybe 🙂
As for the others, I’ve not seen these around either. And then there’s the not home durring mail and shipping hours thing…
Anyone happen to know how much the grain free Kirkland stuff is? I know its like $27, but never got a weight off it.
Thanks bunches! I dont mean to be a pain. My dog food choices suck just here, in case you haven’t noticed LOL
Why can’t you order? Sandy gave you a very good food for a great price, two foods, in fact.
Most of the week I’m working 9 or 10 hours days. I wouldn’t be home to accept a perishable shipment, and dog food sitting in the 98 degree sun doesn’t sound like a good thing to me.
No neighbors to accept a bag of food, maybe leave a cooler out for it?
That’d be one big cooler! We go through 10 cups of dog food a day– we need lots of dog food :p We have smaller coolers, but none that would hold any amount of free shipping worth of dog food. And we don’t really know any of our neighbors. One of them wouldn’t mind, but they’re busy people, too. It’s not completely ruled out. It’s just doesn’t really seem like the best option right now. Buying locally would be much easier.
My dogs have been on Whole Earth Farms (by Merrick) dry food for a couple weeks now and are doing great. It is normally really affordable, but was on sale at Petco and came out to $1/lb. It is not grain-free, but doesn’t have corn. It’s a 4 star food on here, and my dogs love it. I got the 35lb bag for $35-something. Their wet food is great too.
My dad also just got that grain free stuff from Costco.. Nature’s Domain? His dogs haven’t been on it long enough to know how they do, but it is also very affordable. I think it’s rated a little lower but it is grain free.
I was looking at Whole Earth Farms, actually. I can also use a $5 off $25 coupon, which would bring it down some. It’s on sale right now, online at least. I was about to ask about it.
Do you know how big of a bag the Natures Domain comes in?
The bag he got was a bigger one, not sure exactly, but 35 or 40lbs. I don’t know if it comes in different sizes, sorry. 🙁
A couple hours of outside heat won’t do much harm. It’s already been in a small, closed delivery truck for days. I buy food online all year. But order more at once during the cool months. Petflow usually delivers fast and you get a tracking number so maybe you could time it right and get delivery on the weekend.
That’s ok, Jamie! Gives me something to look into 🙂 I can’t remember either lol
I’ll look into it, Sandy. Still not fully comfortable with the idea. Once it’s cooled down, perhaps I’ll feel better about the idea. Cooler weather is just around the corner, thank god. I hate this heat!
What are your all’s thoughts on PetSmarts Authority? Kinda mid grade-ish, right? Their grain free $1 a pound, more or less. And what about Nutro Max? Not really sure how I feel about that one, though…
Im looking for a good food to feed my Giant Pyrs. Anyone have any suggestions.
Alrightly, so here’s an incomplete list of my phone internetting. Walmart mobile site wasn’t cooperating, so I didn’t get around to prices and bag sizes (more or less going off the top of my head), and Pet Supermarkets website just plain sucks, so I didn’t bother. Both are like 3 minutes away, so I can finish those parts tomorrow or whenever in person.
So far, all three of the dogs do good on anything I’ve tried them on, so I get to play around with everything on this list over time. Lots of options. These are all 3-4 star foods (I hope, anyways! I tried to keep it 3 and above). Grain free isn’t working out very well, so far, going by only local options, but that’s ok. I’d like opinions on my list so far! And I’ll look into the online stuff when I have computer based Internet access in a few days.
None of them are foods I’d feed, to be honest but definitely not Nutro Max. What about Nutro Ultra?
Well, when you have an average of $20 left from your pay check every week, you do what you can. Not everybody can afford $60 or $70 dog food.
Nutro Ultra runs about $25-30 more. If I happen to be able to afford that, then I could get something better than either Nutro options, even if it means a smaller bag. Like I said, I’m not thrilled about the Max, but it could work if need be. It’s just on the list. Doesn’t nessecdarily mean I have to try it.
I would suggest looking around for another pet store, even if a bit further away. WEvery one assumes the boutique store are higher priced,but many do carry good budget friendly foods. I have used propac in the past and still do on occasion as something different-it doe have corn, but decent rating, and its 28.99 for 33lbs or so. Inside is a $3 off coupon, and then they have a buy 10 get one free program. You can not beat it for the cost.Hitek has grain free and grain inclusive, and a frequent buyer program. Victor has a varied line and it runs from 30-46 or so for the varietie. You can find other options if you are willing to drive a bit.
What about chicken soup for the dog lovers soul? I don’t know what stores near you carry it, but I’ve used that when needed, and have one of my dogs on their canned now. Taste of the wild is another diamond product, but grain free. Personally, I’d feed diamond (and have) over nutro, but that’s just a personal opinion.
The problem with the local pet stores around here is that they are so few and far between already that with the opening of more and more chains, they have to jack their already higher prices up just to stay open– or they slowly lose business until they finally close. That’s not to say I won’t check them out, but so far, everyone I’ve ventured into is much higher priced than everywhere else.
Hm, I forgot about Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul. A local store I frequent for fish and aquarium supplies has it on occation. Never thought to check the price. TOTW is about $3 a pound here (2.60-something). Too high IMO for who makes it. I’ve used it off and on, but the dogs don’t seem too thrilled about it. It’s the only food they’ve ever hated.
I’m currently scooting around Petflow.com. Most of the larger bags of food are out of my price range. I found a GIANORMOUS bag of Eagle Pack, looked it up on here, and was a bit peeved to see it had corn, and so high up on the list. Yet it gets 4 stars! I suppose it’ll be on my “maybe” list….
As far as large-bag-shopping goes, thats about the price range I want to stay in. Smaller bags can be a little more expensive.
I’ll keep looking around, and post more as I find them.
As far as foods with corn go, Eagle Pack is probably one of the very best. You might still include it in your rotation and since it’s cheaper, it would bring down your overall food costs in the long run.
I know you’ve mentioned stores you have access to, but do you have any privately owned feed and garden stores near you or even a grain elevator? I have one feed and garden store near me that boasts an inventory that rivals most boutique pet food stores; and, they have great prices, sales and frequent buyer rewards.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by DogFoodie.
There is ONE feed store that I know of. We used to get out rabbit and chicken food there. Its a creepy place, though, and I will in no way ever set foot there. If I had someone to send in my place, however… >:3 I don’t, though, unfortunately. However, as far as I recall, they mostly carried livestock feed, and had a very minimum selection of dog foods, none of which ever struck me as being even just decent. I could ask the internet, though. I don’t ever venture out to “the sticks.”
They may very well carry PMI products there and if they do, they might also have Infinia. That’s an affordable five star food.
I dunnooooo… The place looks like a hillbilly garbage bump and mobile home/shed cemetery. Its pretty creepy! LOL
Side note, I’ve got a pretty good list going from Petflow. Once I finish getting it narrowed down I’ll post it.
Do you hear banjo music?
Pretty sure you can hear it from a mile away LOL
Got my list almost done! Little bit more narrowing down to do.
This is really long, so don’t go running away screaming lol
Dr Tims’s Pursuit Active
Dr Tim’s Kinesis ALS
Avoderm Natural Chicken and Brown Rice
By Nature Active
By Nature Pork
California Natural Chicken Meal and Rice Puppy
California Natural Low Fat Chicken Meal
Canidae Life Stages ALS
Canidae Beef and Ocean FIsh Meal
Castor and Pollux Ultramix Beef and Barley
Castor and Pollux Large Breed
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul ALL
Eagle Pack (all but reduced fat and senior)
Earthborn Puppy Vangate
Earthborn Small Breed
Earthborn Primitive Naturals
Evanger’s Chicken and Brown Rice
Fromm Gold ALL
Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Grain Free Pork
Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Grain Free Chicken
Grandma Lucy’s PureFormance Chicken
Holistic Select Vital Senior
Holistic Select Radiant Adult Chicken
Holistic Select Radiant Adult Lamb
Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed
Holistic Select Anchovy
Horizon Pulsar Grain Free Chicken
Horizon Pulsar Grain Free Fish
Merrick Whole Earth Farms Adult
Merrick Whole Earth Farms Puppy
Merrick Classic Beef
Merrick Classic Lamb
Merrick Classic Chicken
Merrick Classic Adult Large Breed Chicken
Healthwise Chicken Meal and Oatmeal
Natural Balance Ultra
Natural Balance Fat Dogs
Nature’s Recipe Adult Lamb and Rice
Nature’s Recipe ETD Chicken Meal and Barley
Nature’s Recipe Venison
Nature’s Recipe Large Breed
Nature’s Recipe ETD Fish Meal
Nature’s Recipe Healthy Weight
Nature’s Variety Lamb and Oatmeal
Nature’s Variety Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Puppy
Nutrisource Lamb Meal and Rice
Precise Naturals Grain Free Chicken
Premium Edge Healthy Weight 1 Weight Reduction
Solid Gold Wolf Cub
Vet’s Choice ALL
Wellness Complete Health Chicken
Wysong Growth Puppy
Acana Chicken and Burbank Potato
I was really surprised at how cheap the Grandma Lucy’s is– 51 pounds for 60 bucks, and for a really god one?? I’m all about that!
Not too sure on the Solid Gold, but its just kind of hanging out there for now. I dunno what it is about that brand that gives me the heebyjeebies.
Some of these other ones (By Nature, Vet’s Choice, Premium Edge, and a few others) are cheap and look good too. As it gets cooler and my food supply starts to dwindle, I’ll look into this online dog food shopping thing, I think.
I like a lot of the Solid Gold products. I wish they’d sever ties with Diamond altogether though. I don’t use any of their products manufactured by Diamond. The Wolf Cub you mention is one of their Diamond products. I just opened a fresh bag of Barking at the Moon for my Cavalier this evening.
Where did you find Grandma Lucys in 51 pounds, or do you mean it’s that much when it’s rehydrated?
I’m a big Dr Tim’s fan. Have you tried Annamaet grain inclusive?
I think most of my problem with Solid Gold is that the quality of the line as a whole is really all over the place. You can’t just go in knowing its all good and pick whatever one you want, you’ve gotta make sure you’re not getting one of the 2.5 star products, or whatever.
The 10 pound bag of Grandma Lucy’s makes 51 pounds. And I just got to thinking– does this feed like a regular dog food?
I fed Grandma Lucys to one dog but not for long…..I’m an Honest Kitchen gal and I usually end up feeding more of that (dry) than kibble, by a little bit
So when it’s wet, how much are you supposed to feed? I’ve got an 8 pounder that eats a cup, a 65 pounder that eats 4-5, and a 130 pounder that eats 5 cups (on kibble).
That’s amazing your 8 pounder eats 1 cup! As for the wet, check out the calorie count and and compare it to your kibble to see if you need to feed more or less. The calories are going to be for a dry measure before added water.
My problem with Solid Gold is their connection with Diamond. The fact that it doesn’t bother them really bothers me. I stay away from them.
He’s crazy active, Sandy! You should see him when he’s all hyped up LOL He puts it back in under 3 minutes too (dry food is mixed with canned and an egg). I have no idea where he puts it all :p
I mind the diamond thing as much as I don’t. Yeah, diamond sucks, but dog food companies are in it for the money, no way around it. Diamond is the cheapest, so everyone (not everyone, but you know what I mean) uses them. Best you can do is try to avoid them.
Wow, you feed a lot of food. I can’t remember what you currently feed but you generally feed less of high quality foods. How’s their weight? As for wet foods, it’ll tell you how much to feed on the bag/box, as a starting point.
Bentley (the little guy) has always eaten more than the bag says because he is so active. He’s been on almost all the Innova’s, TOTW, Puppy Chow (what he came on– yuck!), and a few others. Haley, the 65 pound one, is so old she doesn’t keep weight on very well. Slowly figuring out ways to keep her weight up. And Dweezle is a big beefy, inactive dog. Not fat, though. All are good weight except Haley, who needs a couple more pounds on her.
Right now we are on RR Zero Grain and Purina One (I know, I know, but i got payed 5 bucks to haul 6 3.5 pound bags out of the store, so I have a ton of it). They pretty much all eat the same no mather the brand. The big dogs eat maybe a half cup less on better brands. I haven’t seen any difference in Bentleys eating habits between brands, other than favoring red meat based foods.
Akari_32 (and everyone),
I am in the same boat – I am operating on a SUPER limited college student with no student loans (due to being an international student, I can only legally work only on campus, and only 20 hours/week, and I have them filled with my Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA), which pays $730.00/month) budget, but I want to feed my Rat Terrier-Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix pup only 4-5 star dog food. So far so good – we scout deals on petflow.com, chewy.com, and amazon.com, as well as pet stores, and we have fed him Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Puppy (1 small bag), Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy (1 small bag), Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy 11 lbs bag mixed with Vet’s Choice Holistic Health Extensions Original 4 lbs bag (got it for free at PetLand). When my boyfriend and I got him, he was about 4 months and 6 lbs, on Purina something (yuck), but we got him on Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Puppy, which was recommended to us by the PetSmart associate in case of allergies in puppies, and then we put him on Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy. Toward the end of that first bag, we noticed that his coat had gotten shiny. We kept him on it, and then I discovered this amazing website, and learned about dog food rotation, so we have purchased his next food – Dr. Tim’s Kinesis Grain Free 11 lbs, and Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea 4 lbs, which we will mix and feed to him. Now he is about 7.5, almost 8 months, and he is about 11 lbs. Other foods I have on my list are Acana Regionals Grain Free (so expensive!), Back to Basics (so expensive, to use mixed with more affordable food), Victor, Taste of the Wild, Orijen (so expensive!), Wellness Core, EVO (so expensive!), Innova Prime Grain Free, Earthborn Holistic Grain Free, Wysong Epigen 60 and Wysong Epigen 90 (so expensive, to use mixed with more affordable food), and Timberwolf (so expensive, to use mixed with more affordable food), as well as any of the Grain Free 4- and 5-star foods on this website. I also feed him all-natural chews and treats, such as bully sticks, ears, tracheas, gullet strips, fish skins, Himalayan Dog Chews, and homemade treats of berries, pumpkin, peanut butter, and yoghurt. These, I think, also contribute to his beautiful coat and good health. He also gets an average of 1 dental treat/week.
So, the bottom line is, I want to monitor this thread for more ideas on good places (online or offline) to buy affordable high-quality dog food 🙂 .
Also, since I got him, I have been putting in hours/week researching this website and others, and educating myself on dog food nutrition. I was wondering if anyone knows of any dog/pet nutrition classes in GA, USA. I would love to be certified in this area and maybe own my pet food store (that would sell good pet food) one day.
Also, another question – we have our pup on Trifexis, for 5-10 lbs dogs, and recently (this past week) he started itching and scratching a lot. His skin looks good, but I don’t know if he is developing an allergy to something, or it is because his Trifexis effect is wearing off faster now that he is about/over 11 lbs, and they only gave him the 5-10 lbs pill last time at the vet. I have also used the FURminator tool (borrowed from a friend, they are soo expensive) on him twice, once a week for about 10 min, and I bathe him (Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap – Almond, and oatmeal puppy conditioner) once every 2 weeks.
Thank you, all!
Skip the furminator, they can really irritate the skin on all dogs, but especially on thin coated breeds. You need to adjust the dose on the trifexis or he won’t be protected from heartworms. You can add about 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil to his food for the itchy skin. If he continues to be itchy all over then I would suspect allergies.
Patty, thanks for the advice! I decided to stop furminating him anyway, because I want him to have his undercoat nice and thick since winter is coming, and he is small and skinny. It does help a lot with shedding and it says it is not supposed to hurt his skin, but we’ll see, maybe he won’t be itchy now that we won’t furminate him. I will also grab some coconut oil from Costco and give him that and see if it helps with his skin. I will monitor him for allergies though, and get his Trifexis dose adjusted when I take him to the vet next.
Make sure you don’t make the same mistake I did. I bought this big, beautiful jar of lovely organic coconut oil, only to find out that it’s refined and as a result, basically worthless.
You want extra virgin or unrefined coconut oil.
Here’s some good reading on coconut oil and some other “alternative” supplements from what will be in the November issue of Whole Dog Journal, starting at page three (3): http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/16_11/features/alternative-treatments-updated_20861-1.html?pg=3
Betsy, I had no idea about the type of coconut oil! Thanks so much for the article, now I know what to look for! I have not gone to Costco yet, but when I do, I will look for raw/unrefined/extra virgin coconut oil.
Our little dog is always itchy too, but not the big dogs. Everyone is on Trifexis, as well. We are thinking its a grass allergy, since he’s been on grain free, soy free, and all kinds of different meats, and nothing makes any difference. Just something to consider.
Akari, thanks for the info. Our little guy wasn’t as itchy before, and nothing has changed in his diet, so I am guessing either the FURminator may have irritated his skin, or the flea/tick protection of Trifexis is wearing off and he will need the larger-sized dog amount now that he is over 10 lbs.
He didn’t itch until we brought him home. My guess is that his previous home had a different type of grass than we do. We originally thought it was a food allergy, but after all kinds of crazy spending on food for him, with no change, my grandma said her friends dog had a grass allergy, so i looked it up and his itching does match up to that. It does come and go in severity, like after the grass is mowed and when it’s really tall and blooming it’s really bad, but when the grass is a week or so uncut and when it’s cooler than normal (like 80s or so) he’s not so bad.
When it comes to contact allergies, they usually make the dog itchy where they come in contact with it like itchy paws for a grass allergy. Unfortunately, itchy paws can also be any floor cleaners, fertilizers, herbicides, etc. It’s really hard to figure out the cause sometimes.
We don’t use anything like that (we use a steam mop for the floors– the only other thing would be an allergy to Tide…), and it goes up his back legs, and along his tummy/chest. Grass just seems like the only thing that would touch him like that. If it was the Tide, he’d be itchy all over because he’s on all the beds (and his bed gets washed all the time) and steels any blanket he can get lol
I would agree with you. It is grass or something on the grass, or possible, a rug.
Only two rooms have carpet, and only a vacuum is taken to them on occasion. Nothings used on the yard, either. So it’d have to be the grass itself, or I don’t even know what. We have a few different dog shampoos and he stops itching temporarily after the use of all of them, so I would’t think it’d be any of them, either.
Definitely not shampoo, since we tend to put it at its purest on their back.
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