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We love pets, but pets can drain your wallet if you’re not smart about how to save money on five of the most common pet items you need to replace often.
The most common pet items pet owners want to save money on include pet food, pet treats and toys, kitty litter, grooming supplies, and pet medication. Each of these common pet items needs to be replaced often enough that subscription options to save money can be worthwhile. But not always!
We’ll show you how to easily save money on the most common pet expenses.
But first, if you’re a pet owner, download the Krazy Coupon Lady app to get instant coupons and sale alerts for all the most common pet items on your list. And bookmark our pet deals page so you never miss out on pet supplies savings. Also, text HACKS to 57299 for more money-saving tips.
1. Get free pet supplies like dog food, cat food, and potty training pads by completing surveys.
I can’t pass up free food for my best friend. Especially when all you have to do is always answer a few questions from the following companies to get free samples sent your way:
- Fill out a Nature’s Logic survey; you can get a free coupon for a 1-lb bag of dog food or two free cans of cat food.
- PetWay will send you a free dog food sample of your choice after you fill out their survey.
- Once you fill out this Zignature survey, you’ll be able to pick out two of their dog foods to try for free.
And if you’re looking to get some free potty pads for your dog, PetsWorld gives you two free pads for answering some questions about your pet.
Related: Be sure to check out all of our other favorite ways to get pet freebies.
2. Ask your vet for free pet supplies samples — they usually have tons.
Companies send vet offices free samples all the time for them to try out and recommend to their clients. At my vet, I was able to take home two free cans of Royal Canin canned dog food (reg. $4.39 at Petco).
If you ask for a sample, the front desk will usually be able to find some form of food or treat for your pet. The worst they can do is say no!
See this week’s best dog food deals.
3. If you can’t afford pet supplies, visit your local pet food pantry or animal shelter.
A lot of animal shelters and food banks have programs set up for people who are having trouble affording food for their furry friends, where they give out donated pet food they’ve received.
Where I live, the local pet food pantries open once or twice per month to give away pet food. All you need is a form of ID.
Some shelters advertise this, like at my local humane society where they call it the Pet Food Pantry. Others don’t make it so obvious — you’ll have to give them a call and ask. They’re usually happy to help!
4. Get three free PetSmart coupons each month by playing a game on the PetSmart app.
It’s so easy to get PetSmart coupons, y’all. Just download the PetSmart app, and play a game called Treat Trail. Every time you complete one of the game’s three difficulty levels, you get a coupon (you can win up to three coupons per month).
Most of the coupons I’ve received save 15% – 25% on all in-store purchases (except services and gift cards). The catch? They don’t work online.
In my experience, the coupons expire after about two weeks, but PetSmart lets you earn a new set of coupons each month. Stack those coupons with our other PetSmart savings tips and watch the savings pile up!
5. Use manufacturer coupons on Chewy’s Daily Deals for pet treats and toys.
Chewy has a Daily Deals section for your pet. There you’ll find an Under $15 section, a BOGO 50% off section, and a Buy Two Get 1 Free section. These sale selections are full of treats and toys for your animals.
But before loading your cart with Chewy’s cheap treats and toys for your pet, head to the Krazy Coupon Lady pet coupon page for manufacturer coupons to see which sale items have current manufacturer coupons to stack.
Chewy does accept manufacturer coupons, but you have to mail them in. Here’s what to do:
First, place your order on Chewy’s site and then mail your eligible coupons to:
Attn: Chewy Coupons
3251 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 401
Hollywood, FL 33021
Along with the coupons, mail them your email address and order number so their support team can process the coupons for you, kind of like a rebate. Keep in mind they won’t accept coupons that have been copied, emailed, scanned, or expired.
TIP: Stock up each year on treats, bones, and chews during Chewy’s 50% off Blue Box sale the third week of June.
6. Join Petco Pals Rewards to get $5 coupons for every $167 you spend on pet supplies.
Unlike PetSmart’s loyalty program, Petco’s Vital Care rewards program is, well, actually rewarding (hey, at least PetSmart has a loyalty program — unlike Chewy).
Vital Care Core members get one $5 Petco coupon for every $167 they spend at Petco — instead of one $2.50 PetSmart coupon for every $1,000 they spend at PetSmart.
The best part? You can stack these $5 off rewards on top of each other, coupons, and sale prices (as long as it doesn’t bring the total price below $0). Plus, finding the best coupons and sales is easy with our best tips for finding a Petco discount.
7. Get the best prices on pet supplies by using price matching at PetSmart.
Only PetSmart allows you to price match identical, non-discounted items from competitors, now that Petco price matching is no longer a thing.
While PetSmart will price match their own website, they won’t price match Amazon. And Chewy doesn’t price match anyone — unlike these major retailers who price match their competitors.
8. You have 365 days to return any Chewy pet supplies.
The only thing you can’t return is prescription medications. And Chewy’s 365-day return window is much longer than the policies at Petco (30 days) and PetSmart (60 days).
To make a return, simply contact Chewy customer service and select “Other Reason” from the Topic dropdown menu. From there, insert your order number, fill in your email, and submit your request.
In the event you choose to get a refund instead of an exchange, Chewy will refund the original form of payment 3 – 5 business days after your return is processed.
TIP: These stores have the friendliest return policies.
9. The best pet supplies sale is Chewy’s Blue Box sale — 50% off chews, bones, and collars.
Chewy’s Blue Box sale typically runs during the third week of June.
Here’s why you gotta hit this sale. In 2021, Chewy had these deals:
- 50% off Frisco cat collars (reg. $4 – $16)
- 50% off American Journey food and treats
- 50% off all Bones & Chews products
There’s a trend to this sale. All of the best deals were on Chewy’s store brands. If you shop any of those brands, the Blue Box Sale should be a high priority.
And between sales, we’ll teach you how to save money at Chewy.
10. Amazon offers 40% off your first pet food delivery when you use Subscribe & Save.
PetCo, PetSmart, and Amazon all offer pet food subscriptions, but Amazon is the only one to offer 40% off your first pet food delivery when you opt-in to Subscribe & Save. After that, you’ll get 5% off pet food delivery each month, or 10% – 15% off if you opt-in to four other Subscribe & Save products.
But if you’re in a bind and can’t wait for your next pet food delivery from Amazon, Walmart, and Target have the lowest everyday in-store prices on pet food. For example, get Purina Adult Dog Food for $0.65/lb from Walmart, or $0.64/lb when you use your Target Red Card.
Otherwise, plan to join PetCo’s and PetSmart’s loyalty programs for monthly coupons. Get additional coupons by playing a game within the PetSmart app to earn discounts worth up to 25% off in-store when you beat the game’s three levels each month. They use the coupon to stock up on pet food.
TIP: Stock up on food during Amazon’s annual pet sale from the end of April through the beginning of May. Get a rundown on what to expect during Amazon’s annual pet sale here.
11. Both Petco and PetSmart offer free same-day delivery on pet supplies.
PetSmart and Petco have teamed up with DoorDash to provide free, same-day delivery.
To get same-day delivery from Petco, your order must be more than $35, and it must be placed before 2 p.m.
At PetSmart, you have until 3 p.m. to place an order and have it delivered the same day, but your order must be over $49.
Of course, as is the case with any DoorDash delivery, you have the option to tip your driver.
12. Save up to 50% on pet medications using Chewy’s Pharmacy.
Get $20 off your first Chewy Pharmacy order of $49+. After that, you’ll save 5% on all reoccurring pet medication deliveries.
You can also save nearly 50% on Chewy’s brand of flea and tick medication compared to Amazon’s Frontline brand.
For example, spend $34.16 when you get Chewy’s flea treatment brand, Onguard, delivered via auto-ship every month.
To compare, you’ll pay $67.36 for a monthly delivery of Frontline flea and tick treatment from Amazon, even with Amazon’s 5% Subscribe & Save discount.
13. Get your pet meds from the Chewy Pharmacy and save 20% on your first order.
Unlike other retailers who only offer repeat delivery on pet food or cat litter, Chewy offers repeat delivery on Chewy Pharmacy orders! They’ll take 20% off of your first repeat order of pet meds.
You still get 5% off all repeat orders if you sign up for autoship, though. Here’s how Chewy’s regular prices compare to other pet pharmacies:
- 6-Pack Heartgard Plus from Chewy, reg. $63.99 (compare to Petco at $63.99 and PetMeds at $63.99)
- 3-Pack NexGard Chew from Chewy, reg. $68.99 (compare to Walmart Pet RX at $68.99 and PetMeds at reg. price $98.56)
- 1 Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Cats from Chewy, reg. $62.98 (compare to PetSmart at $62.99 and Target at $62.99)
14. The best places to buy dry, cheap dog food are Walmart and Target — prices are as low as $0.13/cup.
Never pay more than $0.28/cup for dog food, because you have options that are cheaper, including:
- $0.13/cup: Purina Dog Chow dry food, 48 lbs at Walmart for $23.98
- $0.18/cup: Pedigree dog food, 44 lbs at Target for $25.99
- $0.28/cup: Beneful dog food, 40 lbs at Target for $37.49
Make that price per cup even lower when you use your Target RedCard; it makes the Pedigree cost just $0.17/cup and the Beneful just $0.22/cup.
Related: Don’t overpay for the more expensive kibble, either; check out our guide to the cheapest place to buy Science Diet dog food.
15. Walmart & Costco have the best price per ounce for wet, cheap dog food at $0.09/oz.
With wet dog food, you want to calculate prices based on cost per ounce. Divide the price of your wet food by the number of ounces listed on the container.
You should never spend more than $0.11/oz, because when you shop regular priced dog food at Walmart & Costco, you can do better:
- $0.09/oz: Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner, 24-ct 13.2 oz cans from Walmart for $26.98
- $0.09/oz: Purina Dog Chow wet food, 12-ct 13-oz cans from Walmart for $13.86
- $0.09/oz: Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain, 24-ct 13.2 oz cans from Costco for $28.99
- $0.11/oz: Iams Proactive Health wet food, 6-ct 13-oz cans from Walmart for $8.74
See this week’s best deals on Purina dog food here.
16. Never pay more than $0.26/cup if you’re looking to buy dry, cheap cat food.
Cat food, unfortunately, is a little more expensive per cup than dog food. But the mark to aim for is $0.26 per cup whenever you’re looking at cheap cat food.
Set your sights there, and your options will include:
- Meow Mix cat food, from Sam’s Club for $0.17 per cup
- Friskies Seafood Sensations cat food, from Target for $0.19 per cup
Of course, we have a full rundown of the best ways to save on cat food.
17. Get your wet cheap cat food for no more than $0.24/oz when you shop from Target, PetSmart, or Amazon.
When you’re buying wet cat food, there’s always a measurement of how many ounces are in each container of food (check the bottom corners of the package).
For wet food, always try to spend below $0.24 per ounce — a price at which I still found brands such as Friskies, Meow Mix, and Fancy Feast:
- Friskies Meaty Bits, from Target for or Chewy for $0.13 per ounce
- Meow Mix wet cat food, from PetSmart for $0.23 per ounce
- Fancy Feast wet cat food, from Amazon for $0.24 per ounce
See this week’s best deals on Purina cat food.
18. Shop Blain’s Farm & Fleet for cheap cat litter — they have the best prices on clumping and non-clumping cat litter.
The most affordable cat litter is always non-clumping, (“non-clumping” means it won’t naturally clump around your cat’s, um, presents).
And the best price I’ve seen is at Blain’s Farm & Fleet, where they sell a 40-lb bag of non-clumping cat litter (reg. $7.49) for the low price of $0.19/lb.
If you’re looking for clumping cat litter, though, expect to pay double what you would for non-clumping litter. The best regular price I found was at Blain’s Farm & Fleet, where they sell clumping cat litter for $0.37/lb.
For a complete guide on making sure your cat’s potty breaks don’t break your bank, read our best tips for getting cheap cat litter.
19. Save up to $55 by asking doggy daycares, vet offices, and training services if they offer discounts for rescue animals.
I’ve found the sweetest animals from shelters. Not only are you saving a life, but rescuing also offers some perks.
I’ve come across all kinds of animal-focused businesses that give 40 – 50% discounts on services with proof of adoption. Some veterinarian offices will even give you the first consultation free, which typically costs between $45 – $55.
By the way, PetSmart offers a free first exam for your pet through their Banfield vet clinic. Read all about that and more pet freebies.
20. Buy your own pet grooming supplies and save $45 – $70 each month by grooming your pet at home.
An average dog grooming costs between $45 and $70. If you’re taking your dog in every 4 – 6 weeks, that can add up to almost $900 in a year.
Instead, invest in some grooming supplies of your own, and use YouTube videos to learn how to do it yourself. You can also ask your vet for tips to help you get started.
Grooming supplies from Amazon:
Total Investment: $65.61
Grooming your pet at home will pay for itself by the second time you have to do it, but it could pay for itself even sooner if you shop Amazon Pet Day to get those items for less.
Related: Still want to leave it to the pros? Use our hacks for finding a PetSmart grooming coupon so you never overpay.
21. Save at least 83% on having your pet spayed or neutered through your local Humane Society.
It costs an average of $200 for a male cat to be neutered at a vet’s office, which seems crazy when my local humane society offers it for $35.00.
The ASPCA also has a great resource to help you find low-price spay/neuter programs near you.
22. Save at least 75% by making your own flea shampoo out of water, vinegar, and soap.
Mix one quart of water with one cup of white vinegar (apple cider vinegar also works) and one cup of Dawn dish soap. Use the solution sparingly as it can dry out your pet’s skin if used too much.
A bottle of Advantage Flea Shampoo from PetSmart costs $17.99, while you can find Dawn soap for under $1.00 and vinegar for $1.99 at Target.
Speaking of DIY shampoo, you gotta check out our guide for DIY dry dog shampoo if you want to save on your dog’s grooming costs.
23. Save $6.50 by replacing the rope on a torn-up scratching post instead of buying a new one.
A brand-new scratching post on Amazon can cost you at least $16.49. Instead, cut off the old rope with scissors and remove any staples or nails used to hold it in place.
Get new rope from Amazon, which I’ve seen for as low as $9.99 (reg. $12.99), and nail the end at the base of the post.
Then start wrapping around the post. After about three or four wraps, tap the rope down with the hammer to make sure the coils stay tightly stacked. Repeat this until you reach the top and then nail the end of the rope to the top of the post.
24. Get a free animal safety kit from the ASPCA.
When you sign up for ASPCA alerts, they’ll send you a pet rescue decal to put in your window. This lets rescue personnel know there is an animal in the building.
You’ll also get an Animal Poison Control Central (APCC) magnet so you have a phone number handy to call in case of emergency for your pet.
25. Here’s how to make homemade dog food treats with pumpkin and banana.
One of my favorite DIY dog tips is making my own dog food treats. It’s a piece of cake — or, rather, a piece of banana and pumpkin.
All you have to do is mix a can of pureed pumpkin with a banana in your food processor or blender. Then, spoon it into a dog-inspired ice cube tray and freeze.
26. Save $7.69 by using grocery bags as pet waste bags.
Target sells 120 Up & Up bags for $7.69, but why spend money on something you can get free?
If you keep ending up with more grocery bags than you know what to do with, make a stockpile, and use them to collect your cat or dog poop.
27. Make a cat hideaway out of an old T-shirt and a cardboard box to save $19.99.
Instead of paying $19.99 for a cat tent, make your own!
Pull an old T-shirt over a box, and line the neck up with the open side of the box to create an entrance. Tuck in the sleeves on the side to tidy it up, and add a small blanket or pet bed to make your cat a cozy hiding spot!
28. Save 10% – 15% with discounted PetSmart gift cards from Raise.com.
Before you shop, check Raise.com for a discounted PetSmart gift card.
If you don’t know, Raise.com is a website that sells full-value gift cards at a discounted rate. Usually, the savings are between 1% – 5%, but with PetSmart’s gift cards I’ve seen savings as high as 10% – 15%.
If you see gift cards for sale any higher than 10% off, pull the trigger — they’ll sell out quickly.
Read about our favorite gift card tips.
29. Get 4% cashback on all Chewy pet supplies purchases when you shop with Ibotta.
Ibotta is a cashback app that gives you a bunch of “rebate” offers to help you save on just about anything you buy from participating stores. And for Chewy, you can get as much as 4% cash back!
Here are some current Ibotta offers at Chewy:
- $5 back on Go! Solutions dry cat food (reg. $19.99 – $69.99)
- $5 back on Go! Solutions dry dog food (reg. $14.99 – $64.99)
If you buy anything else (except gift cards) from Chewy, Ibotta will still get you 4% cash back.
Oh, and we’ve got lots more to tell you about how to use Ibotta.
I hope this helps you save money on pet supplies. Any questions? Drop ’em in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
30. Shop Walmart to get kitty litter as low as $0.29/lb.
Walmart sells Purina Tidy Cats Non-Clumping Kitty LItter for as low as $0.29/lb when you purchase the 50 lb container. It’s the cheapest option out there. The same Purina Kitty Litter is $1.33/lb off Amazon.
When it comes to clumping kitty litter, grab Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Multi-Cat Strength Litter from Petco or Chewy for $0.51/lb. You can also find it at PetSmart for just $0.01/lb more.
Have a few cats? Read our in-depth guide on the best places to save on your favorite type of kitty litter here.
TIP: Chewy, PetCo, and PetSmart all offer 35% off your first cat litter delivery, plus 5% off all orders after that. That type of discount is worth at least one shipment.
31. Save up to 25% by pre-purchasing PetSmart grooming packages.
PetSmart allows you to pre-purchase pet grooming packages to save up to 25% on in-store services. Here are your options to save the most:
First-Timer Salon Visit:
- Save 10% when you buy 1 bath or groom
- Save 20% when you buy 2 baths or grooms
Repeat Salon Visits:
- Buy 7 baths or grooms, get 1 free (12.5% savings)
- Buy 8 baths or grooms, get 2 free (20% savings)
- Buy 9 baths or grooms, get 3 free (25% savings)
Play & Pamper:
- Buy half a day at Doggie Day Camp for $10 and get 15% off a bath or groom service.
TIP: If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to groom your breed of dog at home, you could save around $900/year in grooming expenses. First, watch tutorial videos on YouTube to learn the types of tools you’ll need. Then purchase grooming materials from Amazon where they’re priced the most competitively.