How to Save Money on Pet Supplies: 10+ Tips for Pet Owners

I’m Anna and these are my dogs, Marshmallow and Coco. Today, we are going to cover how to save money on pets and pet supplies. Here are my ten tips:

1. Go to a mobile vet clinic for shots

At a veterinarian's office, you have to pay exam fees and shot fees as well. Mobile vet clinics are much more affordable. The downside is, you have to make sure there’s one in your area. They only open on select dates, so it needs to align with your schedule.

My mobile vet clinic offers rabies shots, good for three years, with the certificate, for, I think, $30. I highly recommend checking if there’s a mobile vet clinic near you.

2. Use third parties for prescriptions

If your pet requires medication, I recommend not buying it directly from the vet’s office. I use third-party websites, like Chewy, Petco, and 1-800 Pet Meds. I have Chewy on auto-ship and save five percent.

If you are concerned about getting the wrong type of medication or dosage, don’t worry. You have to enter your vet’s information when ordering and the third-party website will send it to your vet's office for approval. Another convenience is that it ships directly.

It’s crazy how expensive pet medication can be. I once had to buy eyedrops directly from the vet and they were $80, on top of his other medications.

I asked the employee, “is there a way to get it cheaper?'' and she told me about Chewy. When I checked on Chewy later, I found all four prescriptions for only $70.

3. Shop at discounted stores

For pet supplies like dog blankets, grooming kits, pet treats, and toys, I shop at discount stores like Five Below, Marshalls, and even Dollar Tree.

Ideas for saving money on pet supplies

Marshmallow has food sensitivities, so he can't have anything with beef, chicken, corn, or grain. Marshalls sells really good, high-quality treats that Marshmallow can eat, like this long-lasting treat for only $4.

Training dogs with treats

I also got 500 treats that I use to train my dogs and teach them tricks. 

Dental treats for dogs

These are actually dental treats. They come in a pack of 28 for $7, so they’re a little more expensive than other treats. I like these long lasting treats, because they can occupy our dogs and give us a little break. 

How to save money on pet food

If your dog doesn’t have food allergies, Marshalls has even more varieties for cheaper, alongside dog beds and toys. At PetSmart after the holidays, they have discounted toys. Coco’s food bowl, placements, and travel bowls are from Dollar Tree.

4. Join pet store loyalty programs

I go to Petco and PetSmart. At Petco you get a pound of free treats and at PetSmart you get a coupon for your dogs’ birthdays. There are other coupons available as well. For example, I get coupons for $10 off of grooming sent to my email. 

5. Use free/cheap poop bags

You do not need to buy Juicy Couture-designed bags or bags with cool styles. Go under your kitchen sink where you store the grocery store bags, and use those.

We used to live in pet-friendly apartments and they supplied poop bags, which was helpful for when I totally forgot to bring and didn’t want to go all the way back upstairs.

If your apartment has pet stations that supply poop bags, you can use those instead of buying them. If you have to buy poop bags, go to a Dollar Tree.

6. Groom your pet at home

I wish I could utilize this tip, but my dogs won’t let me. I recommend investing in a grooming kit, and a little nail clipper. I’ve even seen them at Goodwill, brand new, for under $15.

Marshmallow and Coco freak out, so I can’t groom them at home. You can bathe your dog in the bathtub, or PetSmart sells pools to bathe your pet in. 

7. Invest in dental care

Pet dental care on a budget

It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth. They sell toothbrushes and toothpaste at Marshalls and TJ Maxx for under $10. They even have peanut butter-flavored toothpaste.

Start your dogs early, so they get used to it. I invest in this water additive that you can add to your pet’s water to help with their breath and plaque. I got this one at Marshalls for $3. You can also invest in dental treats, to help get in the ridges and scrape off the plaque.

8. Proper exercise 

Make sure your dog gets proper exercise. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, and it’s good for you to exercise as well. If a short walk doesn’t fit into your schedule, try to play ball with them.

When we lived in a 525 sq foot apartment, we would move the coffee table near the TV to make space to play with Marshmallow inside. 

9. Buy your pet food in bulk

I’ve even seen at Costco, these huge bags for under $30. I wish I could take advantage of them, but they don’t fit my pet’s specialized diet. 

If your pet doesn't have pet allergies, I recommend Costco or Sam’s Club. Even at pet stores, Walmart, and Target, you usually get the best price per ounce by buying the biggest bag they have. 

How to save money on pet supplies

Marshmallow gets lamb and brown rice pet food, because of his allergies and I give Coco the same. That costs me $70 ($68 with the auto-ship discount) and lasts five months. So, I pay less than $15 a month, with free shipping, to feed both my dogs.

10. Train your pet yourself

With Marshmallow, I got a pet training class through PetSmart. When we got Coco, I remembered the training steps and trained her on my own in less than a day.

We are still working on training Coco to be less hyper when people come over. There are free and affordable dog training resources from the library, used bookstores, Pinterest, and Youtube. 

How to save money on pet supplies

I hope these tips help you save money. What are your ideas for saving money on pets and pet supplies? Let us know in the comments.

Join the conversation
2 of 9 comments
  • Kathy Kathy on Feb 25, 2024

    May I suggest you always check where food, toys and treats are made? Countries other than the US do not always have strict quality control.

  • Tim Tim on Feb 25, 2024

    Poop bags: bread and buns bags, plastic produce bags, frozen food plastic bags, used ziplocks and large sandwich bags, fast food plastic bags, etc, etc.