Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Saving Money with Premium Dog Food

By Paris Permenter and John Bigley

“You are what you eat” may be trite but it’s true for dogs as well as humans. Maintaining a healthy diet is key to good health. Premium dog food containing quality ingredients is an investment in your dog’s health that saves you money down the line.

Premium dog food means dog food made with premium ingredients, from specific meats (lamb, chicken, beef, not “animal by-products”) to whole fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Taking the time to read the labels on dog food and really examine the ingredients ensures that you’re spending money on food that will help your dog stay healthy and fit.

During a time when budgets are tight, some people think they’ll save money by
buying lower quality food. However, the price difference between high and low quality dog food isn’t as steep as you might think: your dog does not need to be fed as much high-quality food as he would low-quality food packed with fillers. Less food means savings. Eventually, that premium food can result in lower veterinary bills, too, by keeping your dog closer to his ideal weight and by supplying him with beneficial nutrients.

Once you’ve identified premium dog food brands you’d like to buy, it doesn’t hurt to try to save money on those purchases! While you won’t find coupons for most high-quality dog foods in your Sunday newspaper, there are other sources for locating coupons, coupon codes and special offers. Here are four ways to save on premium food for your four-legged friend:

1. Check for a manufacturer’s coupons on the company website.

Visit the manufacturer’s website for potential coupons and offers. You’ll often find downloadable coupons (especially if they’re coming out with a new product.)

2. Sign up for email newsletters from your favorite companies.

While you’re on those websites, look for subscription forms for electronic newsletters. These free newsletters from dog food and treat manufacturers can provide special discounts and coupons, news of new products, and subscriber-only specials.

Worried about filling your inbox with offers? Create a special email address on Yahoo, Google, Hotmail or another free service. Reserve this address just for your dog-related emails such as coupon requests and newsletter subscriptions; it will make it easy to search this special inbox before your shopping trips.

3. Sit up and beg.

As you’ve probably learned from your dog by now, it never hurts to ask! Try sending a nice email or letter to your favorite dog food companies and requesting coupons or coupon codes. Some companies will supply coupons on request to faithful (or potential) customers.

4. Follow favorites on Twitter and Facebook.

Just about every dog food manufacturer has a Twitter and Facebook presence these days; you’ll usually find links on the company website. You’ll often find some great fan/follower discounts that are only promoted through Twitter and Facebook.

With some smart shopping techniques—ones that take just minutes—you can keep a leash on your budget and still shop for your favorite premium dog foods at the same time.

About the Authors

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are a husband-wife team of professional writers and the publishers of DogTipper.com, a site featuring tips for dog lovers. The couple recently published their 28th book, Barkonomics: Tips for Frugal Fidos (http://www.dogtipper.com/barkonomics), with over 300 tips on saving money on all aspects of your dog’s care.

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