Pet ownership is a serious responsibility. However, it’s also an expensive one. Over 63 million American households have at least one dog in their home. Spending on food and treats makes up about 25% of the total cost of owning a pup. It makes sense to try and keep the expenses under control. However, it also means toeing a fine line between nutritional value and cost.
Dry dog food is, by far, the most popular choice of consumers, with over 96% choosing these products. Nestlé Purina Petcare Co. leads the back with nearly $2 billion in annual sales in 2019. The main benefits are the convenience of these foods. Consider the waste and empty cans, too. Some people also prefer dry food because it doesn’t smell as strong as wet.
Buying in bulk is an excellent option if you have more than one dog and you have the means to store it safely. These products have a limited shelf life where the freshness and nutrient value are at their peak. You also have to think about storage and pest control. Keeping the extra in the garage may sound good until the local rodent population discovers your stash.
Let’s take a run down a list of vendors where you can score some deals and save some serious cash.
Chewy.com is a subsidiary of the popular chain PetSmart, Inc. The Florida-based company is a leader in the industry, with annual revenue reaching nearly $6 billion. It has a strong focus on customer service with representatives available 24/7 and a 100-percent unconditional guarantee on your purchases. It has 15 fulfillment centers across the country and handles over 2,000 brands.
You’ll likely find the dog food in bulk that you want.
Chewy.com offers free shipping on orders over $49. It also carries products for a variety of pets, including cats, rabbits, and rodents.
2. Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is more than just a pet food fulfillment center. It is a full-fledged grocery store with an estimated annual revenue of up to $100 billion for this private company. The best value for buying bulk foods comes from becoming a Club Plus member. That way, you’ll get free shipping, which can save you a ton of cash. You’ll also qualify for cash-back rewards, which make it an even better value.
The company offers several exclusive deals, which is great if you buy those brands. Otherwise, the selection is limited. The benefits of buying bulk food come from the other perks you can get by being a member.
The best thing about buying in bulk from Amazon.com is its Subscribe and Save program. It’s the epitome of convenience to set it and forget it. You’ll also save 5%, which is a welcome benefit. The more items you add to your list, the more you can save. If you join its Prime option, you’ll get free and often one or second-day delivery. The other perk is the choice. We dare you to find something you can’t get here.
Granted, Amazon is a multi-billion-dollar company, over $321 billion to pinpoint a figure. That works in your favor for choice and price. And can we not forget Alexa, who makes it easy to order more food on the fly?
Costco is another wholesale club. It ranks a distant second to Sam’s Club at nearly an annual revenue of over $166 billion. It also offers a wide range of products other than dog food. The company bills itself as a full-service outlet, which it is. You can fill prescriptions, which is essential if your pup has a chronic health condition. Membership costs more than Sam’s Club with similar benefits.
On the downside, the selection of dog foods is extremely limited, with the focus on its exclusive Kirkland Signature brand. You can’t even view some prices unless you sign in as a member of the site. The other stickler is the varying shipping costs because some come directly from the manufacturer.
DogFoodDirect.com specializes in the products that you need. We like this focus that we’re sure other pet owners will appreciate. It’s a small company based out of Minnesota with annual revenue of only $5 million tops. They offer a decent portfolio of products. We liked the fact that they are open to getting other brands if you have a different preference.
The company provides automatic shipping to make sure that you always have what you need. We appreciated their emphasis on staying up-to-date with the industry and the research. It’s a family-run business, which you always have to appreciate. We only wish that we could get our cat food from them, too.
6. Midwest Greyhound Supply
Midwest Greyhound Supply’s client base are kennels and breeders who prefer only a few products to feed 10 or more dogs. If you need food by the pallet load, it’s a great place to start. The company’s unspoken emphasis is on building relationships with long-term users. If that describes your situation, it’s an excellent place to start.
The Kansas-based business specializes in personalized service with free delivery to sweeten the deal. It’s not the best choice for the typical pet owner, but it can serve your needs well if you keep a lot of dogs on-site.
7. White Dog Bone
White Dog Bone specializes in unique canine diets, including raw and canned foods. They offer a lot of perks for frequent shoppers, such as free delivery on orders over $49 and automatic shipping. However, it only applies to the lower 48 states without weekend processing or delivery. The shipping conditions are confusing, with state rules and a minimum order requirement for certain products.
The company is USA-based and strives to deal with manufacturers based in the United States. They also offer other pet-related products, such as dog beds and stain control. You’ll also find a rotating set of hot deals if you’re looking to treat your pup to something new. On the downside, they carry boutique brands of food instead of more familiar names like Iams and Purina.
8. Wholesale Pet
Wholesale Pet is a private company based out of Virginia. It specializes in retail sales, making it an option if you run a kennel or are a breeder. They deal directly with the vendors to get competitive pricing on their products. They handle products for dogs, cats, and small animals. You can get food and treats for your dog from them.
The company’s primary focus is boutique brands with many names that you may find unfamiliar. However, you will get wholesale pricing, which can save you a lot of money in the long run. Since they deal with the vendors, you’ll find different policies on returns or refunds.
9. King Wholesale
King Wholesale is another site that works with those in the industry. It handles a full line of pet supplies for dogs and cats. We liked the fact that they include a “Made in the USA” section with their products. They specialize in boutique brands, too, with a limited food selection from Portland Pet Food. It’s a smaller company that emphasizes customer service.
You can get free shipping on orders over $200. Under that amount will cost you a $10 processing fee. You can return items. However, there is a 15% restocking fee. The shipping is on you, too. On a positive note, they have an extensive selection of treats of all types, including rawhides, dental chews, and bully sticks. The company also offers weekly specials with some decent sales.
Walmart+ foisted itself into Amazon’s territory with its version of its business model. They offer unlimited free shipping on all items with same-day delivery in select locations. The advantage that it has is that fulfillment centers, i.e., stores, are already in place. If there is a location near you, you can also score 5¢ off a gallon on gasoline. You can pay monthly or annually for a membership.
The company carries all the major brands. While you can get some deals, you’re still paying retail pricing. The free shipping is convenient and does make up a bit for the cost. On the downside, Walmart+ is still a work in progress. They do not offer auto-shipping at the time of this article. There is also a minimum $35 purchase to get free delivery.
Final Thoughts About Buying Bulk Dog Food
Buying dog food in bulk can save you a lot of time and money. The convenience speaks for itself. However, the key is proper storage to make your purchase worthwhile. Our lineup included sites for the consumer and business owner to give you an overview of the deal you can expect to find. Our advice is to find the e-commerce store that suits you and stick with them to take advantage of specials and reward programs.
Featured Image Credit: ThamKC, Shutterstock