Written by Spotloan

Last year, it was projected that Americans would spend $99 billion on all things pets, including items ranging from food to veterinary care. When it comes to our pets, we want to give them the best, and we’re willing to spend to get it. 

The trick is treating our pets like family without breaking the bank. We recommend planning financially for your pet’s vet visits, food, toys, and other supplies to stay on top of your budget and avoid unexpected expenses. 

To help with this, here are some of our favorite smart shopping tips for pet supplies.

Consider a Pet Supply Subscription Service 

If you have multiple pets or buy a lot of supplies for one, it might be cost-effective to consider a pet supply subscription service. Some online retailers sell pet supplies at a discount when you sign up for monthly deliveries. 

Chewy.com is one of the most popular pet subscription services that offer pre-scheduled deliveries of food, treats, toys, and other supplies. Two other popular options boasting similar offerings include Barkbox and CatLadyBox

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to subscription supply services. Check the current prices for three or four subscriptions based on what you’ll need each month to see which one will save you the most. 

And be sure to do a quick search for online coupon codes before you check out, too.  

Search for Discount Pet Supplies

Many different stores sell pet supplies. They range from pet-specific stores, like PetSmart, to more generalistic chains, like Walmart. And online retailers sell pet supplies too, ranging from small, local pet stores up the chain to Amazon at the top. 

So, we’ve got plenty of options to choose from. But who has the best prices on pet supplies? There are two different answers, depending on how you prefer to shop. If you’re looking to buy in bulk, for multiple pets, or just prefer delivery, Chewy.com is usually the least expensive online option, with prices about 11 percent lower than the all-store average.

While Amazon may be the cheapest online option in many other purchase categories, it ranked higher than the average in the pet supply category. But what if you prefer to grab your dog’s treats while you’re out running other errands? In the case of in-store shopping, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, and Walmart - in that order - will typically give you the most bang for your buck. Search Google for printable pet supply coupons before you head out the door to see if you can get a discount on top of your discount.  

Join Pet Rewards Programs 

Bigger pet store chains, including PetSmart, offer rewards programs for returning customers. The PetSmart program offers points on every dollar spent in-store or online, including toys, food, treats, supplies, and services. As points accumulate, you can redeem them in-store or online. 

When you sign up, you agree to get emails, which will give you access to members-only offers, like bonus points and advance notice of upcoming sales and in-store events. Additionally, you get a free surprise gift on your pet’s birthday and free shipping on every order over $49. 

Enrollment is free, and you can sign up for the PetSmart Treats program online or in person. Other chains and even smaller, more local pet stores may offer similar programs and ways to save on food, treats, toys, and other supplies. 

Access to special sales, coupons, and points you can cash in for purchases may make this option your best bet, depending on what you need and how often you shop for pet supplies. 

Bookmark Local Pet Supply Stores and Check Online for Sales

When a pet has been with you for a while, you get to know what types of food, treats, toys, beds, and other supplies they prefer over others. Rather than waiting to buy when the need arises, consider stocking up as soon as they go on sale, even if you’ve got some left. 

This can be achieved by bookmarking local, online-only, or your favorite pet stores and checking regularly for sales. Buying in bulk can ensure that you always get what you need at a discount, never pay full price, and always have what you need on hand.