As pet owners, we all want to feed our animals the best quality food we can at the most affordable price. That’s why we were very interested in the results of a recent study by the non-profit organization Checkbook.org that looked at the best places to shop for pet food. The report compared prices for 11 different types of popular dog and cat foods at different retailers — including big-box stores, online companies, grocery stores and specialty pet chains.
Checkbook found that of all of the retailers, pet food at Sam’s Club tended to be 25% lower than the average price at all other stores. Coming in at second and third place were BJ’s (22% lower than other stores) and Walmart (18% lower).
Although online retailers like Amazon and Chewy.com offer the convenience of delivering heavy bags of kibble direct to your door, the study found that they were more expensive on average than Sam’s Club and other discount stores. Of the major online retailers, Chewy.com proved to be the most affordable. Surprisingly, Amazon ranked 3% more expensive on average, and 17% higher than Chewy.com. The study also looked at online auto-ship or subscription plans, which tend to provide a discount., and found Chewy.com to have the edge in that area as well.
Meanwhile, the study found that pet supply chains came in about average. PetSmart cost 6% lower on average than other stores, while Petco was about the same as average prices among all stores.Dog and cat eating dry food in bowls
The brands the study looked at included Blue Buffalo, Eukanuba, Iams, Nutro, Pedigree, Purina, Wellness CORE, Meow Mix, and Fancy Feast. It looked at mostly dry food, but also included two canned foods in its study. Checkbook judged average prices based on the price per pound of the least expensive package size available. The organization has made the charts available so you can check the results for yourself.
Checkbook found that Costco’s prices for pet food were also low. But because Costco only sells its own Kirkland brand of pet food, the study couldn’t make a comparison to other retailers. Likewise, independent pet shops weren’t included in the study, since they often don’t carry mass-market pet food brands.
So, this is all to say that shopping at a Sam’s Club, BJ’s, or Walmart can potentially save you money on pet food. However, it’s a good idea to do your own research and scope out prices on the specific brand of pet food you typically buy, since not every store carries every pet food brand.
Do you feel like your pet food costs are high? If so, hopefully this information will help!