We love animals at our house! For a few years, my husband and I fostered dogs for a local animal shelter – until our work schedules got in the way. In that time, we also adopted 3 amazing dogs. And, over the years, we’ve had a lot of pricey pet medical issues, including having to feed them expensive prescription pet food.
The reality is that sometimes pets have to go on prescription diets due to an illness, food sensitivity or food allergies. And whether it’s prescription dog food or prescription cat food, these special diet foods can be crazy expensive!
Here are some tips to help you save money on your dog’s prescription food or your cat’s prescription food
Decide Where to Buy the Prescription Pet Food
You can choose to order the prescription pet food online or from your veterinarian.
There are many online stores to choose from, including the websites of some of the big pet supply stores. If you buy online, home delivery will save you time by not having to run to and from your vet’s office.
You’ll also likely benefit from the store’s discount or reward program.
Some may even price match.
Buy from your veterinarian
In my case, the price at my vet’s office was similar that of the websites I checked.
Plus, if I buy from my veterinarian, I can use coupons, which can make them cheaper than ordering from an online store.
And, while your dog or cat is trying out different prescription foods, or if they should pass away unexpectedly, many times your veterinarian may let you return the leftover food for a credit or refund. You’ll want to ask them about their policy.
Use Coupons for Prescription Pet Food
I use coupons a lot. So I was excited to find that, on the pet food manufacturer’s website, there were coupons for my dog’s prescription diet food! And they were pretty high value too. Now, I make sure to look on the manufacturer’s site for prescription pet food coupons before I head to my vet’s office.
Sometimes, the manufacturer’s website doesn’t have coupons – ugh! But, if you ask, it’s likely that your veterinarian will.
There have been times when I’ve had a coupon and, because I asked, found out my vet had a better coupon! Cha-ching!
Ask Your Vet About Home Cooked Pet Food Options
I found out about nutrition consults for my dog’s special needs diet during a vet appointment at a local veterinary college. It came up after I asked for alternatives to her expensive prescription food.
During this nutrition consult, we would have discussed her health needs and created recipes for a home-cooked meal plan created for her specific situation.
Sadly, my dog’s prognosis was not good – she was terminal, so we didn’t get to use the service. But, I was curious, so I looked into it more. This is what I found:
Animal nutrition is a science. This is important to note before you start cooking your new pet food recipe at home. You should get professional guidance before starting. Speak with your veterinarian. They may be able to help you create home cooked pet food recipes that are nutritionally balanced and address your pet’s specific diet needs.
If your veterinarian is unable to help you, ask if there is (or search for) a local animal nutritionist you could consult. A good place to start your search is at this site for the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. This specialist should have formal veterinary training in animal nutrition. While there may be a charge for this type of specialized service, you could save money in the long run by cooking for your cat or dog at home.
But it’s important to always create a home cooked pet food meal plan with the aid of a veterinary professional. While home-cooked pet meals may appear wholesome to us humans, without nutritional guidance from a professional, chances are they will be lacking in the nutrition your dog or cat needs to stay healthy.