questionswhere do you buy your pet food?

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Online, no idea. Locally, I buy at Costco. Seeing how I have an English Mastiff, it's the big reason why I'm a member.

$25, 40 pounds, and it's NOT crappy.
http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/kirkland-signature-dog-food/

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I actually just recently signed up on Amazon with subscribe and save for my cat food. Significantly cheaper than the pet and grocery stores around here, and super convenient. Free shipping and no commitment/cancel any time.

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Amazon appears to have decent prices on premium food. Probably not the cheapest game in town, but if you have Prime they do stock and offer free shipping on a lot of premium brands. It would be worth it to pay a few extra bucks for me to have it shipped right to my door rather than have to drive 15 miles round trip to pick up food for my dog. Unfortunately, I don't think Amazon sells American Natural Premium Grain Free.

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Wal-Mart. That and a local grocery are the only choices locally. I buy Beneful with the chicken flavor. Our dogs were eating the neighbor's chickens so we had to find a dog food with chicken in it. No unhappy neighbors since. Guess it is easier to catch and eat the dog food than a frightened chicken.

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@narfcake:

If you don't have a Costco membership, Diamond Naturals is more or less the exact same food, seeing as Diamond produces the Kirkland food for Costco under contract.

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As a veterinarian, I tell all my clients that Costco has the best bang for the buck in dog food. It really is outstanding food at an excellent price. The only reason to shop elsewhere is if your dog has very special needs or extremely finicky tastes - which raises the possibility you might want to think about a different dog.

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My ex-wife buys the dogfood as child support for the dogs.
She buys at Petco, mostly because it's between her place and mine.
A few years ago they started carrying higher end brands, and they have mine available. I could probably find it cheaper somewhere else, but...

I feed Solid Gold's Barking at the Moon.
(Holy Cow, someone on Amazon has it for nearly half what Petco sells it for, but the formula just changed, they might be dumping old stock)

I'm also a fan of Natural Balances dry foods. They aren't THE best, but they're really good for the price point.

If I had smaller dogs, I'd make my own food, but it's cost & labor prohibitive.

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@nortonsark: I hardly think getting rid of a dog because of it's palate is a good reason. Now if it's an arsehole AND is a finicky eater, well, then..

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@dcpotts: Look for Diamond Naturals (http://www.diamondpet.com/products/diamond_naturals/)

It's more or less the same formulation as Costco's Kirkland dog food. Diamond manufactures Costco's private label pet food. Diamond Naturals should be available in a much wider area, it's a little more expensive than Costco's food, but if you don't have a Costco nearby, you can't go wrong.

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@mschauber: Costco doesn't carry Iams. When you spend so many years forming an aura of a premium price for a less-than-premium product, the wherehouse store is NOT the place you sell your stuff.

I highly recommend that every dog owner reading this post to see how your pet food rates.
http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/
There are other sites too, but I found them to be the most concise.

Just like humans, a diet consisting of junk food will keep you alive, but it sure won't keep your healthy. So if you're feeding something below average, PLEASE consider changing. As the motto goes, "You are what you eat."

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I just got to PetsMart. My dog kept getting hot spots, so I switched from the cheap (Dog Chow) food to "better" (more expensive) food, thinking she may have developed an allergy.

No hot spots since, and I just get the food at the store. I haven't found any way to get it for less.

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Petsmart and the vet office. Gotta get the prescription fat cat food for our critters.

Petsmart has a great return policy, especially if you want to try new food.

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@ganzhimself: just checked for my brand Beneful. They stock it and have prime but it is $22 for 15 lbs and I can buy 30-40 lbs at Wal-Mart for $28.00. So no deal for me either.

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I go to PetSmart or Petco although I do use Amazon's subscribe & save for cat & dog treats.

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@narfcake: Wow! That's an awesome price on some good food.
I wish I had a Costco nearby.....

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@narfcake: I feel your pain, I have a Great Dane. It costs a small fortune to keep him fed. I wish Sam's carried my food.

I buy from a local (well, regional) pet store. Pet Supplies Plus for anyone in the Midwest. They are pretty good the prices, but most importantly they will order just about anything for you, and they maintain a perpetual order for me, so every time I run low there is a bag with my dog's name on it. When we wanted a larger bag of the small breed puppy food we were buying for our little dogs, they bugged the crap out of the distributor until they were able to buy it for us, then called us to let us know they would be carrying it, all because we casually mentioned it would be nice to have larger bags.

Edit: We buy Nutro Natural Small Breed Puppy Chicken for our Papillions, per our vet's recommendation. We buy Diamond Natural Large Breed Adult for the Great Dane.

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Join amazon prime. You'll save on shipping, sign up for the reorders.... That saves like 15%

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My dogs eat Flint River Ranch dog food. I buy it in bulk as the more you buy the less it is. It's real premium dog food and about the only thing I can get my dogs to eat dry. The shipping is always free.

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I support our local specialty dog food store. If I'm in a pinch, I order from Amazon. I see they have free shipping for Amazon prime now, which wasn't the case a year or two ago when I ordered online.

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@narfcake: That's the site where I learned about the dog food we use. Nature's Variety Instinct has five stars from them and is still not too expensive.

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@liquidblue1: How much does that one cost? For what size bag?
Thanks.

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@narfcake: Wow. Your stuff is as good as my premium Canidae brand foods. And cheaper. Gonna have to check it out.

Personally buy from the local store, but am curious enough to check out the Kirkland stuff.

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@caver2130: If you're a member of Amazon Prime, do you get free 2nd day shipping? Or.... how does it work with things like 30-40lb bags of dogfood?
Thnx

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I also use Flint River for my dog food. My dog (part Golden Retriever) has allergies. Flint River has several flavors / mixtures. I was able to find a variety that he liked that complied with his allergies. This is the only food that he will eat reliably that doesn't cause itchiness / hot spots.

I have used Flint River for 5-6 yrs and have been pleased with delivery and quality.

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Wow, I'm happy to see so many responses, thank you all :)

I have checked Amazon and the prices are either higher than I pay locally, even the boutique shop where I have to buy the Evo dry cat food and also don't have any with Prime shipping.

Last I checked neither Costco nor BJ's carry Iams canned food, but I have to make a run to Costco soon, so will check again

It seems like where people get their best deals is more based on what food vs. the store. I hate paying so much for food, but I have two kittens that are picky eaters. One of whom is in the process of successfully tearing up a paper towel right now and making confetti in preparation for next Yankees World Series parade:)

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@dcpotts: The free 2nd shipping isn't available on all items, but I've have 50-75lbs items delivered in the 2day window for free with my prime.

If you have someone in your family with a .edu email address, you can get one year of prime free and then only pay 50% the following years. The cost is well worth it if you prefer to shop online or like myself, live in a city where it's too expensive to have a car.

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BTW, a totally different topic, but I buy cat litter at BJ's. The Berkeley Jensen brand. 40lbs boxes go for somewhere between $6 & $9 each. I have tried them all and IMHO, this is not only the best price, but the best litter.

Controls smells like none of the others, tracks less, clumps quickly, and for the price..... You can't beat it. I buy ~16 boxes at a time since I have to rent a car (Zipcar) to get it. I have a Litter-Robot litterbox, which I would never want to live without and this stuff kicks up a little dust when you first put it in, but that's it. People have no idea I have cats, unless they come out to say hi, or they see the myriad toys strewn about the apt :) But no smell :):):) I just wish they would deliver this stuff.

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I've bought from petfooddirect and petflow without any problem in the past. However, recently amazon has started carrying our brand of food and they have the best price plus free shipping because I am a prime member.

We get our dog Nature's Variety Dry Dog Food, Instinct Grain Free Chicken Diet:

http://www.amazon.com/Instinct-Grain-Free-Chicken-Formula-13-2-Pound/dp/B000PEEBYC/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3C9850PB4WGD2&colid=YEA53M3RQ14Z

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@mschauber: Have you by chance tried "worldsbestcatlitter?" I have found that one to be good also. It is available at my local supermarkets

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@narfcake: I VERY much trust my vets, one of whom has been in practice for close to 40 years and the other who joined the practice about 10 years ago. My family and I have been going to him for 25+ years now, in fact I rent a car and drive 45-60 minutes just to go to him despite having an excellent state of the art 24/7 animal hospital 4 blocks from me.

They recommended the Evo dry food b/c one kitten has been gaining too much weight and since they are naturally carnivorous animals, getting a grain free/low carb diet is healthier. As for the wet food, which I plan to stop giving them in 5-6 months once the younger one is a year old, they said makes no difference as long as it's very moist so they get the water from it. In fact they said Friskies would even be ok. If it wasn't for the weight issue, they are perfectly happy with the cats being on Iams (wet) & Purina (dry.)

I trust them & know they stay up to date on all things pet related as well (8 of them in the practice now.)

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@klozitshoper: I have not tried that litter, but on Amazon it's $33/34lbs bag. Since I've been using the Berkeley & Jensen for over 10 years now and have no complaint, other than I have to get to a BJ's to get it, I'll stick with it. I paid the most I've ever paid for a 40lbs box a few weeks ago and that was $8.99. I store 6-8 boxes of it at my parents, and have the extra closet space, despite living in a NYC apartment, to store 10 or so boxes, that I'm happy.

I've recommended it to a # of people and they have all switched. That's why I thought I'd mention it here, even though it has nothing to do with the food question I initially asked :)

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@ganzhimself: Thanks for the rec. For some reason Diamond didn't work out very well for one of my dogs.
I'd like plug Diamond though:
I'm a biologist (by education, but I've been working more in Tech lately).
I get into the details of what the problems were, but using the batch number, and the analysis of my particular batch, a Vet from Diamond spent a few days going back and forth with me on the phone and email.
They showed the utmost in professionalism, shared all of their data with me (didn't pull any "proprietary blah blah" BS).
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them, or use later on down the line in life. (between my dogs, dogs I've been involved in rescuing/fostering- sometimes I've got a lot of dog traffic in my life. I love them!)

Im also glad to see people are using Flint River. It used to be a staple at my place. Twas all one dog could eat.

I always seem to have one dog whose physiology is really picky about food, and it can take quite some time to really dial it in.

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Our Danes eat a combination of 2 different proplan foods and a third low protein 4health brand food. The bloodhound and papillion eat a combination of 2 different 4health brand food. We get them at tractor supply. The 4health is the cheapest reputable no corn, no wheat, no soy food that we could find. The bloodhound has allergies. Without tractor supply, I do not know how we would feed these guys. Proplan may not be the best food, but it has gotten better reviews than what the people at the rescue our dogs came from could afford.

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I forgot to mention we feed science diet t/d dogfood chunks as treats. It has reduced the need for dental cleaning to every 2 or 3 years instead of yearly for the bloodhound. If we don't remember to drop a couple ontop of the kibble in the dogs bowls they look at us like 'well, where is it?'

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@narfcake: Wow - just read from dogfoodadvisor. ON another question today about woot needing more pet products (or not), not having come across this question yet, I commented that sites for GOOD pet food such as flint river ranch be considerred and then, here we are on a thread food alone. Your comments are appreciated.

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@nortonsark: How does one think about a different dog if one had a special needs dog?

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@habbadabba: Hey, I have a Dane, too. The only food I could find that he could tolerate is Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream. He appears to have an intolerance for grains and for chicken. It is not cheap stuff, but I mostly cycle back and forth between petfooddirect.com and dog.com when they have free shipping deals. On the in-betweens I buy from a local seller who's a lot more expensive but is a good community partner for rescue organizations. Right now petfooddirect.com has a free shipping sale on purchases over $59 and under 60lbs, use code SHIPFREE. I was planning on buying a bag of food today as a matter of fact. I like the dog.com sales better, they are $49 minimum so I don't have to throw in as much other stuff to make up the difference.

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@moondrake: Thank you for the free shipping coupon. Of course my order comes to $58.98, not $59... Unbelievable... You know they plan things that way, by having whole dollar coupons and not whole dollar pricing... ARGH.. That's always been a problem at petfooddirect.com for me.. If only they had a penny aisle ;)

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@mschauber: You can get a 5oz bag of Old Mother Hubbard treats (decent brantd) for $1.99. http://www.petfooddirect.com/Product/1852/Old-Mother-Hubbard-Extra-Tasty-P-Nuttier-Basted-Natural-Biscuits

A bully stick for $2.49
http://www.petfooddirect.com/Product/12206/Cadet-Gourmet-Bully-Stick-Natural-Dog-Chew-Treat

Or a Christmas plushie for $1.25 to make up the difference.
http://www.petfooddirect.com/Product/15115/Zanies-Santas-Big-Lil-Yelpers-Plush-Dog-Toy

I just fill up the difference with treats, we go through a lot of them.

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@moondrake: Thanks for the suggestions... I went with a $0.89 furry mouse toy ;)

Regarding your recommendations for dogs, I used to buy the bully sticks, but they leave such a stench on any surface they touched. And something about having them around, given what they are (don't want to spell it out here since it would probably be flagged,) just made them unpleasant, even though my dog loved them..

But yes, in this case it was for cats..

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@mschauber: The only "chew" Simba has is a large sized shed antler. And he spends as much time tossing that around and trying to destroy the house with it as chewing on it. Everything else is either a toy (not for chewing) or food. He takes less than a minute to eat bully sticks, tendons, and "busy bones". Entertaining a 135lb dog with a massive bite strength is a whole different paradigm. I don't have to worry about nasty animal bits lying about.

For those that do bully sticks, tendons and the like, I recommend Hungry Dog ttreats by Merrick. Its a big package of random chewables that are set aside as second quality due to distortions in shape or color, but are the same Merrick quality as the much more expensive single treats. I'd say there probably $40 worth of treats in every bag. Some aren't suitable for my dog, but I donate them to the local rescue or give them to friends.
http://www.petfooddirect.com/search/hungry-dog-treats

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@moondrake: The largest dog I ever had was 25 lbs, so other than my 12 lbs Havanese being best friends with a great dane (those wrestling matches are quite the sight ;),) I can't imagine what it would be like to have a 135lbs dog.

BTW, I didn't see it until about 10 minutes ago, but I received the shipfree coupon from petfooddirect this morning :)

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for online ordering, try petflow.com. they have a good selection at good prices. and free shipping on all order over $59

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I order my pet foods online. primepetsupply.com. I especially recommend it for the folks in West Coast. They do deliver in 1-2 business days!