When you think of shopping for your dog’s needs, a few prime destinations come to mind: your local grocery store, superstores, pet supply stores, and online pet retailers.
But there are numerous other places to shop for your dog. Here are 10 non-traditional place to shop for your dog’s needs:
- Membership Clubs. Large membership clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco can spell savings but do your research before investing in that membership to see if the store is a good fit for your household.
- Drugstores. Dog food, toys, treats, shampoos and more are found at drugstores, and the most competitive chains run frequent specials and offer discount programs.
- Garage sales. It takes time and patience (and some gas money) but you can find good deals at garage sales. You’ll find everything from bowls to old towels and bedding for your dog and real bargain basement prices. At many garage sales, you can snag an extra good deal late in the day and it never hurts to ask if a lower price will be accepted.
- Thrift stores. We love thrift stores for their good prices and the ease of shopping (much easier than running from garage sale to garage sale). We buy stainless steel bowls, bedding, toys and much more at our local thrift stores.
- Livestock feed stores. Feed stores, found in small communities to serve area farmers and ranchers, sell dog food, bedding (including items like cedar shavings, great for low-cost outdoor bedding that discourages fleas). Similarly, farm and ranch stores don’t sell feed but do sell many dog supplies, dog food, fencing materials, and more.
- Hardware stores. You’ll find dog food at some hardware stores such as Ace Hardware; look for dog bedding and fencing materials as well.
- Craigslist.org, Freecycle.org, and eBay.com. Don’t purchase pet medications on these sites but non-medicinal, non-edible purchases can be good bargains. Look for crates, kennels, dog stairs and ramps, and other large items that can easily be cleaned.
- Pet consignment stores. A growing number of pet consignment stores are popping up selling “gently used” dog toys, beds, clothes, crates, and more. We haven’t found prices at these stores to be as low as what we’ve bought at garage sales and thrift stores but the advantage is you’ll have a good selection of quality items.
- Dollar stores. Cleaning supplies are usually good buys at dollar stores (and did you know most accept coupons, too?) You’ll often find dog toys, some food and treats (be sure to check the dates), stainless steel bowls, and other supplies here, too.
- Animal shelters. Many larger shelters operate stores selling everything from flea prevention to dog toys, with proceeds benefiting the shelter.