Where to Get Free Dog Food Samples: 11 Options for Free Samples!

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Dog Food By Kelsey Snyder 6 min read April 14, 2021 4 Comments

Free dog food samples

Whether you’re trying a new dog food to satisfy your pup’s tastes or his changing body, figuring out the best food for your four-footer can be a pain. 

This is especially true if you get stuck with a full-sized bag of kibble your pup doesn’t like or that his tummy can’t handle. Of course, you can always donate these to a shelter in need, but over time, the process can get expensive.

But, if you want to cut down on waste and cost, you can try to find some free or low-cost samples. This isn’t a viable solution for feeding your dog over the long term, but it does mean you’ll get a small amount of kibble to try. This will prevent you from having to spend money needlessly or haul pounds of food home that your pooch might hate.

Learn more about free and low-cost dog food samples with us below!

Where to Get Free Dog Food Samples: Key Takeaways

  • There are a handful of places for owners to get free or low-cost dog food samples. These sources will never provide enough free food to keep your dog well-fed, but they’re invaluable for trying new flavors before you buy a ton of money on a big bag.
  • Manufacturers often offer free or low-cost food samples, but they aren’t the only game in town. You may also be able to get your hands on some free grub via retailers or even your vet.
  • While free dog food samples are certainly helpful for owners, it’s important to avoid abusing these systems. Many manufacturers and retailers stop offering these programs when owner try to take advantage of their generosity.

Different Kinds of Free and Low-Cost Dog Food Samples

free dog food samples for owners

There are several types of free and low-cost dog food samples out there, but some are harder to find than others. But no matter which “free” opportunity you select, it’s important to read the fine print to avoid any hidden strings attached.

100% Free Dog Food Samples

Free dog food samples used to be far more common, but because of people gaming the system and increased manufacturing costs, these aren’t easy to find anymore. There are still a few out there, generally handed out at pet stores and boutiques.

Low-Cost Sample Dog Food Boxes

Today, low-cost dog food sample boxes are rising in popularity. Costing between $5 and $20 per box, these contain several sample packages of food for you to try.

The sample baggies may be all of the same protein type or they may offer an assortment of different meat proteins, making them an attractive choice for many pup parents, especially those who have finicky eaters and want to find a dog food their picky pup loves before committing to a full bag!

Note Hidden Costs and Limitations

Some companies offer free or low-cost sample options online, but you might have to pay shipping fees that can get pricey. This can also be limiting if you cannot receive packages where you live. There may also be geographic limitations to contend with, such as being within the lower 48 states or within a certain distance of the manufacturer.

As with any purchase, read into the small print and make sure you’re not signing up for an ongoing delivery service before entering your payment information.

Companies That Offer Free Dog Food Samples

While it isn’t as common to find free dog food samples today, there are still a few manufacturers offering them. Some brands are more well-known than others, but it’s worth looking into each if you’re in the market for a new dog food. 

It’s also worth noting that some companies may offer free samples in exchange for a survey that includes your contact information, which will add you to a marketing mailing list.

Opportunities to obtain free food will come and go, but these manufacturers have offered free dog food samples recently:

  • Zignature: Free 4-ounce samples are available at authorized Zignature retailers. You can view the list on their site or request a free sample to be sent to you if no retailers are near you.
  • Essence: Fill out an online form that includes your protein preferences and your dog’s sensitivities and receive a free sample.
  • The Pet Way: Complete a short questionnaire about your pup’s age, health, dietary restrictions, and more, and receive a free sample of the Pet Way food that may work best for him.
  • Taste of the Wild: Call the hotline or visit your local Taste of the Wild retailer to obtain a sample.
  • Pet Chef of GA: Fill out a contact form to get your free sample. Those who live outside of the metro Atlanta area may incur shipping charges.
  • Barky’s Inn: Arizona residents can receive samples of premium pup foods by calling or texting their hotline number.
  • The Pet Pantry: North Carolina residents only can receive free samples by filling out an online form. A $7 shipping charge may apply.
  • Pawtree: This is more of a tasty dog food topper, but picky doggos may enjoy it to spice up mealtime. Just pay $2.95 for shipping and receive a sample.
  • Happy Dog: Pup parents in the United Kingdom can request a free sample by filling out an online form and paying £2.99 in shipping.
  • Trophy Pet Foods: Pawrents in the United Kingdom can get a free sample by filling out a short online form.
  • PetOnly: This Canadian company offers an assortment of free dog food samples with pup parents only owing shipping fees.

Companies That Have Formerly Offered Free Dog Food Samples 

In the past, other manufacturers have offered free sample promotions. Check their websites and social media regularly to spot future sample offerings. 

Manufacturers occasionally running free sample promos include:

Another tip is to look at retailers rather than manufacturers. Sometimes, businesses such as Petco or Tractor Supply run promotions for small, free bags of dog food with purchase. On occasion, sales representatives also visit big-box pet stores during peak times, such as weekends, during which they offer free samples of quality brands, including Instinct.

You can also ask your veterinarian during your next visit if the practice offers any free dog food samples.

retailers sometimes offer free food

Companies That Offer Cheap Sample Boxes

Although they may not offer free food for owners, some manufacturers have sample boxes available for very low prices. This allows your pooch to have a taste before you commit to a large order. These usually contain enough food for a few meals.

If you’re looking for affordable dog food sample boxes, check out these companies:

  • Honest Kitchen: Offering five grain-free and grain-inclusive starter boxes, these kits make 8 pounds of food and cost between $22.99 and $24.99.
  • Canidae: Purchase a trial bag for $9.99 at participating retailers.
  • The Pet Purveyor: Browse a selection of samples available in several protein options, ranging from $1 to $4 each.
  • Luke’s All Natural: For $19.99 or $29.99 for a jumbo pack, you’ll receive a box containing an assortment of food samples.

Do Not Abuse Companies Offering Free or Low-Cost Samples

While they are a great help, free and low-cost dog food samples aren’t something you should rely on to feed your pooch long term. 

Not only can abusing these programs lead to manufacturers discontinuing them for other pup parents, but it can lead to stomach upset if you’re constantly switching your dog’s food. It can also make it difficult to pinpoint which food is causing the tummy troubles if you’re mixing kibbles. More seriously, it can mask potential underlying conditions if you’re blaming the new food for belly aches.

If you’re recently out of work and can’t afford to feed your dog, make sure to also check out our guide on how low-income families can get free dog food.


Have you ever gotten free or low-cost dog food samples for your dog? Where did you get them? What kind? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by

Kelsey Snyder

Kelsey is a K9 of Mine contributor who has worked with dogs as a shift runner and office manager of a boarding kennel. When she’s not writing, she can be found throwing a ball or losing at tug of war. An animal lover to the max, she lives in South Jersey with her husband, her five dogs Boomer, Taj, Batman, Maya, and Moxie, some kitties, and two grumpy turtles.


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sherri huntley

Just got my first ever larger dog. Had a Chihuahua for 15 years, but this one is about 35 pounds and someones throw away, just like my last one. She refuses to ear the food the shelter sent home as what she ‘had been’ eating, (or not) as she needs to gain just a little. There are just a few too many bones showing for her (supposed to be 2 breeds)….She is Husky and Border Collie. Can’t see the Husky unless it her heavy legs. I don’t have a lot of money, but can afford the vet calls when needed, and the food and other things she should have. Don’t want to feed her something that just runs right through her. Is there a food for her type that most dogs digests more or better than others? No samples around here.
Have already tried one brand (switching the right way so no runs) but she doesn’t really like it and doesn’t eat that well either. The other not at all. Now what? Like I said, my first bigger dog in umpty ump years, and first female besides my Chihuahua. She is a nice dog. Gentle mouth, no jumping up on people and not a big barker….perfect for me so far. Any help will really be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Ben Team

Hey there, Sherri.
We have two articles you may want to check out: The 8 Best Foods for Picky Eaters and The 9 Best Foods for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs.
Hopefully, one of those will get you on the right track! Best of luck!

Deanna Howard

I am not sure you can help me. I have never done this so I am not sure what all is out there I am just unsure about where you live versus where I live in San Antonio Texas. I am on disability I make $1200.00 a year and that is all. I have this year‘s letter from disability that shows my income of $1011 per month. I don’t have money sometimes to put any gas in my car. After I pay rent it is gone. I always get Sophie some food but it’s not the best by any means it’s usually Purina of some kind. Sophie is a dog that I rescued. I could not leave her where she was. she’s an old girl I would guess 11 years old maybe?? She is the biggest lover she just wants to play and love. I feel that finally she is happy and content and knows that she is safe and far from harm. her favorite place to go is the dog park she may be an old gal but she can run with the best of them! I feel like sometimes I don’t even know how I’m going to buy her food and I feel although she doesn’t have problems that I can visibly see, she has not been seen by a vet and she needs her shots. I want to have her dewormed I just worry about her intestinal track. I don’t know if that’s the right words but I hear a lot of sounds coming from her tummy or somewhere down there and a lot of diarrhea. Actually it’s not a lot of diarrhea she’ll go days she may go to weeks but then she’ll have it for no reason. That’s about all I can say. Sophie has been a blessing to this home I live alone with my cat Salem and my precious dog Sophie who is a very big boxer she’s probably overweight but at times I think she doesn’t look overweight it’s just her build. Anyway I’m not sure what I do next or if I can do anything but this is my story. Thank you for all that you do for the other puppies and kittens and adult dogs and cats they are all precious in HIS sight and they were given to us as gifts.

Deanna Howard

I’m sorry I have been trying for 40 minutes and I do not know how to attach Sophie’s pictures for you to enjoy my email which is sometimes easier to catch me on is [email protected]

Ben Team

Hey there, Deanna.
Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do to help, but we wish you the best of luck and encourage you to try some of the resources and tips provided in the article.


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