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. It also gives you the chance to try out a pet food company you’ve had your eye on with only minimal risk.
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
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!
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 dog food manufacturers and popular brands 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 from time to time, some pet food 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: Message this brand on Facebook for a free sample of their food. Be sure to also read our full review of Essence dog food for more info!
- 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.
- The Pet Pantry: North Carolina residents only can receive free samples by filling out an online form. A $7 shipping charge may apply.
- 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.
- PetOnly: This Canadian company offers an assortment of free dog food samples with pup parents only owing shipping fees.
- Sundays Food for Dogs: A boutique dog food manufacturer offering premium, air-dried kibble, Sundays Food for Dogs offers free 2-ounce samples — you simply need to pay a $5 flat shipping fee.
- Mike Ritland Co: Free food and treat samples are available in various proteins. Just pay $5 shipping. Limit 1 per household.
- Orijen/Acana: BzzAgent has a limited-time campaign offering free Orijen or Acana Dog Food. Register and apply for the campaign.
- Nupro: You can get a complimentary sample of their pet supplements by calling their toll-free number.
- Iams: Iams India offers free samples. Just sign up with their online form.
Be aware that many pet food manufacturers and retailers only offer free samples during a limited time. So, take advantage of these opportunities while they last!
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.
Companies That Offer Cheap Dog Food Samples
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: Purchase 1-pound sample packs starting at $6.85. Pick from grain-free protein options.
- Feed Pet Purveyor: Many dog food label samples are available for $1, plus tax. If you buy 5 or more samples, shipping is free.
- Great Lakes Pet Food: Sample packs of pork and chicken puppy food are available starting at $5.50 each.
- Red Barn: Snag a 4-ounce sample of their grain-free ocean recipe for $1.
- The Simple Food Project: Choose between single proteins or a sample pack, starting at $3.28.
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. Sample requests should really only be used when you’re interested in trying out a new food for your floof.
Not only can abusing these programs lead to manufacturers discontinuing them for other pet owners, 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. We also have a list of organizations that help pay for vet bills too if you’re struggling to cover your dog’s medical care.
Free Dog Food Samples: FAQ
Still have lingering questions about getting your hands on some free dog food samples? We’ve got you covered!
We try to answer a few of the most common questions about the subject below.
Can you get free samples of dog food?
You bet! While there aren’t as many companies offering free dog food samples as there were in the past, we’ve shared a number of good sources for them above.
Also, many pet food manufacturers provide very low-cost sample-sized bags, making it easy to try out new foods.
Does PetSmart offer dog food samples?
Some PetSmart locations offer free dog food samples, but the terms and availability vary significantly. It’s worth picking up the phone to find out though, if you’re thinking about trying a new dog food.
Does Petco do food samples?
Like PetSmart, Petco does occasionally offer free or low-cost dog food samples. Contact your local store to find out details.
How can I get a discount on dog food?
There are a variety of ways to enjoy a discount on dog food. You can search for online coupons, you can peruse the mailers than end up in your junk mail pile, and you can reach out directly to brands.
Of course, the best way to find dog food discounts and other deals is by doing what you are right now — reading K9ofMine.com! Manufacturers and retailers often offer our readers special discounts.
Have you ever gotten free or low-cost pet food samples or other pet freebies for your dog? Where did you get them? Did you just request samples or did you need to jump through some hoops?
Let us know in the comments!
February 1, 2022
January 18, 2022
SIR, AND MADDUM
MY FAMILY IS VERY VERY POOR FAMILY I AM NOT QUALIFYAT JUST 10th STD
I AM A CAR DRIVER AND POOR PEOPLE VALINDEAR
I LOVE ALL DOGS MY HOUSE OF TWO DOGS
BUT NOT SPEANT THE MONEY SO PLEASE HELP THEN TWO AND MORE. MORE DOGS FOOD HELP ME… THANK YOU
January 1, 2022
My dog no longer likes almost any dog food. I use dry mixes. Top of line for older 7 year’s of age and only wants people food and treat s
December 13, 2021
My puppy want to try your food
August 28, 2021
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.
August 30, 2021
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!
July 30, 2021
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.
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]
August 2, 2021
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.