- My partner and I got our first Costco membership five years ago, and it has changed the way we shop for pet food.
- With two cats and a huge dog, we go through a lot of food, and shopping at Costco saves us about $500 a year compared to other major retailers.
- Costco’s Kirkland Signature-brand food is very similar to Diamond Naturals’ food, and we pay about $0.77 per pound in our local Costco compared to $1.75 a pound for a nearly identical Diamond food on Amazon.
- You can use the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi to earn 2% back on eligible in-store and online purchases »
The day my partner and I purchased a Costco membership five years ago was like a rite of passage to adulthood. It was a commitment, but we haven’t regretted it for a second, especially since we save a ton of cash on pet supplies.
We have one large borzoi (a dog), a hairless Sphynx, and a bengal (both cats). It’s a full house. We would do anything for our pets, as they are part of the family, so we care a lot about the food they eat and the treats they get for being good (and adorable).
How Costco’s branding works
Costco doesn’t actually manufacture the products it sells. Instead, it contracts with existing brands to manufacture similar products for a lower price under its Kirkland Signature brand. For example, the pet food we buy is a Kirkland-labeled product that’s manufactured by the folks behind Diamond Naturals dog food, a popular pet food brand.
Costco truly has the cheapest pet food
The Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain food is Costco’s premium brand of pet food, and our animals have always loved it. I wanted to be sure I was getting the best price, though, so I compared the Costco food to a nearly identical product from Diamond Naturals as well as Petco’s WholeHearted food, which is also similar to the Kirkland kibble our animals love.
Dog food prices
I looked at the grain-free beef and sweet potato flavor for the dog food, since that’s what our pup prefers.
Since the size of the bags differs, I looked at the per-unit price of each food.
Costco’s dog food is about $1.14 per pound online and $0.77 per pound in-store. (Costco is more expensive online because prices include service and delivery fees.)
The Petco food is $1.32 per pound online, and in-store prices are the same.
The Diamond Naturals food, almost an exact replica of the Costco dog food, is about $1.75 per pound on Amazon. Chewy sells it for about $1.50 per pound.
Cat food prices
The cat food we buy at Costco also wins in price. Amazon and Chewy don’t carry a grain-free salmon formula like the one we feed our cats, so they are left out of this comparison.
The Costco Kirkland Signature cat food is about $1.67 per pound online and $1.10 per pound in-store.
A similar food from WholeHearted costs about $2.25 per pound.
Costco’s in-store cat and dog food prices beat out all the competition by a landslide.
We save more than $500 a year buying our pet food from Costco
While a few cents saved on pet food may not seem like a big deal, it adds up.
We need to buy about one bag of dog food per month for our giant dog. Our cats go through one bag every two months. That’s 420 lbs of dog food and 108 lbs of cat food per year.
Using Costco online prices, that adds up to $659.16 on pet food per year. At Petco, it would cost us $959.40 per year.
That is a savings of $300.24 per year. But since we physically go to Costco and don’t order online, we save even more.
In store, our total spent yearly on pet food is about $442.20. Compared to online Costco prices, we’re saving over $200. Compared to Petco, it’s more than two times cheaper, saving us a little over $500 per year.
Costco isn’t the right choice for all of our pet supplies
Costco carries a variety of other pet supplies. Those products change based on local area demand, but a few things remain true for getting the best deals.
The price of pet treats goes up and down, so we do a price check
Typically we buy our dog bones and treats at Costco, but we always do a quick price comparison on Amazon. For things like pig ears and cat treats, Costco wins, but not all the time.
For example, Nubz, made by Nylabone, are offered by Costco online for $36.99. Our local Costco only carries them once in a while for $28.99. The same quantity is offered on Amazon for $27.30. With our Prime membership, Amazon wins with these particular treats right now, but the prices are always changing.
The cat litter is cheap but isn’t worth it for us
You might be tempted to snag the 42-pound bag of Scoop Away Complete cat litter while you’re collecting other pet supply deals at Costco. Online, it’s $25.99, and in our local Costco, it’s $12.99 for that same bag. However, we have tried it three times and don’t love how it performs. We find it dusty and bad at blocking odor, so we go elsewhere for our cat litter.
We love Costco, and it has saved us money every year we have been members. The animals have always liked the food, treats, and cozy beds (which are cheaper at Costco than anywhere else we’ve shopped). I’d like to think that they are also on board with our penny-pinching ways.
Earn 2% back on eligible Costco purchases: Click here to learn more about the Costco Anywhere Visa »
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