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Let’s Talk: Where Do You Buy Your Dog’s Goodies, and What Do You Look For?

I was chatting with Dogster's terrifico Managing Editor, Janine Kahn, the other day, and the subject of where we get our dogs' treats, toys, leashes,...

Maria Goodavage  |  Feb 8th 2012


I was chatting with Dogster’s terrifico Managing Editor, Janine Kahn, the other day, and the subject of where we get our dogs’ treats, toys, leashes, and other goodies came up.

In her no-child, single-dog home, she and her sweetie try to shop as locally as they can, partly in order to support mom-and-pop shops. And as she pointed out, there are cheap ways to get “Made in the USA” treats like stocking up at Trader Joe’s. But there are some items they get at Petco, like litter for Moxie’s litter box. (Yes, Moxie is a dog. A most fastidious dog, especially compared with Jake. He uses Yesterday’s News litter, even though he’s a hip headliner around Dogster HQ.)

I like to shop locally, too, but we are a not a no-child home, so I might be slightly more frugal. Interestingly, I sometimes find that our small neighborhood pet-supply store stocks items that are even cheaper than bigger chains, especially when they’re on sale. They may not be the same brands, but that’s fine, because they also skew to the more locally produced items. And Trader Joe’s is, indeed, a dogsend. Jake is head over heels about Charlee Bear liver treats.

But I do get some things like Jake’s dog beds at places like Costco. These dog beds are huge, attractive, inexpensive, and if I do say so myself, quite comfy! (What? Me fall asleep while petting Jake on his bed at 2 a.m. after a long night of writing? Okay, it has happened, but don’t tell anyone.) I also bought chicken jerky strips there before I heard about the possible risks from the ones made in China, which are what Costco generally sells.

With our other post today being about the situation regarding these potentially dangerous chicken jerky treats from China, this seemed like a very good time to do a “Let’s Talk” about where you buy your doggy goodies, and what you look for. (Let’s try not to talk so much about dog food for this, because that opens up a gaping maw that shouldn’t be part of this discussion.) Are you immediately put off by “Made in China,” or do you ignore it in the name of getting the cheapest deal or buying in bulk?

Many readers have several dogs, and it could get pretty pricey to buy things labeled as organic or “Made in the USA.” Is yours one of these multidog homes? Where do you buy your dogs’ goodies?

How about those of you with singleton dogs? Do you strive to support mom-and-pop stores, or do you try to keep costs down by shopping at bigger box stores? We’d love to know where you get your dog stuff, and whether where you get it and where it’s made is important to you, or if saving money is more important. Remember to mention how many dogs are in your household.

Also, if you have any tips about saving money while buying locally or by creating your very own goodies such as treats, please share them! This is still a shaky economy, and many people are unemployed or underemployed, so we could all use some money-saving tips. Some of you in the past have mentioned making your dogs’ chicken jerky treats yourselves. If someone could reiterate the “how” here, that’d be great. (People seem to use chicken breasts for this, but is there any reason it can’t be done from thigh and/or leg meat, which is more economical yet?)