Veterinary bills. Toys. Food and treats. Stylish collars. They all add up, and for many of us that poses a financial challenge. My two Boston Terriers deserve every penny I spend on them, but unplanned expenses — including multiple surgeries and radiation treatments for Dolly — have made 2012 a particularly expensive year for this pet parent.
To help stretch my limited funds, I keep an eye on a handful of doggie deal websites with the hope of saving money on supplies and services. Some of these websites have been around for a while, while others have just launched.
I adore this deal website because of the wide range of high-quality pet products it offers. Recent deals have included numerous items including Himalayan Dog Chews and Sherpa’s carriers. I even found pool toys for Spot through a 50 percent off Doggyloot deal: three neon floatable toys from Kyjen for $10. Most purchases get shipped directly to buyers, but Doggyloot occasionally offers deals redeemable at a local store.
This website doesn’t offer as many deals as Doggyloot, but I appreciate the inclusion of kitty products (despite its name). Recent deals have included Kong toys for both dogs and cats at 47 percent off and 60 percent off, respectively. Barking Deals also offers both national and local deals, in 20 or so cities, but I have yet to see one for a store or service in my city of Phoenix.
3. LeLe Pets
I love looking at the products offered through this newcomer to the pet-deals landscape. LeLe Pets focuses on design-inspired yet functional items for dogs, cats, and other pets, including upcycled pet beds from Atomic Attic, stay-cool water dishes by FroBo, and animal habitats from Bio Bubble. Savings can climb up to 70 percent off, and the company donates 1 percent of annual sales to the ASPCA.
This website offers a national pet-product deal each day, and those living in New York and Los Angeles often get local savings opportunities, as well. Recent local deals included 58 percent off pet sitting in New York and 73 percent off a photo shoot with your pet in Los Angeles. Dealwagger also offers 10 percent off the first deal purchased.
This pet-deals website also offers a wide range of high-quality products. A recent roundup of deals included everything from 21 percent off Frontline flea medication to 50 percent off Dura Doggie toys. It also offers local deals, but just as with Barking Deals, I have yet to see one for any store or service here in Phoenix.
General deal websites also offer pet-centric offers from time to time, and since they have a strong local sales force, they’ll be your best bet for savings on local services no matter where you live. I have seen deals for veterinary services in the Phoenix area on Groupon, Living Social and DealChicken.
When using any of these doggie-deal websites, keep the following tips in mind for the best shopping experience:
- Sign up for the website’s daily deal email to ensure you see every savings opportunity. I divert them into a special folder I check around mid-day.
- If you see a deal you want, grab it right away. Some last for 24 hours, and others, such as many of the LeLe Pets deals, last until supplies run out; often, a deal provider can only afford to offer the discount on a limited number of items.
- Read the fine print first. The majority of these deals do not allow for returns for refunds or exchanges. Some offer free shipping, while others include the shipping and raise the price or charge separately for shipping; always comparison shop to see if a deal truly qualifies as one after doing the math.
- If you purchase a deal, take advantage of the website’s referral program. By simply sharing the deal on Facebook, Twitter or via email, you can earn credit toward future deal purchases on the website.