Financial difficulties can significantly impact the whole family, pets included. To tackle this issue, adopting frugal habits might help, yet the thought of giving up your beloved furry companion to a shelter or foster care is not appealing. Thankfully, there are groups and networks available that can offer assistance.

With that being said, you need to remember that looking for free dog food can be very challenging but upon reading this article, you will be able to narrow down your choices as to where would you look for free dog food samples.

What Are Free Dog Food Samples?

Specifically, free dog food samples are little portions of food that are given by pet food companies for you to try in order to know whether your dog is allergic to the dog food or the taste of the free dog food suits your dog’s taste and preferences.

Generally, dog food samples are often categorized with the following criteria

  • Paid shipping
  • Single formula per sample
  • limited samples per order (no more than five samples)
  • Subject to availability

When looking for free dog food samples for your furry pup, you must be very cautious because there are pet food products that have poor quality and may cause issues like gastrointestinal problems.

It is important to note that as responsible pet owners, you must only request free dog food samples from reliable companies and trusted brands to ensure the quality of the product.

In receiving free food from companies, it is important that you make sure that the pet food bags are sealed properly and have no tears and holes that can affect the dog’s food.

You must also make sure that before you receive free dog food, the company where the dog food is from has no recent dog food recalls to ensure the safety of your dog. After all, even though it is only a small portion of dog food, you don’t want to add up to your expenses with an unexpected vet visit.

Sample Dog FoodHow To Select Free Dog Food Samples

Ordering your first free dog food online or over the television can be a lot of risks. Hence, it is important that you scrutinize every dog food product and filter through the bad stuff to give your dog the best free dog food samples.

In selecting free dog samples, the very first thing that you should do is to decide what type of dog food would you like to feed your dog, and from there, you can immediately look for a trusted brand that offers your preference. These types of dog food include:

  • Wet dog food – Pet foods with high moisture content and are usually canned dog food.
  • Semi-moist dog food – These pet foods are commonly soft pellets that are intended to have a chewy texture and are usually packed in small pouches
  • Dry dog food – These dog foods have the lowest moisture content and usually come in the form of kibbles, biscuits, pellets, flakes, or mixers.

Upon knowing what type of dog food you like for your pet, you are going to decide whether you want to feed your dog with complete dog food or complementary dog food.

Complete dog foods are nutritionally complete and will be able to provide all the nutrients that your pup needs. On the other hand, complementary dog foods are designed to be a constituent of your dog’s diet and should be fed together with dog food that provides a well-balanced diet.

Other additional points to consider when choosing the most suitable dog food for your pup are the nutritional content and your dog’s food sensitivities.

You must make sure that you are feeding your dog with food that provides adequate nutrition that does not trigger any food allergies that your dog has.

Participate in free sample giveaway

8 Common Sources For Low Cost Or Free Samples

Various businesses and local organizations are willing to give supply and food assistance to pet owners from low-income families with pets by creating charitable programs for the community.

1. Local Pet Shelters

Although some shelters struggle to provide food for fostered pets, some of them receive adequate funding from other organizations and donations for private sectors to continue providing for the homeless animals. Some shelters may also have food banks that can last for more than a month.

2. Pet-Or-Dog-Oriented Non-Profit Organizations

A non-profit organization is designed to cater to animals with no shelter or help other pet owner for their pets to stay healthy. As an example, the Humane Society of the United States keeps a list of resources available to low-income dog and cat owners.

3. Veterinary Clinics

Almost all veterinary clinics help and donate to charitable programs that help give food and shelter to dogs. Occasionally, they also check the medical conditions of the family dogs and offer supplements for improved health.

4. Breed-Specific Organizations

Breed-specific organizations are willing to help people afford shelter and meals for the family dog. You can check out a group that focuses on your dog’s breed as these groups have certain programs that can help their fellow owners.

5. Pet Stores

They can give you free samples, discounts on dog treats, regular foods, and even special food for your dog, given the circumstances that you are barely making money for the meals of your pup. Other stores can accept services in exchange for dog food too.

6. Religious Institutions

Religious organizations often focus on conducting programs to help marginalized people and commonly, dog and cat food for a family that needs to have their pets (dog or cat) fed. Regardless of the religious affiliation of the persons, organizations like these give help to people and animals alike.

7. Manufacturers

You can have a bag of food straight from the manufacturer without having to pay for them. Some manufactures give samples of food, in exchange for a product review but this option is not for a long-term purpose.

8. Online Message Boards

People usually post on the internet and online messaging platforms about the excess dog food that they have. Whatever the reason may be, you can definitely have dog foods over the internet for free, or at a very low price.

Poor Hungry Dog

Other Forms Of Assistance For Low-Income Pet Owners

Other than the ones mentioned above, there are other ways by which you can procure free or low-cost dog food and other essential equipment like collars, beds, leashes, toys, and other items for low-income pet parents

Local vets

Veterinarians can assist people in providing food and are willing to reduce the fees of certain services for dog owners that come from low-income families.

Local pet stores

Pet shops may be willing to provide assistance to dog owners that have a low income, by giving discounts on essential items. They can also inform you ahead of time regarding upcoming clearance events, sales, and promotions.


Pet food manufacturers are capable of providing free sample in exchange for a review on different platforms like Amazon, and Yelp. Although they do not give you crates of puppy food, they may provide low-cost items like tags, collars, dog beds, supplements, and grooming products that are of great importance and of little help to owners experiencing financial difficulties.

How To Request Or Provide Help With Finding Pet Food

You may look into the following suggestions if you are still not sure where to start looking for free food for your dog.

  • You may go to your local shelter and ask whether they have pet food banks.
  • Browse through the internet about the pet food bank nearest to your location. You might also want to check out the “meals on wheels” [1] program in your city.
  • Utilize the power of social media to let the people know that you are planning to build a food bank and ask for donations for food and supplies
  • You can ask the local grocery stores about saving dented pet supplies and recently out-of-date food items and have them donated to shelters in rural or impoverished areas

cute pug eating food

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get free pet food?

There are many ways that you can get free pet food. You can contact stores, organizations, pet communities, and other groups that can help you give the foods that your dog needs. It is important that you check the free food that you give to your dog as spoiled food can cause issues and can add up to the expenses.

Do food banks give pet food?

Yes, food banks give pet food. Pet-specific pantries are now gradually spreading across the country due to the efforts made by people with advocacies that put effort into national campaigns. These programs are supported by groups that want to keep families and dogs together, removing from the equation, the food bills and other expenses.

Can you get food stamps for pets?

No, you can’t get food stamps for pets. However, despite the fact that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) only allows recipients to only buy food for human consumption, it is being petitioned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture should allow beneficiaries to buy pet food using as it should be considered essential.


Having a dog can be very challenging as it requires time, effort, and finances for essential needs like food and equipment. Remember that before getting your first pup, you must assess the situation and make sure that you are capable of having one. Nevertheless, on top of the ways to get free food for your pup, you should always consider your dog’s health and safety.