Did you know that there are ways for seniors to find free or discounted pet food? Pets are a big part of many senior citizens' lives, and they should not have to go without food just because they are on a budget. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best ways to get free or cheap pet food. So whether you are struggling to afford food for your dog or cat, or you simply want to find a good deal on pet supplies, read on for tips and advice!
Findhelp.org is a searchable database of free resources for people in need of extra distance. From thrift stores to free health and wellness options to free veterinary care and pet food. Enter your zip code and the type of assistance you are looking for and it will list the organizations in your area that can help.
Feeding Pets of the Homeless
This non-profit connects the homeless and those qualifying for low-income subsidies with free or reduced cost dog food and cat food. You must call them to speak with a case worker that will determine if are eligible and connect you with a local pet pantry or food bank that can assist you. Reach out to them at: https://petsofthehomeless.org/get-help/
What is a Pet Pantry?
A pet pantry is a food bank specifically designed to provide pet food and supplies to those who are in need. Each pantry offers different services but common items distributed include food, treats, litter, toys and other necessary supplies.
Is a Pet Food Pantry the Same as a Pet Food Bank?
Yes, most pet food pantries are also considered pet food banks. Generally, larger pantries have more resources and may even offer services such as free spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations.
Contact your local Humane Society or animal control office to see if there is a pet pantry near you that can help.
The Humane Society is a non-profit organization that offers pet assistance programs as:
- Food assistance
- Financial resources to get pet care
- Shelters to rehabilitate abused animals
- Options for free or low-cost veterinary care
For national and state-specific resources, check their resources page.
Many animal shelters offer discount pet food programs, with some even offering free pet food to those who qualify. Most will require proof of income so be sure to have that ready when you contact them.
Meals on Wheels Program
Meals on Wheels provides warm food to senior citizens. One of its programs is WALOP (We All Love Our Pets) which delivers pet food and supplies to seniors who qualify. Ask your local Meals on Wheels provider for more information about this program.
Salvation Army Food Assistance
The Salvation Army offers food assistance, hygiene products and pet food to qualifying families. To find out more, contact your local Salvation Army office for information about their pet food assistance program. Find a Salvation Army nearest you at: Salvation Army Location Search.
How Can I Find Local Pet Resources?
Most major cities have programs specifically designed to help people who need assistance with pet care. Check with your local ASPCA, Humane Society or other nonprofit pet rescue organizations to find out if they have a pet pantry or food bank in your area. You can also search online for pet pantries and food banks in your area.
Your local shelter may offer free or discounted pet food and supplies. Be sure to call them and ask about their resources, as the options vary from shelter to shelter.
Check with your vet if they have any discounts or programs that can help you get the food and supplies your pet needs. Many vets receive free samples from suppliers and may be able to provide you with some additional food. They may even be able to direct you to other resources in the community.
Pet Stores in Your Area
Pet owners can consider asking local pet stores if they have any discounted or free dog food or cat food. Some may also offer coupons for discounts on certain brands of pet food and other supplies. Smaller family-owned ones may provide food close to expiration for free or at a large discount.
Chewy Provides Food to Local Shelters
Chewy provides large amounts of food to local shelters. Food that is brand new but gets damaged in their distribution network (for example a bag that gets torn) and unable to be sold is donated to shelters. This high-quality food may be an option for you. You can check for shelters on the Chewy site or call a Chewy distribution center in your area to see if they can connect you to the local shelters they serve.
Thinking About a Companion Animal?
The benefits of a pet for a senior citizen can’t be underestimated. If you are considering getting a pet companion, there are several avenues to investigate to ensure the best possible match for both of you. Consider visiting your local animal shelter or rescue group and talking with the staff about which breeds/types would suit your lifestyle best. There are also organizations such as Pets for Patriots (www.petsforpatriots.org) that specialize in helping veterans and seniors adopt companion animals.
Cigna put out a great article on the benefits of pet ownership titled "6 Unexpected Health Benefits of Pets for Older Americans". Benefits include:
- Feeling Needed
- Increased Exercise
- Increased Mindless
Other Ways to Afford Pet Food
Are you a senior living on a fixed income? If you receive government assistance, there are a variety of free and low-cost pet food programs available. Check with your local food bank to see if they offer pet food assistance programs. You may also qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which provides resources to help people buy food.
Save Money on Delivery Costs with Prime Access
Your SNAP card entitles you to a variety of benefits beyond just food for you and your family.
A SNAP card makes you eligible for Amazon's Prime Access which is a discounted Prime Membership that will help you save by finding low cost pet food with free delivery.
Affordable Connectivity Program
Your SNAP Card also makes you eligible for free cell phone service and unlimited data through EASY Wireless. It takes only a few minutes to sign up and see if you qualify.
When you qualify you can get rid of your monthly cell phone and data bill and use that money towards your furry friend's health and wellness.
Shop Online for The Best Prices on Cat Food and Dog Food
You can often find the best prices online. When searching for pet food, check out larger online retailers like Chewy and Amazon. They offer a variety of products at discounted prices and often have sales or special offers you can take advantage of.
Just a Phone Call or Online Search Away to Free Pet Food for Seniors
There are many ways to find free pet food and supplies for seniors, as well as low-cost options. With a bit of research and outreach, you can make sure your beloved pet gets the best care and nutrition they need. Whatever you decide, remember to always put your pet’s safety and well-being first!