When changing your dog's diet or deciding on a particular type or flavor of food you would like your dog to eat, getting hold of free samples of a variety of dog foods can be a good way for you and your dog to try out the product without having the expense of a larger purchase. Many companies offer samples of their foods at no cost to you, especially during the promotion of a new product. Instead of buying a whole bag of food that your dog may hate -- or worse, be allergic to -- request or obtain free samples to try select dog food products before you buy them.
Ask your veterinarian for a sample of dog food he recommends for your dog. Some veterinary offices keep samples they receive from dog food manufacturers up front for customers to take after a checkup visit. If the doctor wants you to change your dog's diet to a prescription one, request that he give you a manufacturer's sample packet. He may be able to make you a free sample bag from the food his staff has in the office to feed the animals boarded there. For canned foods, ask to try a free can before buying a case of the food.
Visit the website of dog food manufacturers to see if any of them are offering free samples or free-sample coupons. When advertising and promoting new products, many manufacturers will offer samples for free. They will either mail samples directly to consumers who apply online or provide an online coupon for you to print and redeem at a store. You can also visit manufacturers' social networking web pages and write about the product you want to try. There's no guarantee a company will send you a sample or a coupon, but it's worth trying.
Request a sample of dog food from a local pet food retailer. Pet retailers usually have samples available if you ask a salesperson directly. A salesperson may make you a sample bag or offer you a sample can of the store's own brand of food to encourage you to try it.
Check your local newspaper's coupon circular, usually in the Sunday edition. Pet food manufacturers place coupons for free trial sizes in newspaper coupon sections at times to promote their products.
Write a letter or email to the manufacturer of the dog food you want to try. You can find the contact information for the company either on its website or on the dog food packaging -- write down this information while you're in a pet supply store.
Contact a distributor of a dog food you want to try and request a free sample of the food. Some manufacturers do not sell their pet foods directly online or in pet supply stores; instead, private distributors sell the food, usually through a website. Many such websites offer you the option of selecting a sample of the food to have shipped to you for free or for a nominal shipping fee.
If your dog suffers from chronic conditions such as kidney disease or diabetes, ask your veterinarian before trying new food samples; some of these foods may contain ingredients that could potentially worsen your dog's condition.
When adopting a dog, ask the shelter or rescue group for a sample of the food the dog is currently eating. The organization should provide this to you for free, so your new dog can slowly acclimate to a new food or allow you time to purchase the food.
Visit a pet food bank in your local area, usually available at local animal shelters or SPCAs. Pet food banks can provide you with larger supplies of pet food if you don't have the financial resources to care for your dog.
If you regularly post to a blog about dog foods, toys or other pet-related items, send a link to your blog to the pet food manufacturer whose food you want to try. It's not unheard of for a manufacturer to send you a free sample.
Some websites have links you can click on to win free samples of dog food for animal shelters around the country, usually sponsored by pet food manufacturers or charities.
Introduce a new food to your dog slowly, by mixing in a small portion of the sample into his existing food a little at a time until the entire diet is the new food.
- dog bones image by Janet Wall from Fotolia.com