How Much Does it Cost to Feed My Dog Homemade Food?
Dog owners all over the world have begun to make the switch from commercial dog food diets to homemade food for their dogs. Not only are their health benefits associated with homemade dog food, but it may also save you money. Before you decide whether or not to make the switch, learn some of the basics about homemade dog food.
Benefits of Homemade Food
Creating your own dog food can be challenging because you need to choose a combination of ingredients that will meet your dog’s nutritional needs. If you use a recipe that is approved by a veterinary nutritionist, however, your dog may experience benefits such as:
- Shinier, healthier coat
- Relief from skin and food allergies
- Improved and regulated digestion
- Smaller, more compact stools
- Cleaner teeth and fewer dental problems
- Improved weight management
Costs and Challenges
If you think about it in human terms, cooking a meal for yourself at home is almost always cheaper than going out. But is the same true for your dog’s food? In wandering through the aisles at your local pet supply store, you will find a range of prices for dog food. Cans of dog food may range from less than $1 each to over $3 each and dry dog food averages between $1 and $2 per pound. If you were to make a batch of homemade dog food using chicken breast, broccoli and sweet potato, you might expect to pay $2 and $3 per pound for the chicken alone.
Dog owners who choose to make their own dog food often do so out of concern for the health of their pet. These individuals often choose all-natural or organic ingredients which can be more costly than standard foods. If you choose to make homemade dog food using organic ingredients, you can expect to pay significantly more per serving than you would for a single can of commercial dog food. Price isn’t the only thing you should think about, however – though the cost of homemade dog food may be higher, the quality of the product is as well. You also have greater control over the ingredients that go into your dog’s food so you can accommodate for any allergies or special needs.
Saving Money on Homemade Dog Food
In making your own dog food at home, you can use many of the same ingredients that you use in preparing meals for yourself – things like whole chicken, fish and fresh vegetables. Because you will be purchasing quantities large enough for both your family and your dog, you may be able to save money by purchasing ingredients in bulk. You may also be able to take advantage of low prices on seasonal produce by shopping at your local farmers’ market. Check your local butcher for reduced prices on organ meats and on edible bones – both of these items are an important part of a raw homemade diet for dogs.
When it comes to feeding your dog, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. It doesn’t matter so much what option you choose as what type of nutrition your dog receives – as long as your dog’s food provides for his nutritional needs you can go with whatever option you prefer.