THE TRUE COST
DOG EDITION

Just because a pet food is inexpensive at face value doesn't mean it won't burn a hole in your pocket. Check out this list of popular dog food brands to compare cost and quality.

 

One commonly heard concern about feeding a species appropriate raw diet is cost. Most believe to feed this diet it must cost hundreds of dollars.This quickly becomes a deterrent before people even try it. Other than home prepared raw diets being one of the most affordable types of food to feed, there are other cost saving aspects of feeding raw to consider. This includes spending less money on litter for cats due to less waste and healthier pets which result in significantly less money spent at the vet. On the other hand, many would be surprised if they really knew the cost comparisons when it comes to the dry, wet, dehydrated and freeze dried products they currently feed.

         

Feeding a dry commercial pet food is by far the most common among owners. Not only is it convenient and easy to buy, but most believe it’s the most economical. One aspect however that many owners easily miss is the TRUE cost of the food they feed. One brand may be only $5 for a 5lb bag, but  the serving size for their companion is several cups a day meaning that 5 lb pound isn’t going to last long. The upfront cost is seemingly less but in the  long run the cost is astronomical. Another consideration is that cheaper foods often contain cheap ingredients such as fillers, artificial colors, by products and other ingredients that provide little value to your companion. Essentially ingredients that are unused and just go in the mouth and out the end, is wasted money. In addition, you may not be paying much upfront, but the countless health issues that your pet will face in the future will appear in hundreds of dollars of veterinary bills instead.

Below you will find a chart comparing some of the most common brands of dry dog food. Serving sizes are based on averages of a healthy adult dog in varying breed size categories 10 lbs (toy/small breed), 25 lbs (medium), 50 lbs (large) and 120 lb (giant/extra large). We tried to simplify this chart so we found bags of food of similar size and located at the same store. The product itself are various company’s standard adult chicken based formulas. We also included our own rating system for quality so you can compare the cost of the food with its quality.
 

0-Corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, no meat

2-Corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, meat by products

3-Protein first ingredient, heavy in grains, artificial vitamins/minerals

4-Protein first ingredient, moderate in  grains, artificial vitamins/minerals

5-Protein first ingredient little/no grain artificial vitamins/minerals,

6-Protein first ingredient, no artificial vitamins/minerals, no grains

8-Protein only, no grain, no fruits/veggies no artificial vitamins/minerals

*Note this rating system is NOT based on a species appropriate diet (high in meat protein, grain free, no carbohydrates including fruits and vegetables and free of by-products, color, artificial preservatives, vitamins and minerals)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

The second most coming pet food to feed is a wet canned formula. While some pet owners choose to use canned food as a mix in or as a flavor topping, many also use canned food as a complete meal. There is some reservation with this method because it’s expensive. Wet food is typically higher in protein, a main factor for its price.

Below you will find a chart comparing some of the most common brands of wet dog food. Serving sizes are based on averages of a healthy adult dog in varying breed size categories 10 lbs (toy/small breed), 25 lbs (medium), 50 lbs (large) and 120 lb (giant/extra large). Included is the same rating system used above.

0-Corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, no meat

2-Corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, meat by products

3-Protein first ingredient, heavy in grains, artificial vitamins/minerals

4-Protein first ingredient, moderate in  grains, artificial vitamins/minerals

5-Protein first ingredient little/no grain artificial vitamins/minerals,

6-Protein first ingredient, no artificial vitamins/minerals, no grains

8-Protein only, no grain, no fruits/veggies no artificial vitamins/minerals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           The two least common pet food types to feed is a dehydrated or freeze-dried diet. While some pet owners choose to use these types as a mix in or topper, many are beginning to use dehydrated and freeze-dried products as a complete meal. There is some reservation with this method because it can be expensive.

           Below you will find a chart comparing some of the most common brands of dehydrated and freeze-dried dog food. Serving sizes are based on averages of a healthy adult dog in varying breed size categories 10 lbs (toy/small breed), 25 lbs (medium), 50 lbs (large) and 120 lb (giant/extra large). Included is the same rating system used above.

0-Corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, no meat

2-Corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, meat by products

3-Protein first ingredient, heavy in grains, artificial vitamins/minerals

4-Protein first ingredient, moderate in  grains, artificial vitamins/minerals

5-Protein first ingredient little/no grain artificial vitamins/minerals,

6-Protein first ingredient, no artificial vitamins/minerals, no grains

8-Protein only, no grain, no fruits/veggies no artificial vitamins/minerals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most often before a pet owner decides to home prepare their own raw diet they look to a pre-made commercial raw food readily available at a pet store or via a local supplier 

Below you will find a chart comparing some of the most several brands of commercial pre-made raw cat food. Serving sizes are based on an 8.5 lbs healthy adult cat. Included is the same rating system used above.

 

0- Corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, no meat

1- Corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, meat by products

2- Protein first ingredient, heavy in grains (4+ sources), artificial vitamins/minerals

3- Protein first ingredient, moderate in  grains (2-3 sources), artificial vitamins/minerals

4- Protein first ingredient little (1 source) /no grain artificial vitamins/minerals,

6- Protein first ingredient, no artificial vitamins/minerals, no grains

8- Protein only, no grain, no fruits/veggies no artificial vitamins/minerals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The point of this article was not to simply depress you with the cost of how much your companion’s food is or the quality of your pet’s food. The point is two-fold to yes make you aware of the daily and yearly costs of foods with varying qualities, but also to display how cost effective it is to feed a raw diet. Below is a chart of the basic raw meal I would use for a 10 lb, 25 lb, 50 lb and 120 lb healthy adult dog with a chicken base.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s compare this to the highest and lowest quality food as well as the highest and lowest priced commercial foods we charted above. 

 

 

Here we are comparing the highest quality food in each category with raw. As you can see the home prepared raw diet, Vital Essentials and Bravo Basics (the raw food options) have the highest possible quality, but the home prepared raw is the least expensive out of the six types of food. It has the lowest cost per batch and is the most nutrient dense meaning the meal is complete and balanced in the least amount of food needed to consume. Out of the six it ranks third longest lasting, but the great thing with raw is you can make as much food as you want in each batch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we are comparing the lowest quality food in each category with raw. As you can see the raw diet still has the highest possible quality with the third least expensive price per batch/bag out of the six types of food. It has the third lowest cost per day and is the most nutrient dense meaning the meal is complete and balanced in the least amount of food needed to consume. Out of the six it ranks second longest lasting (with Diamond and Honest Kitchen lasting about the same time). Although raw is third lowest in cost the high quality of the food negates this fact as Diamond ranks a 0 in quality. This chart shows you that raw is very comparable in price to even the crappiest food cost wise but is superior in quality .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we are comparing the most expensive food in each category with raw. We are basing this on a yearly cost. As you can see the home prepared and pre-made raw diet has the highest possible quality with the home prepared raw being the least expensive price per year out of the six types of food. It has the lowest cost per day and is the most nutrient dense meaning the meal is complete and balanced in the least amount of food needed to consume. Out of the six it ranks second longest lasting. This chart shows you that raw is the least expensive, with one of the highest quality compared to the most expensive pet foods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        Here we are comparing the least expensive food in each category with raw. We are basing this on a yearly cost. As you can see the home prepared and the pre-made raw diets have the highest possible quality with the home prepared raw having the second least expensive price out of the six types of food. It has the lowest cost per batch/bag and is the most nutrient dense meaning the meal is complete and balanced in the least amount of food needed to consume. Out of the six it ranks third longest lasting tied with the pre-made raw. This chart shows you that raw is the second least expensive, with one of the highest quality compared to the least expensive pet food which also has a low quality.

 

      In conclusion raw feeding is completely cost effective especially for its impeccable quality. If you can provide your companion with the best possible food, with one of the lowest costs even compared to the cheapest and lowest quality food, why wouldn’t you?! This is huge! This expels one of the biggest myths about raw feeding…COST! Are you ready to jump on the raw feeding bandwagon?!

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