We’ve been transitioning our pups Missy & Buzz from a kibble & wet dog food diet to home cooked dog food.
Our ultimate goal is to feed raw dog food, but we’re not quite there yet.
The way we feed home cooked dog food is by using a grain-free, dehydrated pre-mix of organic herbs & vegetables that we add meat and oils to.
The pups have been on the new diet for over a month now, and are thoroughly anticipating meal time and enjoying their fresh dog food.
Even our picky boy Buzz starts drooling over the new food, so that’s a clear indicator that he gives it 4 enthusiastic paws up!
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I love the fact that we get to add our own quality and amount of protein, and aren’t left to wonder what’s really in their food.
I’ve really become paranoid with the pups’ nutrition after Missy’s cancerous tumor removal & her four chemotherapy sessions.
That said, I’ve read so many testimonials from dog owners whose pups had cancer & who experienced a wonderful turnaround after changing their nutrition to a home cooked, and even raw, diet.
That’s why I’m more than willing to try this new route.
Home Cooked Dog Food Can Be Expensive For Large Dogs
The only downside of the home cooked dog food journey is its price point since Missy & Buzz weigh 54 & 74 pounds respectively.
That means their daily protein intake is 18 ounces for Missy and 24 ounces for Buzz.
So Buzz needs to eat about 1.5 lbs per day, and Missy just a little over 1 lb. That’s a total of 2.5 lbs of dog food per day!
At about $5.29 for 1 lb of all-natural ground turkey from turkeys fed without any growth hormones and/or antibiotics, we’re looking at a little over $13 per day.
Multiply that by seven days, and we’re looking at $91 of protein cost every week, and $364 per four weeks.
One 5 lb bag of Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-Bowl costs $56.49 and lasts us about 2 weeks, meaning we’ll need 2 bags per four weeks, adding $113 to the $364.
That brings us to a grand total of $477 in dog food costs per four weeks!!
The last kibble we fed was grain-free Earthborn, which ran at about $55 per 28 lb bag. We needed needed two per month, which totalled $110 per four weeks.
We mixed in some wet dog food, canned pumpkin & turmeric powder, meaning we had total dog feeding costs of about $150 in four weeks.
So we upped our dog food price point by $327 for a four week timeframe.
I’ve learned a few “tricks” that help lower the cost for home cooked dog food.
While I do want to feed the pups fresh(er) dog food, it needs to stay affordable too!
Varying Protein Sources For Ultimate Health
The protein we add to our pups’ food should be mixed or rotated on a regular, weekly basis.
Keeping that in mind, we’re currently using the following protein sources:
- Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck)
- Eggs, which all have different compositions of amino acids, as well as different levels of fats, nutrients, and vitamins.
While high-quality meat just has its price, lentils and eggs are much less expensive!
That’s why we started mixing our meat with lentils and eggs, and have been able to cut our cost by about 1/4.
Smart Shopping Pays Off!
Meat that’s about to expire will be marked off quite a bit.
It’s easy to recognise thanks to colorful price tags with a so called “value price”. On average, that translates into $2-$4 less than its original price tag.
I’ve actually been having quite a bit of fun hunting around for meat deals, and scored big just today!
I was able to get my hands on 9 lbs of all-natural chicken breasts for $24 which would originally have cost $40 ~ saving me $16! ***Happy Dance!***
Another means of saving on our home cooked dog food has been looking for closeout items.
That means the respective product will no longer be carried by the grocery store, resulting in a lower price tag.
That’s how I got my hands on about 12 one-lb bags of lentils for $0.79 each. We’ve used several bags already, that’s why there’s only 7 featured in the picture below.
I was ecstatic!
I was also able to get 2 glass jars of organic turmeric which were closeout products at our local Food Lion for $2.50 each, as opposed to the original price of $4.50.
We sprinkle a little turmeric on the pups’ respective meals, as turmeric has an incredible amount of health benefits, to include anti-cancer properties.
To make sure that the pups’ home cooked meals come with all the nutrients the pups need, I’ve also started looking into dehydrated base-/pre-mixes for home cooked/raw dog food.
The way they work is you scoop some out, add a little water to rehydrate them, and then you add your (cooked) meat and/or some oils.
While they are a bit more expensive, they do last quite long.
So far, I’ve come across the following dehydrated raw dog food pre-mixes:
Grain-Free Base Mix Dog Food by The Honest Kitchen
Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-Bowl.
You simply add water to rehydrate the veggie/fruit smorgasbord, then add your own protein.
Stay tuned on our journey of keeping our home cooked dog diet going strong & affordable!
I have a feeling we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, and that the healthy dog nutrition world has much more in store for us!
I can’t wait to broaden my healthy-dog-food horizon.
Are you feeding your dog a homemade/raw diet causing you to get creative to keep it affordable? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!
- Why & How I Started Feeding Raw Dog Food
- How to Keep Raw Dog Food Affordable
- Quick Start Guide to Raw Dog Food