Keeping Our Homemade Dog Diet Affordable

How We’re Keeping Our Home Cooked Dog Food Affordable

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!

Missy & Buzz anticipating their homemade dog food
Missy (right) & Buzz (left) with their home cooked dog food

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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.

Yikes.

***However!***

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)
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Salmon
  • Lentils
  • Eggs, which all have different compositions of amino acids, as well as different levels of fats, nutrients, and vitamins.
Cooking Homemade Dog Food

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!

Mexican Lentils for homemade dog food

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.

Missy & Buzz In Awe of the value-priced Chicken hearts & giblets
Missy & Buzz with a chicken deal

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!

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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14 responses to “How We’re Keeping Our Home Cooked Dog Food Affordable”

  1. Kate Obrien Avatar
    Kate Obrien

    Thanks for the analysis – very helpful for those considering a raw diet.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      I’m glad you liked it, hearing this from you means a lot ~ I love your Slimdoggy website!

  2. Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets Avatar
    Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets

    Thanks for all this great information! Feeding a homemade diet is something I would love to do, but I’m not ready to take the plunge yet. With three dogs it is tough to consider (cost and time involved), even though one of them is small. I look forward to reading more about your journey!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thank you for coming over & reading it, Jan! I’ve been thinking about transitioning the pups to a homemade diet for over a year, and am excited & glad that I finally did it! Getting our paws on Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-Bowl pre-mix was definitely the final push I needed! Thank you for staying tuned 🙂

  3. Elaine Avatar

    You hit on a couple of great tips to help get people motivated to try the homemade diet. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part, but by using a product like Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-Bowl and finding sales on meat, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or overly expensive. Great article, Barbara!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thank you, Elaine ~ it’s like with most things in life: Once you start learning more and more about something new, it becomes less daunting & much easier to implement.

  4. JoAnn Stancer Avatar
    JoAnn Stancer

    great post for those who feed raw. I don’t but this was interesting.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thank you, JoAnn! There’ll be more to come in the next few weeks as we increase our learning curve.

  5. Barkocity Avatar

    We don’t make the homemade doggy diet yet. But your post intrigues me into trying it out. Mila loves food. Any food. So I’m sure she wouldn’t oppose. I love reading your posts. Great job!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Our pups highly recommend it & are sure Mila will go beyond loving it 😉 Thank you so much for your compliment!

  6. TheZenPaws Avatar
    TheZenPaws

    Thanks for the ideas on price shopping. I often run and grab a protein to add to Honest Kitchen…..but I need to shop sales more often! 🙂

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Being attentive to value priced items has already made a difference to our wallets 😉

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