The More Time / Effort you are Wiling to Put in to Feeding Your dog the Lower Your Cost of Raw Dog Food…
There is no point in comparing the cost of raw dog food with the price of a bag of cereal based, dry dog food as pound for pound meat is a lot more expensive than grain. That is why dry dog food companies use so little meat and so much grain!
The good news is that dogs can be fed a butcher-grade meat diet cheaper than most cereal-based dry food diets, certainly the ridiculous veterinary “prescribed” ones! An infinitely superior nutritional meal for the same cost as that bag of dry crackers thus is better value for money. And there are many option to lower your cost of raw dog food with the top end dominated by convenient but costly pre-made minces but with prices falling the more labour you are willing to put in yourself!! For example you could add cheaper ingredients to pre-made products or simply whip up those products yourself, cutting your raw dog food bill in half!
And remember you can add anything you want to their diet any time. No longer are scraps bad for your dog. Now you can pad out any mix with brown rice if you like. Dogs do not need it but dry food is 50-60% filler. You putting in a small bit of your own with a lot of good stuff is more than great for your dog!! Then there’s always the reduced aisles of supermarkets where you can get some great bargains. No need to chop it up just throw it out in the garden. Chicken legs for dinner tonight, oxtail tmrw. And make friends with your local butcher, you never know what he might have in the bin (best before not bad after for your dog!!!).
Step 1: Weigh the dog
To work out your cost of raw dog food for the week you need to work how much your dog needs to eat per week. For this their weight needs to be known. Adult dogs roughly need 2.5% of their body weight per day of feed. For a more detailed calculation use our Dog Food Calculator.
Step 2. Choose A Meal Plan for Your Dog
The cost of feeding a dog a fresh meat diet varies, depending on how much time and effort one puts in! The more convenient it is, the higher the cost.
Dinner Option 1: Pre-Prepared Raw Dog Food
Prepared meat mixes are a really convenient way of raw feeding your dog, and they needn’t cost an arm or a leg, In fact at just over €3 per kilo including delivery it works out the same or even cheaper than many high dry foods, but the quality and value for money is far, far superior. You can buy pet food over various kinds. I personally don’t buy “dog food” anymore. I use butchers as the quality is invariably higher. In this respect I use the online butchers www.carnivorekellys.ie, their meat mixes are the best I’ve seen.
Convenience: Very convenient – all ingredients are pre-mixed in the correct proportions presented in a handy, easy to store tube..
Cost: €3.15 to €3.50 per kilogram delivered (potentially more from UK companies, understandably, for delivery)
Delivery: Included by carnivorekelly.ie, for orders over €40 in Ireland (orders over €60 for British customers).
Cost per day: If we consider the average Westie, weighing 7kg, requires 2.5% of their body weight per day in fresh food, then this equates to 175g of fresh food per day. If the ready meals (delivered) cost a maximum of €3.50, then that dog will cost 61 cents per day (or €4.27 per week) to feed them the fillet steak of dog food.
While these mixes have everything a dog needs, there is plenty of other nutritional items that can be added in to reduce costs!
- Cheap, reduced meat found in the reduced aisle of supermarkets
- Brown rice (consider that dry food is 50% rice / wheat filler!)
- Variety, is the spice of life, and can also cut food costs
Dinner Option 2: DIY Raw Dog Food
For jumbo or multiple dog owners, or to simply save some money, then for only 20 minutes lots of money can be saved by making up your own mixes once or twice a month. Why pay others to do it? It is so easy. Our handy “How To Make Your Own Dog Food” article shows how! Just remember the 5:1:1 ratio (5 parts meat on the bone OR mince with 10% bone in it, 1 part organ meat, 1 part vegetables).
Convenience: Still quite convenient, just open the box, puncture the bags and mix.
Cost: €1.50 to €2 per kilogram
Delivery: Included, for orders over €40, otherwise…
Where to source: Local butchers, what’s he got in the bin? The reduced aisle of SuperValu and Tesco’s. Or visit CarnivoreKellys.ie to buy all the meats needed. Their butcher grade minces contain the right amount of bone (10%) and they arrive fresh on ice – which helps with the mixing!
Cost per day: 5kg of mince from the likes of CarnivoreKellys.ie butchers costs only €10, that’s €2 per kilogram. Organ meat (liver, heart, kidney) costs €3 per kilogram, Vegetables cost €1 per kilogram. All of this works out at roughly €2 per kilogram, and the price can be lowered by using cheaper meat and bulking up with brown rice. So for the Westie owner, their food bill would drop from 61 cents per day to 35 cents per day for equally good food (delivered to their door).
Dinner Option 3 Pick Up From a Factory Depot
Convenience: Less convenient, as it is necessary to drive to the factory depot, but the savings more than make up for it!
Cost: Very affordable as meats cost €1 per kilogram from the Kelly’s Depot in Clondalkin, Dublin.
Delivery: Not included. Pick up from depot for this option.
Where to Source: Any meat factory will do you. Anyone growing chicken or pigs or cattle. Any butchers. Any meat processor. Carnivore Kelly’s depot shop is in Clondalkin, Dublin, is positioned at the junction of the M7 and the M50, so that’s a handy option. Their opening hours are Mon-Fri (6am-3pm) and Sat (1oam-2pm). They have jumbo 15kg boxes of chicken, duck and turkey – necks, wings and hearts for only €1. These can form the basis for your dog’s diet.
Cost per day: This option is the preferred for multi-dog owners. Takes a little work as it involves working with big lumps of meat, but multiple dog owners are no stranger to that. Necessary for this approach is increased freezer space but this should pay for itself in two months. Due to buying large boxes of frozen meat, it is necessary to be prepared for the semi-thawing and re-freezing that goes with this approach. To find out how to implement this approach please visit “Preparing Raw Dog Food For A Pack”.