Commercially made pet food isn’t necessarily the healthiest or most cost effective choice for your four-legged best friend. Yet people continue to debate whether it’s best to make your own dog food.
The cost savings can be substantial, depending on the size of your pet, the caliber of food you currently serve up and whether you buy in bulk or smaller allotments.
Commercial Dog Food Costs
Dry dog food costs $100 to $250 annually, based on purchasing a 30-pound bag every month or two.
Premium or holistic dry food costs about $200 to $400 annually, based on that same rate of consumption.
Canned or frozen raw food costs $400 to $1,000 a year for one to three cases of 13-ounce cans or three 10-pound bags of frozen raw food every month.
What Should You Feed Your Dog Instead?
One approach to saving on store-bought dog food: Serve your pooch what you are eating — so instead of putting leftovers in the refrigerator, serve them to your pet.
Most of the time this works out well, especially if your diet consists of meat, vegetables, fruit and whole grains, without additives.
What Not To Feed Your Dog
However, don’t assume that you can give your dog anything you eat. Some human cuisine is practically poison for your pet — or at least, you’re better off assuming that it is so you’ll never give your pooch any: chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, fatty tissue from meats like bacon or ham, dairy, and anything sweetened with xylitol.
Also, go easy on the salt and other spices — or make a portion of your meal without spices so you can give it to your dog.
And don’t give your pet raw meat. Even though their bodies are more able to process it than yours, they are still prone to e.coli and other diseases transferred through raw meat.
Puppies and Elder Pooches
If your pet is still a puppy or is in their twilight years, you might not want to give home-made food to the pooch — or at least get an opinion from your veterinarian before proceeding.
You should probably ask your vet anyway before you start feeding your dog home-made food.
Anytime you change your dog’s diet, start slowly. Phase in the new cuisine while simultaneously tapering off what you had been giving your pet up until now.
Should You Make Your Own Dog Food?
Some people prefer to make meals for their dogs that are distinct unto themselves. A set of 20 recipes for dogs appears here and more do-it-yourself dishes are covered in the videos embedded in this post.
If putting extra effort into cooking for your dog seems like a hassle, you could simply include portions for your pet in whatever you cook for yourself, and resolve to eat healther — which you really should do anyway.
Readers, what do you currently feed your pets?