It’s hard to say whether it’s cheaper to cook for your dog than to buy commercial dog food. The overall cost of both will depend on where you shop, what your dog eats, their dietary requirements, and their overall size.
If you currently feed your dog commercial wet foods, you’ll likely save money by switching to a homemade diet. However, if you serve your dog a cheap kibble product, you will probably spend more money by switching to a healthier home-cooked meal plan.
Table of Contents
- Is Homemade Dog Food Cheaper Than Wet Dog Food?
- Does It Pay Off to Pay More for Homemade Dog Food?
- Are Expensive Dog Foods Worth It?
- In What Ways Are Commercial Dog Foods Better?
- In What Ways Are Home Cooked Dog Diets Better?
- Are Some Commercial Dog Foods Bad for Dogs?
- Why Does Canned Dog Food Lead to Periodontal Disease?
- Are There Any Risks to Feeding a Dog a Homemade Diet?
- Do Dogs Live Longer on Home Cooked Diets?
- How Can I Reduce the Cost of My Dog’s Homemade Meals?
Is Homemade Dog Food Cheaper Than Wet Dog Food?
Depending on the type of wet food you feed your pet pup, it will probably be cheaper to feed them homemade meals. Low-quality wet foods normally cost about $1 a can, whereas higher quality products cost around $3 a can. In comparison, you’ll only spend around $2.50 to feed your dog a homemade meal.
Does It Pay Off to Pay More for Homemade Dog Food?
If you are used to feeding your dog an inexpensive brand of kibble, you may be hesitant to pay more for higher-quality homemade meals. Yet, you could be saving more money in the long run. By investing in your dog’s health, you’ll avoid having to pay for expensive trips to the vet later in life.
Additionally, your dog will feel fuller throughout after eating a nutritious homemade meal and be less tempted to sneak into the trash or look for other food sources.
Are Expensive Dog Foods Worth It?
The jury is still out on whether expensive commercial brands of dog food are better for your canine friend. Leading American non-profit Consumer Reports conducted a recent study into whether expensive dog food brands are better and they found that the price doesn’t always correlate with better quality.
Although some expensive brands are made using higher quality ingredients, they found that some inexpensive kibble brands were just as healthy and nutritious, while some expensive brands were more likely to make pets sick. Therefore, speak with your vet about what food you should feed your dog.
In What Ways Are Commercial Dog Foods Better?
Commercial dog foods have gained a bad reputation in recent years for containing added fillers and ingredients many pet owners view as unnecessary and even harmful to their furry friends. That doesn’t mean that commercial dog foods are bad for your pets though.
Although they may seem simple, most commercial dog foods are designed to meet all of your pet’s dietary needs. They are formulated with fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains to guarantee that your dog gets all of its vitamins, fats, proteins, carbs, and minerals.
In What Ways Are Home Cooked Dog Diets Better?
Switching your dog to a home-cooked diet is better if you want to control exactly what they are consuming. Some dogs have highly sensitive stomachs with food allergies. Feeding them home-cooked meals is an easy way to regulate their diet and rule out any possible allergens.
Additionally, you control how much fat and sodium goes into your dog’s body. Many commercial dog foods add a lot of fat and excess sodium to match your pet’s palate. In high doses, though, these nutrients can become harmful.
Are Some Commercial Dog Foods Bad for Dogs?
It’s no secret at this point that some commercial dog foods are better than others. Many inexpensive kibble brands are formulated almost entirely from corn. Although dogs need carbohydrates, corn is not a great source of nutrients compared to grains and rice.
Other commercial dog food brands, including many wet food products, are made using meat byproducts such as bones, organs, and skin. While these are not necessarily bad for your dog, they are not as healthy as lean meat because they often contain higher fat content and dangerously high levels of vitamin A.
Why Does Canned Dog Food Lead to Periodontal Disease?
You may have heard that feeding a dog an exclusively wet diet can lead to gum and tooth decay. It’s not necessarily because of what they eat but because of what they are not eating.
When dogs eat hard kibble and rawhide bones, their teeth scrape against the rough outer coating or the food, helping to brush away excess plaque and tartar. If your dog is only eating wet food, they won’t be able to scrape their teeth clean, thereby leading to tooth and gum disease.
Are There Any Risks to Feeding a Dog a Homemade Diet?
Although switching your dog to a homemade diet will help to better manage their fat and sodium intake, there are a few risks to only feeding your dog home-cooked meals:
- Feeding your dog raw or undercooked meat can make them sick
- Your dog may develop food allergies
- Your dog’s stomach may be sensitive to some foods
- It can be difficult to meet all of your pet’s nutritional needs
To avoid these risks, speak with your vet about planning healthy and nutritious meals before switching your dog to a home-cooked diet.
Do Dogs Live Longer on Home Cooked Diets?
It isn’t definitive but there have been recent studies that show that feeding your dog a home-cooked diet could actually be better for their health in the long run. Researchers found that dogs raised on homemade meals lived roughly three years longer than dogs raised solely on commercial dry food.
These results are still limited, but they hint that feeding your dog homemade meals does, in fact, help them stay healthy for longer.
How Can I Reduce the Cost of My Dog’s Homemade Meals?
You can cut down the overall cost of your dog’s homemade meals by using a few simple tricks:
- Buy in bulk, prepare ahead of time, and freeze their food until you need it.
- Become friends with your local butcher and ask for deals on cheaper cuts of meat.
- Buy your eggs from a local farmer or supplier
- Buy regular rice rather than parboiled or minute rice
Overall, your dog’s meals shouldn’t cost more than three or four dollars.