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Homemade grain free dog food, cost effective?

  1. #1

    Homemade grain free dog food, cost effective?

    My dogs are on grain free dog food. Shitzhu with skin allergies made me change to grain free. I have been looking up homemade recipes, but am wondering if it's cost effective...cheaper....to do that instead of buying the commmercial grain free brands.



    I currently buy Nutro grain free and it's about $60 for the big bag, lasts about 4 weeks.


    Thanks!
    Tracey

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hi Tracey, welcome! I've never made my own food before, so I don't know for sure. I've always assumed that making your own was more expensive, because you'd not only need quality ingredients, but in order to make it complete nutrition for the dog, you'd have to add a certain amount of particular supplements like vitamins, minerals, good fats (Omega3), etc. Add the time spent to that, and IMO is probably not worth it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Just a small overview of water, protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals, etc. in a complete dog food...

    http://petfoodtalk.com/dogfoodreview...-requirements/

    http://petfoodtalk.com/dogfoodreview...carbohydrates/

    http://petfoodtalk.com/dogfoodreview...mins-minerals/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Raw food diets are also becoming more and more popular for dogs. These diets do not include grain either. I've never tried it but some people swear by it. I found a good article on webmd about it that gives both sides of the story. http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/raw...fits-and-risks

  5. #5
    I feed my 3 dogs a raw diet, they do great on it! It works out a lot more expensive than buying commercial dog foods though, but you ask whether they are effective - from my own experiance, yes, absolutely. One of my dogs has allergies - both environmental and food related, we have dealing with these issues since we got him out of rescue 5 years ago. He is currently the best he has been in a long time, much of this has been down to feeding him on a proper raw diet and rinsing him off everytime he has contact with grass - especially mud. One of my other dogs had the worst digestive issues, he came to me as a foster dog and the rescue wanted me to keep him on commercial foods, I tried so many, nothing suited him - he continually passed sloppy poops and the most horrendous wind, so I adopted him, switched him to raw and problem solved. My other rescue dog has always been ok whatever I fed her - raw or grain free.

    This is a really good place to begin reading about raw feeding - http://rawfed.com/myths/

  6. #6
    Thank ya'll so much! My Rocky is also a rescue and came to me with his whole back end tore up, red, bleeding, puss, oh it was AWFUL! Thankfully I found grain free dog food, which has worked well. He is beautiful now! He still chews his feet but I have started adding a bit of coconut oil to his food, in hopes that will help.

    I have read a lot of what was posted above (your links), just not good with math calculations in regards to this. lol...

    I did find something called Petmix and you just add meat and water, but again not sure that's cheaper.

    Thanks for all the help!
    Tracey

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by happybrats3 View Post
    ............. He still chews his feet but I have started adding a bit of coconut oil to his food, in hopes that will help.
    Link here about itchy feet and some ideas too - http://www.ehow.com/way_5689435_home...tchy-paws.html Personally I wouldn't apply ACV directly onto his paws as the link suggests, I would dilute it down with water at the ratio of 50/50.

  8. #8
    Stephanie, great link, thanks. Although I can't see Rocky sitting in the bathtub that long. lol...

  9. #9
    I was wondering if the up-front cost of making dog food at home was higher, yet hopefully it would last longer? If this is wishful thinking please tell me. LOL

  10. #10
    In my experiance, it works out more expensive, but I only buy meat for my dogs that is fit for human consumption, eg, from butchers, supermarkets and various on-line suppliers. There are plenty of companies that sell raw dog food mixes and they are significantly cheaper, but I wouldn't buy them, they contain mostly ground carcass and parts that cannot be sold in the human food chain, along with meat that have been rejected for sale in the shops or meat where paper work has gone missing....

    I can't see that home cooking would work out much cheaper or last longer than a good quality [no-grain] kibble, particularly if you are going to use good cuts of meat and a variety of meats too, but, and here is the big selling point as far as I am concerned - you have the advantage of knowing what has gone into your dogs dinner.

  11. #11

    Not expensive once you get the hang of it.

    I feed raw and actually find it less expensive, or worst about the same. At first it did, but once I narrowed down the nutrition I find it to be less on sales, and about the same when sales are normal. I shop at a meat shop and not a big market, I can communicate with the butcher and get some human grade meat and bones that humans don't like. I buy a lot of for stew recipe type meats, incorporate my family food by giving the chicken back to my dog instead of throwing it away, buy small animal parts like chicken wings in bulk so 1/3 goes to my dog, mix my organ meat with ground meat to bulk up on serving size, substitute protein when possible (e.g. raw eggs and shell), and etc. In all on my worst months I spend about 20-30 bucks which is what I would spend on a 12-20lb of dry kibble. Often I spend about $15 per month---when you throw in all the supplements and mess I no longer buy because she no longer need it really balances out.
    Last edited by badCharlie!; 02-01-2013 at 10:21 PM. Reason: adding quite

  12. #12
    Now I can't say for sure that it is much cheaper to feed a dog with homemade food, as we have just switched. But it is definitely healthier, I have read a lot about the issue. and there are a lot of negative reviews from specialists as well as from dog owners directly concerning commercial food. Just have a look here, for example,
    http://www.pissedconsumer.com/consumer-reviews/animal-feed.html

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Nelly View Post
    Now I can't say for sure that it is much cheaper to feed a dog with homemade food, as we have just switched. But it is definitely healthier, I have read a lot about the issue. and there are a lot of negative reviews from specialists as well as from dog owners directly concerning commercial food. Just have a look here, for example,
    http://www.pissedconsumer.com/consumer-reviews/animal-feed.html
    It used to be the case for me too. Yes at first because you're basically getting into a new routine and the fact you're still adjusting to different ingredients, raw or homemade feeding will be more expensive. I don't know about homemade cooked food, but 100% raw has become more affordable as I and my dog become more accustomed to it. Like I said, I don't have to purchase so many extra vitamins or minerals because she gets 90% of her required nutrients from the meaty bones and animal organs. Only supplement really use is Omgaderm, and that's because my dog has kind of been picky with fish. No more bad digestion for her, no more flaky skin, clear eyes, better teeth, etc. No rice or grains, no additives, no preservatives. I'll add maybe 10% fruits and vegetables to her diet, but all she cares about are those juice meats she gets and crunch bones she gets to chew on after. But like I said, to each their own...wouldn't force on anyone because you have to take time to research, and a little practice and patience...especially through the detox months lol.

  14. #14
    I have a similar problem with itchy feet and chewing toe nails. Even grain free food doesn't work.
    so if I start to use raw meats what about something to compensate the biscuit ? something crunchy to keep teeth good. please advice

  15. #15
    Carrots are good.

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