Food is one of the important factors of a dog’s life, but also the most expensive. And the best thing you can do for your dogs is to give them the best quality dog food there is, whether that is store-bought or homemade. Unfortunately, good quality dog food has its price. Is it cheaper to make your own dog food than buy commercial ones?
Pros and Cons: Homemade vs. Store-Bought Dog Food
What better way to make sure that your dog stays healthy than give them the best dog food you can find or make? Here’s a comparison of the pros and cons of homemade vs. store-bought dog foods to help with your choice.
Pros of Homemade Dog Food
One benefit of making your own dog food is knowing what exactly your dog is eating. You can give them as much healthy food as you want, plus, you can also personalize it, so they get the nutrients they need, especially if they have allergies to certain food.
In homemade dog foods, there are also no filler ingredients, there are no preservatives, always fresh, and there will be less waste.
Cons of Homemade Dog Food
Although homemade dog foods mean no guessing what goes into your dog’s stomach, making your own dog food at home takes a bit of effort and time in planning and preparation. You’d have to have all the ingredients for your dog food on-hand.
Pros of Store-Bought Dog Food
If it’s convenient you are looking for something that you have to buy when you are grocery shopping and serve when your dog needs to eat, then the store-bought or commercial dog food would be ideal.
It’s a hassle-free way to ensure that your dog is getting the nutrients for his health.
Also, commercial dog foods are specially made for your pet, which means it’s safe for them and doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients that might cause harm to your pet. It also makes commercial dog foods to give the correct nutrients that make sure your dogs get the best for optimum health.
Commercial dog food is more convenient in terms of preparation, and it also lessens the guessing game if your dog is getting the nutrients he needs from the food you are giving.
Cons of Store-Bought Dog Food
Although commercial dog foods are convenient and mostly has the nutrients dogs need, the nutrient-value it contains is often generalized. It means that most dog foods you can buy commercially don’t always cater to the unique health needs of your dog. Also, most of them have filled ingredients, and allergens some dogs might be sensitive to.
To put it simply, we can make homemade dog foods to address your dog’s unique nutritional needs while commercial dog foods are convenient.
Cost Analysis: Homemade vs. Store-Bought Dog Food
When it comes to dog food, aside from its nutritional value, one component to consider is the cost. And while you probably think it’s impossible to give your dogs high-quality food daily, but there are ways to save money on dog food with no need to cut down its quality. Check out your options for dog food and find what’s affordable.
Dry Store-Bought Dog Food
Dry commercial dog food varies largely depending on the grade and brand. It usually costs about $35 for mid-range dry dog food for a 30-lb bag. It costs about $65 for the same amount of dog food for a premium grade or brand.
Canned Store-Bought Dog Food
The price for commercially canned dog foods also varies depending on the brand name. But mid-range brands of dog food usually cost about $1.25 for a 12-ounce can and premium brands up to about $2.25 for the same amount.
However, it’s also worth noting that a small portion of premium dog food can often have the same amount of nutrients with a regular portion of non-premium dog food.
Standard Homemade Dog Food
When you are making your own dog food at home, the possibilities are endless. The price of home-cooked meals for your dog will largely depend on the ingredients you choose, so you can make it as expensive or as cheap as you would want.
Fresh meat like chicken will cost two dollars per pound, while fresh vegetables like carrots or broccoli will be less than a dollar per pound. You can also combine fresh meat and veggies to save some bucks but ensure that your dog is getting enough nutrients.
For example, for chicken thighs, carrots, and rice recipe (chicken at $1.50 per pound, $0.70 for rice, $0.750 for carrots) usually costs about $1.20 per pound.
Organic Homemade Dog Food
If you go all organic for your homemade dog food, it’s usually higher than the standard homemade dog foods. Using organic ingredients for the same homemade dog food recipe usually adds two dollars to your budget.
For example, for the same chicken thighs, carrots, and rice recipe, it could cost over $2.85 per pound.
Putting it all together, dry dog foods can cost about $1.17 per pound for mid-range grade and $2.17 per pound of premium grade, while canned dog foods will cost about $1.67 per pound for the mid-range brand and about $3.33 per pound for premium brands. Standard homemade dog food of chicken thighs can cost about $1.20 while using organic ingredients for the same recipe can cost about $2.85.
So, is it cheaper to make your own dog food than buy commercial ones? The best answer is, it can be, depending on the ingredients you choose.