Cheaper Dog Food

Q. I was wondering if anyone had a low cost solution to commercial dog food? I have 2 dogs and one is quite large. I feel I spend more on dog food than I do on groceries for my family! I have tried the cheap stuff and they won’t touch it. I do have kitchen scraps but I have a family of 5 and not much in the way of leftovers. Any ideas?  Nancy

We have a 100 pound dog and we do not buy the cheap generic food because he won’t touch it.  Apparently it has been sprayed with something to make it appealing. When I cook for our family of 6 the dog lucks out on most occasions.  We always have table scraps, potatoes, gravy (gravy makes the potatoes or rice more interesting for doggie).  He won’t touch peas – it’s hilarious.  He eats oatmeal left over from breakfast, and loves steak scraps etc.  We are careful not to feed him outright pieces of fat because what’s not good for us is not good for him.  When he’s hungry he eats his dog food, which is still generally 2-4 cups per day for his size.  Dog food in the States is sold under different brand names than in Canada so I won’t recommend any that way.  Just watch for pure ingredients, and feed him before his most active time of the day.

I, too, was once owned by a large dog with a large appetite for the "premium" brand dog food.  What I did was to buy 2 bags of food: 1 of the type that she liked, and 1 of bargain brand.  I poured them both into a large garbage can with a lid, mixing them together as I poured, then scooped out food from that can as needed.  Doggie got what she wanted, and I saved a little cash.  I also found that saving drippings from meats, bacon, etc and adding to the dog food seemed to increase her enthusiasm for the bargain mixture.

If you are having this much problem feeding your two dogs a nutritious meal, and feel you are spending more on their food than that for your family, I would strongly suggest that you find a good home for the larger dog. Dogs and cats should not be fed table scraps. Reducing the number of dogs would be a more humane solution. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would love to take your dog(s) and treat them well.

I have found my dogs are satisfied with the wet dog-food mixed with cooked rice. My dogs are smaller and very finicky. The rice is the filler. Sometimes I give them raw carrots cut up and occasionally cheese. My dogs are not crazy about dry-food but they get it at least twice a week. Any thing they don’t eat I leave it. Usually when they get hungry they will eat. I think it’s a matter of wills.

First of all think of the health of your dog, table scraps should not be given, it only makes them fat and more picky about what they will eat.

A good high quality dry dog food is more economical than the store brands even though they cost more per pound. Why? Because your dog eats less of these as they fill them up faster and provide better cellular nutrition rather than just empty bulk from all the refiined grains and fillers in junk pet foods. Believe me this is the smart and frugal way to go, and you will have a cleaner yard due to smaller stool sizes. We use Flint River Ranc h and when you consider the vet bills we save from using quality whole foods, it costs a lot less!

When my cat had a bladder infection, she refused to eat the cat chow I’d been giving her for years.  She lost over 2 pounds in 2 weeks.  I poured Whiskas with gravy in it over her dry food and she started eating again.  She eventually ate the dry food underneath. As a cheaper alternative, try pouring broth or gravy over the cheap dry food to tempt your dog to eat both.  Or, you could add a can or pouch of food over the dry food to make it stretch further.  Hope this helps some.  Debbie

Be glad the dogs won’t eat the cheap stuff, you’d end up paying for it in vet bills. Watch it on the table scraps too, people food really is not good for dogs. Rice and oats are cheap (and OK), try those, or other grains, for adding bulk.

Supplement your dog food with rice; it’s cheap, healthy, filling, and dogs (generally) love it.  Many commercial dog foods use rice in their products. –Pam

Please do not use generic dog food they short change your animal on needed nutrition. Use a good dry food on sale and with a coupon. Dogs do not need people food and their system is not really set up to handle people food and don’t get need nutrition. People also feed dogs ice cream and dogs are lactose intolerant.

My Mom buys the cheep dog food and mixes it with diluted beef or chicken broth and she sometimes makes batches of rice cooked in broth and adds it to the dog food. Her dogs love it and she has been doing this for years. Good luck. Linda

The dog food that is the most economical for me actually is more expensive. Confused?  Cheap dog foods generally contain lots and lots of filler, which give bulk but have little to no nutritional value.  Large dogs can easily eat 4-6 cups of these foods per day, making a 50# bag of food disappear quickly.  Several ultra-premium foods, on the other hand, have benefited from years of veterinary nutritional research which has figured out that animals need a smaller volume of nutrient dense food.  So while my 20# bag of Flint River Ranch dog food costs about $17, it lasts my 50# dog for more than a month!  An added benefit is that your dog will produce much less fecal material! Additionally, I see my dog has an excellent coat, healthy teeth and is in excellent shape.  Premium foods are nutritionally complete so that you don’t have to supplement them with extra vitamins  or skin/coat formulas.

Please don’t feed your dog scraps from the table.  His digestive system cannot handle the amount of fat that tends to be at the American dinner table, and you are likely to see vomiting and diarrhea, as well as a dog whose tastes become increasingly picky.

I cook at home for my three dogs….I use rice and beans hamburger and lots of vegetables….there are several sites on the internet that will give you recipes….my dogs coats have improved and so has their energy level – Claryce

The dog food I feed has a 100% unconditional guarantee — if your dog does not like it or for any reason you are not satisfied, they will refund your money.

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