How long is a piece of string?
The cost of homemade dog food is something I’m frequently asked about. And to be honest, there’s no simple, single answer.
The cost of making homemade dog food can be as much, or as little, as you like. You can feed your dog prime Scottish fillet steak from Fortnum and Mason or you can feed it own-label minced beef from your local supermarket. You can feed it fresh fruit and veg from an expensive Harrods hamper or you can feed it cheap-as-chips, on-the-turn fruit and veg from a local market stall.
But trust me, either way, they are going to be 100% more healthy than even the most expensive bag of dried commercial dog food on the market!
In the study of economics there’s a term known as opportunity cost. It relates to the difference between two alternative purchases. Not in terms of the actual value of each of them, but in terms of the missed opportunity of choosing one over the other.
Personally, I have no idea what it costs to feed my dogs. Not a clue. I took on responsibility for their welfare when I brought them home. I owe it to them to do the best I can possibly do for them. And for me, it’s not so much the cost of homemade dog food, it’s more the cost involved of not feeding them homemade dog food. The opportunity cost of feeding them fresh food as opposed to highly-processed commercial dog food.
The better you feed your dog, the healthier you can expect your dog to be. Good food equates to a thriving immune system. A thriving immune system means your dog is less appealing to parasites. I never give my dogs flea, tick or worming treatments. I never have my dogs revaccinated every year. How much does that save me? Because whatever the figure is, you can subtract that from my annual dog food bill for starters!
Then there’s how healthy they are. And the real clincher for me, the unbridled pleasure I get from seeing them tuck into real food. It brings tears to my eyes just watching them enjoy a good healthy meal of homemade dog food made with my own hands. Food that I know is giving them the best possible shot at long and healthy lives!
Why I became a canine nutritionist
Okay, it’s easy for me you might be forgiven for thinking. I’m a qualified dog nutritionist. I know what I’m doing. But the reason I originally started studying canine nutrition was losing my first dog at what should have been roughly the midway point of his life. My wonderful dog Khan died at 6 years of age for reasons no one was ever able to explain to me.
It haunted me for years. I brought him home with me. I committed to doing my very best for my boy. Promised I would make good decisions on his behalf. I swore to give him as good a life as I possibly could. Then I fed him commercial dog food just like everyone said I should and he died aged 6. Never again I promised myself. And I never have!
Consider the cost of not feeding your dog well
If you are seriously considering the cost of homemade dog food in terms of whether or not you can afford it, please consider the cost of not feeding your dog fresh healthy food:
- Dull, lifeless coat
- Skin problems
- Ear infections
- Digestive problems
- Monthly flea, tick & worming treatments
- Regular visits to the vet
- Unhappy dog
And the real kicker:
- A shorter lifespan!
Yes, studies have proven that the difference in lifespan between a dog fed a fresh diet and one fed a commercial diet is up to 3 years. Our dogs are with us for too shorter time as it is. Why would anyone willingly risk losing their best friend any earlier than absolutely necessary?
So if you yourself are querying the cost of homemade dog food, please think about how much your dog means to you. He or she relies on you to make good decisions. I urge you to make one today. Start making your dog homemade dog food. It’s easier than you think and so, so much cheaper than the heart-wrenching alternative!