Have you ever thought how much your dog food costs you? It can get expensive, especially if you are feeding your furry friend canned wet food. What about treats? They can get expensive as well. Not to mention that you might not know what ingredients are used it them.
Here a have few ideas of how to give your dog variety of flavors with natural ingredients while saving money.
Please note: Before embarking on a homemade diet, consult with your veterinarian to make sure you’re not barking up the wrong tree with your dog’s basic nutritional needs. Serving sizes depend on your pup’s weight, size and activity level.
Commercial Dog Food Costs
We have a medium size 1-year old dog. We were feeding him twice a day with dry kibble mixed with a small wet food pack. A 24-pack of the wet food costs $18.69. That means not counting the kibble, we were spending about $50 per month on dog food.
Homemade Dog Food Costs
I decided to make my own dog food using fresh ingredients such as chicken, carrots, rice etc.
I made enough food for the whole month for just about $20!
During my research I found the following general guidelines for dog nutrition from pets.webmd.com:
- Protein – animal meat, seafood, eggs or dairy
- Carbohydrates – grain, beans, vegetables
- Fat – from oil or meat
- Calcium – dairy of egg shells
- Fatty acids – plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods
- 2 lb chicken breast $6.50
- 1 zucchini $1.11
- 2 lb bag of carrots $1.79 (only used 3 of 12 carrots in the bag for about $0.45 for each batch)
- 2 cups of brown rice $2.49 (This will last for at least two meals so $1.25 per meal)
- 1 can of peas $0.69
- 1 can of beans $0.79
- Left overs items from the fridge: 1 egg, some spinach, 3 tbsp of oil
I combined everything, except the rice, together into our instant pot, I cooked the rice separately (due to different cooking times). With preheating, cooking and cooling down the meal was ready in 20-30 min. I then shredded the chicken and separated the food mixture into individual portions for easy serving. And done! Total costs: $13.37, which made enough servings for 20 days.
For the next 10 days I mixed 1 lb ground pork $4.95, 1 sweet potato $0.99, 1 can of green beans $0.69, carrots $0.45, rice $1.25, and oil for a total of $8.33.
There are many combination of ingredients you can play with. You can choose from a variety of meats. I’ve used chicken, ground pork, and ground turkey. Same goes for vegetables. I’ve had success with carrots, green beans, peas, kidney beans, broccoli, sweet potato, and zucchini.
DIY Dog Treats
Everybody deserves a treat from time to time, even our four-legged friends. Just because it is a treat doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Unfortunately store bought often are. They range from $3 to $10+, and might not have many servings.
I have two recipes for you here for homemade doggy treat that you can make from things you probably already have in the house or buying regularly.
- Treat #1 consists only of 3 ingredients – peanut butter, oats and banana
- For this treat you will need 1 banana (1 bunch $1.99, usually there is 5 – $0.39 per one banana), 1.5 cups of oats (42 oz can $3.49, only using 4 oz therefore $0.35), and ½ cup peanut butter (16 oz – $2.99, only using 4 oz – $0.75). This made about 24 servings, but I actually made then a little too big, so I could have made enough for the whole month’s supply and only spend $1.48. Now if you didn’t have the ingredients is would cost you $8.47 – but you can use the ingredients yourself or save it for the next time you make doggy treats.
- Treat #2 is only 4 ingredients, and is especially good for the Fall– apple, pumpkin puree, egg, oats
- For this treat you will need 1 egg, 4 cups of oats, 1 apple (remember to remove the seeds!) and 1 cup of canned 100% pumpkin puree (not pumpkin spice). There are many ways you can use the pumpkin in cooking for yourself from pumpkin pie to soups so you don’t have to buy it specially for your dog.
For our dog’s birthday, we even made him a birthday cake!
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 lb lean ground pork
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup veggies (i used a organic frozen mix)
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese
- 1 egg
- potatoes, that have been peeled, chopped and boiled. you will use this for the ‘frosting’.
- Preheat oven to 350 f. grease a cake pan, i used two of the smallest cake pans i have.
- Using your hands, combine all of the above ingredients (except potatoes) in a bowl.
- Press meat evenly into prepared cake pans and bake for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until completely cooked.
- Meanwhile, place your cooked potatoes in a potato ricer or similar device and mash into a bowl.
- Once the meat has cooled down, but is still warm, ‘frost’ the meat with the potatoes. basically you will use your hands to scoop up the potatoes and mold the ‘frosting’ on to the cake.
- Refrigerate unused portion, should be good for 2-3 days. i like mixing it in with their everyday kibble.