Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dog Food Week - How much does the high quality dog food cost?

This is the second post of my Dog Food Week. The previous post was "How to detect the quality of the dog food? If you want to know more about the Dog Food Week or the schedule, read the introduction post.


In my previous post I said that the dog food with highest meat content is also the dog food with highest quality. Unfortunately the dog food with highest meat content can also be the most expensive one. But is it really?

Let's take an example: In our veterinarian's they sell Hill's Science Diet (Plan) with a high price. And you could rationalize that it's high quality food because a) the price is high and b) it's your vet that's selling it, they should be interested about your dog's health. But even the Science Diet puppy food ingredient list starts with "ground whole grain corn". So despite the high price it's a low quality dog food.

So basically the price tag tells nothing about the quality of the food. The food can be pricey, but still be considered as a low quality dog food.

Quality costs, but so does crap too

The truth is that high quality dog food is not cheap... when compared to food with lower than low quality. The reason they make these low quality dog foods is that they can sell them cheaper and people would rather buy them than the better ones with pricier price tags. And sometimes they have played their cards right and are able to sell crappy dog food with ridiculous price tags like in the case of Hill's.

So to be able to see which dog foods are actually worth the money and which are not, you need tounderstand what makes a quality dog food. I've heard about so many cases in which someone thinks he or she is feeding the dog with high quality food because the food is from the vet or from special pet store and because it's ridiculously expensive! I don't know about you, but I am very willing to pay for dog food, but only when I know it's really worth the money.

The right starting point

Money is probably the first thing that prevents people from feeding their dogs with high quality food. But I think that comparing prices is not the right starting point when it comes to food. Of course everything sounds expensive when you have to pay it at once! Last time we spent 140€ for dog food and people think we are crazy. But instead of thinking about the price, you should evaluate how much you are willing pay for your dog's dinner per day. And if you're on the poorer side, you can think how much you can afford. Then simply find the dog food with most highest quality that falls into that budget.


I decide that I'm willing to pay around 1€ per day and then I start to search for high quality foods that are easily available. Eventually I choose Orijen Regional Red, which has rated with six stars in Dog Food Analysis.

Orijen Regional Red costs 26,99€ per 2.5kg in online store. It does sound pricey because it's only two and a half kilos. Then I search for the feeding information from their website:

Daily Ration and Feeding Guide
(g/cups per day)
(g/cups per day)
1-10 kg/2-22 lb 75-150g/¾-1¼ c 55-115 g/½-1 c
10-20 kg/22-45 lb 150-275g/1¼-2¼ c 115-200 g/1-1¾ c
20-35 kg/45-75 lb 275-375g/2¾-3¾ c 200-275 g/1¾-2½ c
35-50 kg/75-110 lb 375-500g/3¾-5 c 275-400 g/2½-3½ c
50-65 kg/110-145 lb 500-575 g/5-5¾ c 400-525 g/3½-4¾ c
65-80 kg/145-175 lb 575-675 g/5¾-6¾ c 525-690 g/4¾-6 c

My dog weights about 5.5kg and I think she is "less active". The daily portion would be about 80g.

2.5kg / 80g = 31 days

Now I know that this bag of dog food would last for 31 days.

26.99€ / 31 days = 0,90€

So feeding my dog with this high quality food would cost 90cents, which is less than I was ready to pay!

Size matters

The smaller your dog, the less the quality food will cost per day. However, big dogs win something too. The dog food is usually cheaper in a big bag than in a smaller one, but big bags are inconvinient with small dogs, especially since you should change the dog food every now and then.

But no matter the dog size, you can always aim at the best and then make compromises due the money issue. Maybe your Saint Bernard eats like a horse, but you can still make sure that you're feeding him/her with the best food you possible can.

The next topic is "Why to feed your dog with high quality food?" If you're worried that you might miss it, subscribe. It's easy and you'll never miss a post again.

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