The cost of dog food is one of the biggest factors to consider before adopting a pet. With that being said, providing the best nutrition should be one of those factors as well. When done properly, making homemade meals for your dog is the best way to provide top quality nutrition. You can learn how to make dog food cheaply without sacrificing the quality of the meals.
When you're thinking about the expense of homemade dog food, you have to first think about the quality of the food you'll be making. You will be using whole foods and no artificial fillers, preservatives, dyes or harmful ingredients.
Making your dog's meals also allows you to cater the food to his needs. If your dog has allergies or food sensitivities, you can make sure the food you create won't upset his stomach.
When doing a cost comparison, homemade dog food needs to be compared to a high-quality commercial diet made with natural, whole food ingredients. You can find more information on how to calculate the cost of homemade dog food in this detailed guide.
3 Tips On How To Make Dog Food Cheaply On A Budget
Cooking your dog’s homemade food in bulk and freezing it for weeks or months ahead is a great strategy to save money on the total food cost. A lot of the ingredients for homemade dog food are much cheaper in bulk than they are in small batches – especially the protein source. As an added bonus, you'll save yourself a lot of time by preparing larger batches.
You can get deals on most dog food ingredients by buying in bulk. Whether you're shopping at a traditional retailer, farmers market or local mom and pop store, the price per pound (or per item) is almost always cheaper when you buy a larger quantity.
2. Talk to local meat processors
Local butcher shops or farmers may sell scraps that they won't use, like organ meat and bones, for a very low price. Did you know that organ meat is one of the most beneficial ingredients that you can add to homemade dog food? And, if you can get it at a discounted rate, it's a win-win!
If you live in an area where hunting is common, consider contacting a local hunter or a wild game processor. They often don’t or can’t use the entirety of the game they’ve hunted and are looking for ways to get rid of the scraps. You may be able to get high quality ingredients for your homemade dog food for a much lower price (or possibly even free).
You could also try contacting a local farmer. You just might be able to find a farmer who’ll be willing to sell you all sorts of high-quality meat, organs and bones at a much lower price than you’d get at a store.
3. Buy in-season ingredients or grow your own
Fruits and vegetables are one of the most expensive ingredients that you'll need to buy for homemade dog food. To reduce the cost, be sure that you're buying in-season ingredients. They will be cheaper than produce that needs to be imported from other regions.
If you have a green thumb, you could also try growing your own fruits and vegetables. Whether you buy in bulk or grow a large crop, you can dehydrate or freeze the extra produce for use in the future. Planning in advance is one of the best ways to save money on homemade dog food ingredients.