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Old 10-12-2016, 12:37 PM
Location: North Idaho
22,505 posts, read 28,404,027 times
Reputation: 43333


I home cook for my dogs. But this puppy is eating 4 pounds of meat every day and I am cooking frequently. Once a month making dog food doesn't happen anymore when 20 pounds of meat isn't lasting very long.

So, I thought, well maybe, I can use some kibble so I don't have to cook so often.

Yikes! The ultra premium kibble is up to $80 or $90 a bag and the bag has gotten smaller. It's now 28-35 pounds in a bag and no longer 40 pounds. Holey Cow!

Although, I have to confess that after I cooled down, I can't say I am surprised. When I started home cooking, I ran costs and home cooked costs about the same as feeding super premium. When costs of meat went up, I checked again and they were still comparable because the kibble went up with the meat prices.

So, now meat has gone up quite substantially in cost, so it makes sense that the super premium dog foods have gone up substantially in price.

The store gave me a one pound bag sample and that didn't even count as a snack to the puppy. She'd mow her way through a 28 pound bag of kibble in triple time.

At least I can see where my money is going. Pensive looks like someone stuck a bicycle pump in her ear and blew her up. 16 pounds when I picked her up at 8 weeks. 40 pounds now at 4 months and her feet are still 3 sizes too big for her.

I hope she doesn't need as much food after she stops growing.
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Old 10-12-2016, 12:53 PM
Location: Left coast
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one of our dogs has joint issues so we started cooking for both the dogs a year ago- and because we have a garden and the collards just won't stop, we have been crock potting collards with pork bones, or whatever we can find for super cheap (half off meats etc) and feeding the meat,broth and collards with brown rice and just sprinkling a quarter cup of food over the top- (he's a 50 lb dog) and unfortunately , he hasn't lost more than a lb or two...very shiny furred and energetic (I prefer solid gold the non poultry meat source feeds)

our other dog is a very active 75lb dog (she could go up to 80 no problem but I like to keep her in shape), she gets a similar mix but about 2cups dry,
when I had livestock my dogs would gets a raw egg, shell included almost every day and raw goats milk too-

it keeps the costs down and everybody healthy-
(I had a boxer that lived to a month shy of 13- we had to put her down- which is old for a boxer, d/t eating a mostly home cooked diet I think)...

your puppy sounds fun I always loved the big dogs!

(my one pup that was a runty 10 lbs at 8 weeks ended up at 130lbs (he put on 10 after we got him neutered unfortuantly)..

Last edited by CAjerseychick; 10-12-2016 at 12:55 PM.. Reason: more info, clarity
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Old 10-12-2016, 01:17 PM
Location: Illinois
122 posts, read 61,874 times
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I feed raw. When I started 5 years ago, my costs were about $2.85/lb. As you say, due to rising costs, my last order was $4.04/lb. To defray costs and add variety, I supplement with grocery store buys.

As far as kibble, I was feeding my puppy American Natural Premium because that is what his handler feeds. A 40 lb. bag cost me about $1.50/lb.

I will tell you though, that he had the largest poops that I have ever seen in a long time. I could clean the yard and identify which dog did what based on the poops! For me, having small, stink free poops is worth the added expense of feeding a non-kibble diet. When I get him back, I will switch him to raw. Maybe using kibble in addition to your home cooked diet will dial back the stool situation.

I think we need more pictures of Pensive to accurately evaluate her condition.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:43 PM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
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Check prices online. They are often much cheaper than in the stores. Just be sure to buy enough at a time to make up the total amount that gets you free shipping.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:45 PM
Location: Ohio
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its possible youre over feeding....
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:25 PM
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Oh my goodness, I have checked kibble prices on occasion for friends and was shocked! I have been feeding raw for about 15 years.
Though I can still get the bulk at $1 a pound if I shop all sales, imhave hens so they get eggs, and just put a whole pig in my freezer for the price of slaughter.
Still, the organ meat, fish, and different muscle meat sources tend to put me at about $3.50 a pound on average. Doesn't include the freezer cost.

I had 2 - 90 pound dogs and 2 smaller dogs for years, and I still had a deal with raw. The big ones really did only need a LOT (at least double the normal 3%) of food until 2 or 3 (both neutered at age 2). I kept them lean on purpose, but man it was still a couple of pounds a day for awhile

I think you have it figured out, and cooking will still be cheaper than good, premium kibble.

Do you feed oats? Or rice? I have always bought 50 pound bags at a feed store, or online for cheap. I would split with neighbors, and then it was for me, my hens, and once a week breakfast with eggs and veggies for the dogs.

Bulkfoods has 50 pounds for just over $69 a bag $5 flatbrate shipping (higher than last i bought, but still reasonable (if you have storage) locally you might be able to ask for a special order.

Just a thought.
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:44 AM
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I do "hybrid feeding" , 2/3 cooked ground beef or pork, or chicken thighs, and 1/3 kibbles. We don't buy kibbles in large quantities, because First Dog refused to eat it after it had been opened for a few weeks--I assume because it went stale. Our other dogs are/have been less picky, but I simple can't handle large bags now because of a bad back, so we're sticking with the small bags of grain free kibbles. We've been buying the Castor & Pollux mix for about a year, but neither of our dogs was really enthusiastic. We've tried a number of grain-free brands. Tribbles simply refused to eat Natural Balance after a while. But lately I've been buying the Trader Joe's grain free kibbles, and Tribbles loves it! Little Guy isn't as happy with it, but he eats it. One bag costs about $18, and lasts 2 weeks or so. In addition, the cooked meat usually runs about $4-5 per day, breakfast and dinner. Our two dogs are about 55 and 12 lbs = 67 lbs, added up. Sweetie, our big, beautiful WSD, was 90 lbs, but I swear it didn't cost that much to feed her. She got canned food and kibbles. 2 dogs, $6 a day--I think it's expensive. But of course they're worth it...
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:20 AM
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I have two older dogs, a 16 year old border collie and a 14 year old yorkie. They both became very picky eaters a year or two ago. My son has an 11 year old lab mix who had sensitive stomach issues. He started making crockpot dog food a few years ago and it really helped his dog.

So I make a crockpot full of dog food once a week. Our dogs love it and it is definite cheaper than premium dog food. I still do mix in some Blue Buffalo kibble.

My recipe uses ground turkey or ground beef, brown rice, fresh carrots, frozen peas, kidney beans and fresh butternut squash or sweet potatoes plus 4 or 5 cups of water or broth.

I also have an 8 year old border collie and he is not a picky eater at all. I give him a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of kibble and crockpot dog food.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:34 AM
965 posts, read 499,441 times
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Couldn't edit. And I realize that oats or rice at a lower cost doesn't do much since they go in at a lower percentage (if you use at all).
But I buy cheap stuff when I can so I can buy the more expensive items and not break the bank. For example salmon from the seafood section "fresh" is less expensive than canned salmon when I break it down by pound!

My GSD is 4 1/2 now and definitely eats less now, but still the equivalent of about 2 chicken leg quarters a day (just an eyeball amount - I don't just feed him 2 chicken legs a day! I just no longer weigh it out.

The GSD is Active, but not what I would call super active. Maybe 3-6 miles a day?
He would retrieve and tug all day, non stop (I think) but I try to go easy on his hips.

Now that he has matured, it is becoming less of a struggle to keep weight on him - he never used to care much about food unless he had been working hard!

I'm guessing yours will be super active until at least 2, especially if she gets in hunting in on occasion. Once she settles I bet she just becomes "just" Active.

They aren't a "hyper" (very very very very high energy) sporting breed, like working field bred gun dogs, right? Just "high energy" and able to work?

I agree, more pics would be great.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:28 AM
Location: North Idaho
22,505 posts, read 28,404,027 times
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Originally Posted by Ohky0815 View Post
its possible youre over feeding....
Definitely not over-feeding. You can clearly feel her ribs. Sometimes when she has a growth spurt, you can see the bumps of her spine. I'm not about to allow any fat on a large breed puppy who is growing fast. Overweight is much too hard on their joints.

She's been dewormed 3 times, so none of the food is going to parasites. She's just doing a lot of growing and needs fuel to grow.

Bracci have an interesting coat. The hair is about 1/4 inch long and is hard and lays flat. When you pet her, it doesn't feel like fur; it is like petting a glass or smooth stone statue, slick and smooth. Her coat shimmers which I take to indicate she is in good health.

It's raining and I don't take photos in the rain, but I will try to get some new photos when the sun comes out. Right now I have to go and find a bigger supper dish for her. It's tricky to get the right dish where her ears can't get into her food, yet she can still get her lips inside the dish and it holds enough food for her meal (fed 4 times a day). Also, she's outgrown another collar and I could use another 40 pounds of meat.
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