Raw & cost effectiveness

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum Raw & cost effectiveness

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  • #44993 Report Abuse

    Have I read too much today and confused myself? It appears that it’s more cost effective to feed raw than high end kibble. Am I overlooking something here?


    #45001 Report Abuse

    Don’t look at the price per weight, look at the price per unit of calories. Some raw foods are definitely cheaper than some kibbles and homemade raw can be even cheaper.

    #45005 Report Abuse

    Ok. With those two products:

    Grandma Lucy’s: 4162 kcal/kg; 591 cal/cup

    Orijen Puppy: 4080 kcal/kg; 490 kcal/cup

    #45006 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Case –

    Are you comparing Grandma Lucy’s to Orijen? Grandma Lucy’s isn’t a raw food. Like BC said, you’d need to compare cost to feed on a calorie basis but I’d assume any (or at least most) commercial raw foods would be much more expensive to feed then even a super premium kibble like Orijen. Homemade raw, however, can be done fairly cheaply. I feed my dogs homemade raw for cheaper than it would be to feed Orijen. I haven’t done the calculations in awhile but I believe most of the commercial raw foods would run me about 4X – 5X more than I spend making it myself.

    #45010 Report Abuse

    I still need to figure weight in there somehow to get a figure, don’t I?

    Is it Price/kg x kg/calories?

    #45014 Report Abuse

    It’s not raw?! My bad! I’m trying to watch Criminal Minds and research food at the same time…obviously it’s not working out for me

    #45015 Report Abuse

    If I can go raw for less than Orijen, I’m likely to do that in the future.

    #45152 Report Abuse

    So, is freeze dried food considered dry food? Is it better than kibble? What about canned?

    If so, it could be the next step in the evolution of my feeding habits.

    #45153 Report Abuse

    Both are considered better than kibble if it’s a quality product

    #45155 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom

    Freeze-dried may or may not be raw. The process of freeze drying doesn’t use heat so if raw meat is freeze-dried the end product is raw, if cooked meat is freeze-dried the end process is cooked. Grandma Lucy’s cooks their meat prior to freeze-drying. If you want a raw freeze-dried product Stella & Chewy’s, Primal, Orijen, Nature’s Variety, Vital Essentials, Northwest Naturals and Dogswell Nutrisca (I’m sure there are others I’ve forgotten) all have some good options. Just be aware that freeze-dried foods are VERY expensive. Frozen raw is much cheaper, but a commercial frozen raw will still likely cost more to feed than kibble.

    #45156 Report Abuse

    Aha! I wasn’t aware that GL cooked their meat first.

    Of the two products that I posted is the GL MUCH better or just better? And how does it compare to a five star canned food?

    Please excuse my ignorance, and thanks for the info.

    #45166 Report Abuse


    I experience an evolution of my dog food feeding habits as well. I started off feeding premium kibbles. Then I started adding canned and dehydrates as toppers as well as some freeze-dried here and there. Then I tried commercial raw and used it as a topper too. The more I educated myself, I decided to ditch kibble completely. I fed 50% dehydrated and 50% commercial raw for about 6 months. My food bill was about $200/month for my Great Dane. He got tired of the dehydrated and I couldn’t afford 100% commercial raw so I decided to do 50% kibble. He was pooping twice as much and not a regular schedule, plus it stunk to high heaven compared to when he was eating the dehydrated/raw. Now I am working toward 100% homemade raw. I bought myself a grinder a few weeks ago. I made a little over 20 pounds of raw this weekend and he’s eating his dehydrated food again since he hasn’t had it for awhile.

    Long story short is that what is best depends on your dog. Mine does SO much better on dehydrated and raw then he does on kibble. He was always overweight on kibble before I switched. Now he is nice and lean. I prefer the Pureformance line of GL’s over the artisan. I would suggest trying that one first. It should be easier for your dog to transition to because it has chickpeas in it which I imagine are similar on a digestion basis to the lentils in Orijen. My dog would eat the Artisan but didn’t really care for it. He refused to eat the Pureformance. He eats The Honest Kitchen.

    I hope this helps.

    #45775 Report Abuse
    Rose H

    Would anyone care to share their Homemade Raw dog food recipes??? I foster for a shih tzu rescue and since I feed my own adopted rescue dog frozen raw (Primal rabbit) I feed my fosters this as well and it does get expensive when you’re feeding several dogs and shih tzus can be very picky eaters!

    #45776 Report Abuse

    There are some recipes at the beginning of this thread by Hound Dog Mom. I use 2 books for my homemade raw: 1- unlocking the canine ancestral diet by Steve Brown and 2- real food for healthy dogs and cats by Beth Taylor and Karen Becker. If you are looking for quick and easy, Steve Brown makes a premix for boneless meats called See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mix. You mix about a tablespoon or two (can’t remember which) with one pound of boneless lean meat. I imagine it would be much more cost effective for you than Primal.

    #45798 Report Abuse

    I spend about 1$ per pound on my raw ingredients. My grinder was an investment that paid off in the first 6 months. My 11 yr old 70lb shepherd eats 2lbs per day. 50lb 2yr old Doberman eats the same. A lot of chicken and beef heart is under 1$ per lb on sale. A used small chest freezer was another great investment. I shop sales all month and then grind and store back in the freezer using containers that hold 2 lbs.

    #45811 Report Abuse
    Nancy C

    Just to say to all you “teacher-responders” I am so thankful for this help! I’m feeling overwhelmed with all the info available and you are really helpful! I plan to move to raw as soon as I can get it all straight in my head and feel confident about it This is REALLY useful and thank you so much!!

    #46836 Report Abuse

    I have a new love in my life and its called Restaurant Depot, lol! You have to have a business in order to get a free membership but it is so worth it. Its all human food, and I buy in bulk there. For example, my last visit I picked up chicken leg quarters for 55cents per lb. It sold in bulk 40lb boxes-sizes a restaurant would buy. Beef heart was just over a $1 per lb. I can buy a good portion of my ingredients from the one location, and then fill in the blanks with other distributors-heart, backs, liver, quarters and I think they have gizzards but did not look. I can order fresh fish in bulk as well, though they seem to have a problem getting sardines for me, so I bought a bunch of other types in the interm. I do feed veggies and buy them by the crate(40lb) as well as smaller quantities of frozen veggies.

    I have gotten off the raw lately due to a back injury flare up, and just started up again. I can say that my dogs DID seem to drink more when on dry, and have more poop to clean up. Our almost 16yr old and 15 yr old went for 6mth bloods and everything is wonderful with them.

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