Thursday, June 4, 2009

Switch to Cheaper Dog Food

As featured in the Savings section of "'s 208th Carnival of Personal Finance."

The Internet is riddled with ways to save money by reducing your monthly bills. This can be applied to all of your monthly expenses, regardless of whether or not you receive an invoice. A perfect example is spending $50.00 per month on dog food, which cost about the same as many utility bills. Most people don't bother to shop around to for better deals on dog food or even considers using a cheaper brand. Ironically, if I said you could save $10.00 a month on all of your future cell phone bills by jumping once through a flaming hoop on a unicycle, you would probably consider it.

What to get?
Companies try to capitalize on our emotional attachment to our pets by competing for the title of healthiest dog food. They know we all subconsciously want that absolute best for our little fur ball. The reality is compared to all the other things that dogs eat when we aren't looking, I don't think kibble type really makes that much of a difference. Obviously this excludes recalls and food that makes your dog ill. Research and compare price vs. name recognition to determine what is appropriate for your pooch.

Where to get it?
The price of dog food will vary depending on where you live. Here in Washington I have found that the cheapest place to get dog food is Dells Farm Supply, which carries all of the top name brand foods at a fraction of the price of PetCo or Petsmart. Another good place to buy dog food is Costco. If your only option is to shop at the high priced pet shops, at least see if they have any deals like buy 10 bags over a year, get 1 free. Many Petshops are offering some kind of rewards program.

How to make the switch?
Your dog has probably become accustom to its food. In order to make a switch to a less expensive brand, you must gradually blend in the new stuff. Start by feeding your dog a split portion of 25% cheaper food and 75% regular food. Do this for a few days, and then increase to 50% cheaper food and 50% regular for a few more days. Next feed the dog 75% cheaper food and 25% regular for a few days. Finally start feeding only the less expensive food and you are on your way. The gradual switch should take about a week.

Your furry friend won't know the difference, but your wallet will.


Troy thepetguy said...

I could not disagree with you more. By switching to "cheaper" dog food will cost you more in the long run.

Cheaper dog foods do not contain the essential supplements that dogs need to remain healthy.

Cheap dog food are loaded with carbs and grains and very little proteins. You may think you are saving by feeding your pets cheap food but it will cost you down the road with trips to the vet because your pet is sick with what he has been fed.

Although with the mentality of thinking you can just feed pets cheap food to save money, you could also put a bullet in there heads to save on vet bills.

Here is a suggestion. Make your own dog food. At least you know what goes into it.

D. said...

I agree with Troy. Unless a lot of research is going into what is actually in the "cheaper" dog food, this 'tip' is similar to suggesting everyone eat McDonalds every day because it is cheaper.

The cheapest brands of pet foods are cheaper because they add in loads and loads of filler carbs and grains that are very bad for the health of carnivores like cats and dogs.

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Steve said...

Let me say that I agree with all the commenters.

By this logic, your next post should be "Switch to Eating Junk Food". You can eat pretty cheaply if you stuck to chips, ramen noodles, mac and cheese, soda, etc. (as D touched on)

You wouldn't write that post, though, because its asinine. You know that while your readers might save some money, they'd give up a lot in terms of health and longevity. The same consequences apply for the dog.

You're entitled to your opinions, but I hope that your readers would care enough about their pets to ACTUALLY care for them.

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Anonymous said...

Yes they will eat anything you put in front of them, they also drink out of the toilet and roll in feces.

I have tried feeding my dogs cheaper food to cut down on costs, it isn't worth it. My dog went from 30 to 40 pounds in a couple of months of walmart brand ol roy food, it's just not right to let them get that fat; they are part of the family and they deserve the extra $5 per 40 pound bag to keep them healthy. Bentiful is good healthy dog food and you can get a pretty good deal on it in bulk at costco.