Raw dog food has become a popular food option for dog owners and is often described as a healthier alternative to traditional biscuits.
However, these additional health benefits are associated with a higher price tag, causing many owners to stick to dog biscuits.
But how much does it actually cost to feed your dog raw dog food?
In this article, we’ll look at what a raw dog food diet consists of, how much it costs, and how you can save money whilst creating the best dietary balance for your dog.
What Is a Raw Dog Food Diet?
Raw dog food diets consist of several uncooked types of meat, vegetables, and fruits.
It usually has a mix of beef, poultry, pork, and fish and will include organ meats. The following ingredients are popular options:
- Organ meat (usually kidney and liver)
- Muscle meat
- Bone meat
- Raw eggs
- Fruit (blueberry, watermelon, apples)
- Vegetables (Broccoli, peas, green beans, celery, carrots)
Historically, raw dog diets were known as BARF (Bones and Raw Food.) However, this term has since been changed to Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
Many scientists and dog influencers praise raw dog food diets, stating the food helped improve their dog’s energy levels and coats.
In 1993, a famous book by Ian Billinghurst called “Give Your Dog a Bone” suggested that raw dog meat was healthier and a more natural option.
Is raw dog food actually a healthier option?
The debate surrounding raw dog food is controversial, and unfortunately, there hasn’t been much long-term research to support either stance.
Some individuals believe raw dog food is a healthier option as it’s similar to what dogs would historically eat. Others suggest that dogs have changed so much from their ancestors that they are no longer used to eating raw food.
Despite large studies being scarce in the industry, some smaller studies have shown that a raw dog food diet has several advantages.
For example, a 2018 study found that dogs could easily tolerate a raw dog food diet and gave dogs better skin, a shinier coat, and more energy.
So, if you think raw dog food is the best option for your dog, how much will it cost you?
How Much Does A Raw Dog Food Diet Cost?
Before we start, it’s important to note that a raw dog food diet doesn’t mean giving your dog the bits of raw meat you don’t want.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, you must provide safe, healthy foods that have gone through the process of removing pathogens.
On average, raw dog food can cost around $0.80 per day for every 10 kg of dog weight, though this can go up to $12 per day for more expensive options.
The cost will vary based on the supplier, the quality of the food, and the amount you buy.
Most companies offer bulk purchase discounts and also remove all shipping costs for larger orders. Here are three of the best-rated commercial sellers of raw dog food.
Answers Pet Food
Answers Pet Food is an innovative raw dog food brand that combines science and food.
It offers fermented raw foods, which add healthy bacteria to pre-digest everything. This makes it easier for dogs to process and absorb nutrients.
The price of Answers Pet Food ranges from $5.46/lb to $13.23/lb based on the type of food you order.
Raw Paws Pet Food is one of the world’s most popular raw dog food brands. They offer pre-made raw dog food, as well as individual cuts of raw meat.
Options can include or remove vegetables and fruit, so owners can tailor their purchases to the style of raw food they’re going for.
The price of Raw Paws food blends ranges between $6.49/lb to $9.49/lb. Shipping is free on orders over $199 or costs $25 for any order below that.
Darwin’s Natural Pet
Darwin’s Natural Pet offers pre-made raw dog food in the form of 8-ounce patties. It’s been described as a great option for owners switching to raw dog food for the first time and will cost between $4.69/lb to $8.90/lb. Unlike many other brands, shipping is completely free!
How To Create An Affordable Raw Dog Food Diet
As with any great food option, you need to consider the price. If the price of current suppliers is too high, there are several ways to give your dog raw food without breaking the bank.
Buy Inexpensive Raw Ingredients
If you’ve decided to go down the raw diet route, you don’t need to be giving your dog prime steak cuts twice a day. Many companies will offer animal products that wouldn’t be consumed by humans but are healthy for dogs.
These include tongues, chicken feet, poultry carcasses, and pig skulls. Although these may not sound appetizing to us, they contain calcium and a range of minerals essential to your dog’s health. And the best part? They’re as affordable as any alternative dog food options.
Mix Your Dog’s Food
Your dog doesn’t need a 100% raw dog food diet to enjoy the benefits. Instead of changing your dog’s diet to 100% raw food, you can make raw food one meal a day, or 20-50% of their current meals. This will help improve the number of nutrients your dog gets in their diet without completely changing its diet.
Buy In Bulk
Most companies will offer discounts for bulk orders. For example, when shopping with Nutriment, you can get 20% off every kilo when buying in bulk. They also offer a 30% discount if you order more than 80 kg of dog food- a great option if you have a spare freezer.
Can I Make My Own Raw Dog Food?
Given the cost of raw dog food from commercial suppliers, it may be tempting to make your own raw dog food. However, this isn’t recommended.
Many of the raw meat you purchase at stores isn’t nutritionally balanced for dogs. Dogs require a balance of muscle meat, organ meat, bones, vitamins, and minerals for a balanced diet. As the foods at grocery stores are designed for cooking and human consumption, they lack the bioavailability your dog needs.
While many of the raw meats at your local supermarket could seem like a great option, they’re not the best for your furry friend. Trying to create the perfect balance for their diet without the right knowledge and experience could have negative results, including malnutrition.
How Much Is Raw Dog Food By Weight
Dog food will vary in cost based on the weight of your dog and the type of meat you use. Chicken is often the cheapest option, followed by beef and then lamb. Here’s an average cost:
|Average Daily Cost Of Dog Food By Dog Weight||Chicken (USD)||Beef (USD)||Lamb (USD)|
Raw Dog Food: A More Expensive But Healthy Food Option
Although not everyone supports raw dog food, those who feed their dogs a raw diet have cited healthier skin, shiner coats, and higher energy.
In general, the cost of a raw dog food diet will depend on your dog’s size, whether or not you feed a completely raw food diet, and the supplier you choose, though on average will cost around $0.80 per day for every 10 kg of dog weight.