Best dog food for not a lot of money? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Money has gotten really tight here, and we're having to cut corners. I can't afford to spend as much on dog food right now, but I don't want to feed her junk.

She is an elderly dog (12-13 years), and she is a large-ish dog (about teh size of a golden retriever). What can I feed her that's not going to break the bank?
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#2 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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we pay $20 for a bag of Kirklands super permium chicken rice and vegetable adult dog food. it lasts us about a month and a half for one large lab mix. she gets 3.5 cups a day. out of 100 points, it ranks 110, if that makes any sense.
its a pretty good dog food that i feel really comfortable giving to my dog.
of course she would prefer i feed her the kibbles and bits that my parents dogs get. but thats like McDonalds every meal. ewwww.

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#3 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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my dogs are raw fed (BARF) Your dog may be too old to make the change smoothly. But they love it! We used to have a compost bucket, (to take from the kitchen to the pile) but now we have dogs! I really just feed them what we eat, (mindfully) they love carrots, but they go out the same as they went in tofu and chicken pieces all ground up, bones, veggie tops and such.

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#4 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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Don't do Kirkland's! That's like McDonald's every meal! Kibbles and Bits is like, I don't know, toxic waste.

The cheapest good food is usually Canidae. I pay about a buck a pound for it. My 100+ lb growing puppy goes through a 40 lb bag in about a month and a week.
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#5 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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i read through the ingredients. there arent preservtives, other than vit e. there isnt any soy, no corn, no by-products. and in a dog food rating (add 1pt for good, minus 5 for bad, etc) it rated 110 out of 100.
its not organic. and its not raw. but its not as bad as mc donalds

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#6 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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I've read it too, and I wasn't comfortable with it.

OP, there's a sticky at the top of this forum about dog foods
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#7 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 06:49 PM
 
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I think Kirkland's is the best you'll get for that price.

OP, you'd need to say what your price range is before I could give a specific recommendation. We feed Solid Gold, but it's spendy.
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#8 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't necessarily have a price range...just as low as possible, for the time being. I'm a single mama who was laid off, and we're relying on savings now, so I am needing to keep costs down as much as possible until I am working and back on my feet.
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#9 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul is a decent food for a good price. I feed Premium Edge and that is around 30 for a 35 lb bag.
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#10 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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keep in mind that a better dog food will have you feeding less. Check recommended feeding amounts when you are comparing bands.

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#11 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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keep in mind that a better dog food will have you feeding less. Check recommended feeding amounts when you are comparing bands.
Yup. We feed our girl EVO and when I did the math it worked to be only $5-10 a month more when I factored in that I have to feed half the amount vs. the grocery store crap.
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#12 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 11:00 PM
 
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I'd stay away from Kirklands; the quality of their ingredients is pretty poor.

The cheapest premium kibble I can get here is Canidae All Life Stages; I feed it in conjunction with a very pricey food, but would feed it even if it were more expensive. It's a fantastic food. And I agree w/a PP, you're going to feed much less of a high-quality food, so take that into consideration. A large dog doesn't necessarily need to eat a lot of food every day. Take the activity level into consideration as well as quality of food ingredients. The label on Canidae ALS gives a 1- 1/2 cup daily ration for a 75lb senior dog. Price per 40lb bag is roughly $35, if I remember correctly. That's super cheap for premium kibble. I pay $46 for a 26lb of Wellness CORE kibble, to give you a comparison.

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#13 of 73 Old 05-15-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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OK--here is what I would do if we had NOTHING.

First, is there any meat or chicken you can get for less than $.25/lb? That's the price at which raw becomes cheaper than just about any kibble. If you can find chicken necks, thighs, etc. at that price, get them.

Buy 3 whole chickens a week. Cut the chicken up into quarters--two breast, two thigh/drums, and one back per chicken. You cook and eat everything but the backs; the backs and the giblets go to the dog. That's three days a week that she's getting raw chicken backs + giblets.

If you can swing one other raw meal (a single thigh quarter, for example) a week, feed something like Kirkland (which is Diamond, as is Chicken Soup, as is Premium Edge) the other three days.

Feed the dog every edible scrap and leftover from the table. No cooked bones, no white bread; everything else is fair game.
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#14 of 73 Old 05-16-2008, 08:59 AM
 
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Subbing. I don't want to go raw fed, but I would like my dogs to eat more "real food" and to save money on dog food.

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#15 of 73 Old 05-16-2008, 11:57 AM
 
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If you can swing one other raw meal (a single thigh quarter, for example) a week, feed something like Kirkland (which is Diamond, as is Chicken Soup, as is Premium Edge) the other three days.
This gives my dogs the farts. I have read that kibble digests slowly and raw food ferments? (don't quote me) point being, pick one and stick to it. Unless you want fart propelled dogs.

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Feed the dog every edible scrap and leftover from the table. No cooked bones, no white bread; everything else is fair game.
that: table scraps depending on how you eat. No refined sugars, nothing processed, nothing with any weird herbs or seasonings.

my dogs love when I crush and egg in their food. Shell and all. I didn't do it for a while because I feared for the laying chickens eggs at mom's but they dogs (my dogs) can't manage to get round things open. (apples eggs etc.)

In reality, whatever you would compost a dog can eat. (and more)

I'm crunchy... Like a Dorito.
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#16 of 73 Old 05-16-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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This gives my dogs the farts. I have read that kibble digests slowly and raw food ferments? (don't quote me) point being, pick one and stick to it. Unless you want fart propelled dogs.
Actually, they digest the same way; kibble just takes a lot longer.

I don't have any issue with saying that doing totally raw is a lot better. But this is a mom looking for zero-money solutions, and so I was trying to bring her expenditure on dog food to as close to zero as I could. With raw whole chickens, you're feeding the waste that you'd normally throw out. Mixing with kibble (again, very much not ideal) also helps make up for not spending money on vegetables or organ meat. Since kibble is sprayed with a vitamin pill at the end, it is helpful in this VERY narrow requirement range.
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#17 of 73 Old 05-16-2008, 12:50 PM
 
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totally hear you, I knew there was something about kibble and raw. I think thats where people get the idea that feeding dogs scraps is a no-no. My parents still freak when I feed the minpin chicken wings.

I'm crunchy... Like a Dorito.
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#18 of 73 Old 05-16-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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I know I'm like a broken record, but I'd just like to add to Joanna's post- no onions. Onions can cause a blood disorder in dogs called Hemolytic Anemia. I have this blood disorder myself (not from onions in humans, mine is from chemical exposure), and it is really not a picnic. It is life threatening, it can be controlled with Prednisone (taking a lot of that is also not a picnic, believe me) but that is not always successful.

So, watch the onions in table scraps
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#19 of 73 Old 05-16-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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I am not sure how it rates but we have been very pleased with California Natural dog food. It was suggested to us by the rescue our greyhounds came from as well as the pet food warehouse where we buy it (they could have suggested some much pricier brands that they carry). We buy a 36 pound bag and it lasts our two greyhounds well over a month (I think). I believe it comes out to about a dollar per pound. Our small female eats three cups a day and our large 90 pound male eats 4 cups a day(of course they are very lazy dogs and are not very active so they do not require a lot). They are healthy as horses, have shiny coats ect. This seems to be a very nice food and it is not too expensive. They have several "flavors", the herring and sweet potato is wonderful for dry skin.

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#20 of 73 Old 05-16-2008, 11:17 PM
 
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I'll second Chicken Soup for Dogs. A mid sized bag costs @ $20 and will last my senior golden mix a month or so.

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#21 of 73 Old 05-17-2008, 01:51 AM
 
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Is your dog healthy? Any kidney issues? We recently learned our old jack russell has kidney diease and we are having to switch from higher protein/lower fiber Canidae to a food with less protein and more fiber. From what I understand, the high protein/low fiber premium foods can be hard on old dogs' kidneys. Correct me if I'm wrong, anyone.

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#22 of 73 Old 05-17-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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canidae isn't a bad price. http://www.canidae.com/
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#23 of 73 Old 05-17-2008, 02:43 AM
 
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I looked today, and I was wrong. At my local shop, Canidae Lamb and Rice is $33 for a 40 lb bag, which in my experience goes further than supermarket brands. That may still be out of the budget though, I understand... and when it comes down to it, keeping your dog fed on a less-than-ideal food is better than you or your kids going without food or electricity of course.
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#24 of 73 Old 05-17-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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I have Nutro natural choice lamb and rice. It's $40 for $40 lbs but I get the 11th bag free.

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#25 of 73 Old 05-17-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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Oh yeah, Canidae gives you the 12th bag free. I forgot about that.
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#26 of 73 Old 05-17-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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Canidae is also good for some dogs that have allergies as there is no corn. They test to make sure they don't have pesticides and extra chemicals.
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#27 of 73 Old 05-17-2008, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I'm like a broken record, but I'd just like to add to Joanna's post- no onions. Onions can cause a blood disorder in dogs called Hemolytic Anemia. I have this blood disorder myself (not from onions in humans, mine is from chemical exposure), and it is really not a picnic. It is life threatening, it can be controlled with Prednisone (taking a lot of that is also not a picnic, believe me) but that is not always successful.

So, watch the onions in table scraps
I never knew this about onions!! Occasionally my dad gives her leftover potatoes, and sometimes they have onions in them, and she always eats around the onions. We won't give her anymore though!

Thanks for all of the suggestions! I'm going to see what I can do...everything seems reasonably priced, but I am not sure if I can drop $30 or $40 on a bag of dog food right now...I realize that over time, the price is good, but $40 is a lot to spend at once right now. We have been giving her more table scraps, and I am noticing that she is eating a lot less of her actual dog food, so I might try to get a small bad of higher quality food as a supplement.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions!
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#28 of 73 Old 05-17-2008, 10:36 PM
 
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Oh yeah, Canidae gives you the 12th bag free. I forgot about that.
Can you tell me more about this please

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#29 of 73 Old 05-17-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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re: Canidae's free food program

you save 12 upc symbols from your food bags and your retailer gives you an envelope to put them in and send to canidae. the bags of food all have to be the same size, though. they send you a voucher for a free bag of the same size to be used at your retailer. it really brings the price per bag down, if you look at it that way.

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#30 of 73 Old 05-17-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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Is Trader Joe's dog food good? It is pretty cheap, if you have a TJs close to you.
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