What is the Real Price of Feeding Healthy Pet Food?

Common knowledge seems to suggest that feeding your pet a healthy diet is expensive – this is not necessarily the case.

When comparing pet foods, many consumers make their purchasing decisions based on the product price.

What many consumers don’t realize, is the purchase price isn’t the most accurate way to determine the cost of a pet food – consumers need to pay attention to the cost per meal.

Pet food manufacturers have feeding guidelines specific to their products, and the differences in feeding guidelines from one brand to another can vary considerably.

Pet foods also come in a wide variety of different sizes. Large bags of dog food can come in 40lb, 35lb, 33lb, 30lb, 28lb, 25lb, etc, so comparing one brand to another usually means comparing products of different sizes.

Now do you see why you need to look beyond the sticker price of your pets’ food?

In general terms, the better the quality of pet food, the lower the feeding guidelines.

Why? Because high-end pet foods use wholesome ingredients instead of fractions and fillers. This means the food has a higher caloric density, meaning your pet can meet his daily nutritional requirements with less volume – which also means less output from the other end.

Top quality pet foods may have a higher price tag than their discount counterparts, but when you factor in the potential variance in feeding guidelines, the price gap can narrow very quickly – and the bigger the pet, the bigger the variance.

Creative Commons License photo credit: dreamstime.com

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7 Responses to What is the Real Price of Feeding Healthy Pet Food?
  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Julie Walraven. Julie Walraven said: Take it from @TeddyGermanShep healthy! RT @BonsaiCA: What is the real price of feeding healthy pet food? http://bit.ly/dMEnJ6 by @CanPetConn [...]

  2. Jana Rade
    Twitter: DawgBlogger
    March 11, 2011 | 12:12 am

    And think of all the grief and money you save for vet bills later, feeding your dog healthier food.
    Jana Rade recently posted..Viva Has Cushings

    • Brandon
      March 11, 2011 | 9:48 am

      Exactly, Jana! Good point :)

  3. charles Oliver
    June 24, 2011 | 12:39 am

    I could not agree more with your article. I have an assortment of dogs, cats and birds.
    The price of the food for me is not my main concern.
    I watch very carefully just what my pets enjoy eating and what treats they like. Not much point in buying something you will just have to throw out because it tastes terrible to my pet.
    By doing my part in keeping my pet healthy and happy is more important than trying to save a few pennies getting something they will not eat.
    When we try a different meal in a new restaurant, do we eat it in spite of the taste or do we send it back to the cook?
    The only defense our pets have is to not eat!

    • Brandon
      June 24, 2011 | 10:10 am

      Hi Charles, thank you for your comments!

      I find there is a big grey area with regards to pets eating (or not eating) their food. Yes, many dogs will refuse their food because it does not suit their palette, however, many dogs also learn to become fussy over time – mainly due to owners unintentionally training their dog this behaviour. Pet owners who feed their dog table scraps, and expect Fido to show the same level of excitement with their kibble have unrealistic expectations. Dogs will almost always take advantage of this situation.

      • Donna
        April 27, 2012 | 10:35 am

        Hi Brandon,
        I would also like to mention, in my experience, I will always take ‘not eating’ very seriously. I can remember two instances when my dog was off her food. One at the age of 3 years old then shortly after diagnosed with Addison’s disease, second at 13 years old it was due to Cancer. Both times the first sign was her not eating so they certainly do tell you in their own way.

        • Brandon
          April 27, 2012 | 11:38 am

          That’s a great point you bring up, Donna – thank you. When a pet stops eating their food, it is important to understand why this is happening. Figuring out whether your pet has stopped eating due to illness, or due to changes in behaviour is essential.

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