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How much do you spend a month on food and treats for your BC?


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OK, I forgot to add the glucosamine, vitamins, probiotic, salmon oil, and Skittles' "weed" (herbal supplement) that they also get. But, I don't know how much that all costs, so just tack on another $25 to my estimate of $140-150 per month for three dogs.

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I'm finding that three dogs (my own plus two fosters) are about 4 times as expensive as one dog. My dogs seem to need to eat more in the winter too, to maintain their weight. I feed Wellness Core. When I had one dog I went through about two bags of Wellness Core, the medium size at about $25 apiece per month, so probably about $50/month on actual food. With three dogs, I go through a large bag of Wellness Core, probably every week and a half or so, and the large bags are a little over $50. So I now probably spend about $150/month on food alone. Rawhides are a bigger expense than treats--my dogs are strong chewers so I buy the strongest retriever rolls I've been able to find, American made, and they are $20 for a pack of 4. With the three dogs who all like to chew, I now ration and limit myself to one pack a week, so that's $80/month on rawhides. I buy cheap training treats, usually Natural Balance rolls that I cut up or Bil-Jacs, and most of the time I use my dogs' kibble for training. I have one dog on digestive enzymes, cause she's hard to keep weight on, all the dogs on an omega supplement and one dogs gets vitamins, so those are added occasional expenses. A random box of dog biscuits here and there. So grand total, probably $200-$250 a month on food, chews and treats.

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We feed raw and I usually budget $300 for 14 dogs; 3 LGDs, 2 mini schnauzers, 2 giant schnauzers, an ACD and 6 BCs...3 raw fed cats;

 

chicken etc is about $220/month, we feed about 10 kg/day ($1.00/kg (.45/lb)), plus veggie meals, some grains, pumpkin, organ meat ($0.60/lb...which includes hearts, kidneys, tongue, and other misc cow parts i don't really want to speak of)

 

than there is the counter surfing...i don't really include that in their part of the food bill..my mom routinely leaves butter at the edge of the counter when she visits...so another $4.00/month; and one of the giants ate a cake last week....$5.00; and the BC puppy scored a christmas cup cake...$1.00...and so on!

 

We do also use some cull ewes, dead lambs, deer hunter extras...and misc things the dogs can catch (ok, the BCs are excellent mousers...they could teach the mini schnauzers a thing or two)

 

If I am going to give them cookies/treats they get either RMBs (about $4/15 lbs box...but they are huge pieces) or I make them cookies; usually for puppies to learn manners early on or my foster minis that had to be crate trained, potty trained and get in general...better manners...stop acting like a terriorist (terrier)...and try and learn

 

cynthia

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I estimate about $25/dog/month for food and treats; the girls each eat 1 cup per day of regular Wellness right now and we use dog food samples or cat food for treats. I put away about $100-150/month for future vet expenses (including flea/tick and heartworm meds), so obviously food isn't my big spending area, but it is the most constant cost.

 

Your big food spending figure is likely due to the canned food in there - I know when Maggie was eating canned exclusively after a dental surgery it added up super fast. Is there a specific reason why you're adding canned to a good dry kibble?

 

I also noticed you're buying two 15lb bags of the Core - any reason why you're not just getting one 30lb bag? At least at my food place it's about $5-10 cheaper to buy the bigger bag vs. two smaller bags depending on the type of food you feed. And you can't forget that the grain-free foods are a lot more expensive when compared to other high quality diets that include grains; Core is one of the priciest of the grain-frees around here.

 

Boy, I'm realizing from all this that I am way overfeeding Cody. He gets 1/2- 3/4 can of Wellness Core canned, plus 2 cups-2-1/2 cups of the Wellness Core dry each day. He's 50 lbs. and solid muscle, no fat. Plus he gets a small handful of treats a day for training purposes, and one dried fish piece.

 

I did notice that the Wellness Core canned is only 12.5 oz. vs. others are 14-15 oz cans, for the same price. That makes Wellness Core way more expensive!

 

I will start buying the larger bag, I'm always worried though that it will go stale.

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I spend a lot and I figure this is a case where ignorance is bliss, at least for me.

 

I'm with you on that one. It would have to estimate anyway, because some days it's free venison pr a lamb we butchered, other days higher end raw foods I purchased from off farm. Never mind with the 2 Maremmas eat. When I was researching Rebecca told me that LGDs are picky and don't eat as much as you think...well these guys eat 3 times what the BCs do and ask for more. Perhaps they are crossed with Pits (the Bottomless bloodline) :D

 

I've decided that as long as all the bills including my retirement are paid at the end of the month, it's fine.

 

Vet bills vary - the chronic (allergies, itchies, ear infections, etc) stuff virtually stoped after we started raw a decade ago, but the old dog stuff has grown as the pack ages. I also spend a lot preventative medicine - chiropractic, titers, blood work. Come to think of it my vet bills are actually about the same per dog as they were before raw (1998) but I'm able to get much more bang for my buck.

 

I recently took 10 dogs to the holistic vet for bloodwork, the da*n yearly rabies thing required in this state, chiro, and cancer f/u for Jo. Anyone whinging about a vet bill should see me for a reality check :rolleyes::D

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Boy, I'm realizing from all this that I am way overfeeding Cody. He gets 1/2- 3/4 can of Wellness Core canned, plus 2 cups-2-1/2 cups of the Wellness Core dry each day. He's 50 lbs. and solid muscle, no fat. Plus he gets a small handful of treats a day for training purposes, and one dried fish piece.

 

I don't think you're overfeeding, maybe spending more than some, but it does seem like Core must be more expensive than other things people are feeding. My 40 pound dog eats 2 1/2 cups of dry Core a day (up from 1 1/2 when he mysteriously started losing weight at the beginning of the winter, but he runs more in the winter and I assume he burns more calories staying warm). My 30 pound dog eats 3 cups a day (but she's really difficult to keep weight on). Both of them are skinny as can be. My Aussie, not sure what he weights, but probably over 50 pounds, maybe even 60, eats 2 1/2 cups, but I've been trying to take a few extra pounds off of him. They don't get any canned.

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I also feed the Kirkland kibble which ends up being around $26/40lb bag here and lasts about ~2 months. Then I buy fish oil and vit E capsules to add to their kibble. I get the 32oz salmon oil which only costs $25 and lasts 2 months for both dogs. The vitamins are minimal - $4/bottle.

 

So I guess that would be around $25 a month for 2 dogs. Can that be right?

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Hmmm...I go through about one 30 pound bag of Canidae grain free kibble at $36 each month. That feeds 3 border collies. So each dog gets about 10 pounds a month, give or take. I don't buy treats, I feed whatever I have in the house and when they place at agility shows I always choose a bag of treats instead of a stuffed toy they will rip apart in seconds so we can leave a show with bags and bags of treats or the natural balance rolls. I also don't really give that many treats so I can make one container of treats last a long time. I buy the big packs of rawhides at Sams at $10/bag. One bag a month.

 

So in total... about $16 per dog per month. Wow...is that all?!?

 

But I agree with others in that the food is a drop in the bucket. Vet bills, show costs, etc rack up much more than that!

 

Olivia

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Finally, another dog who only eats 10lb/month - glad to hear mine is not the only wierd one out there :D Plus it happens to be one of my favorite girls here!

 

I :rolleyes: Missy!

 

 

I was beginning to feel as if we were living too much on the cheap, we're in the 10 lb / month (+/- depending on the individual) group too, but I do add in raw when ever it's available for free. They got treated this last month to the scrap from two deer and one ram that we processed for the freezer. I don't feed any commercial treats, occasionally the locker sends home beef ribs, heart and liver at no cost. We feed Kent Native and get a kennel discount runs us around $34.00 / 40 lb bag.

 

Deb

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Nowwon and Ninso,

 

Just wanted to mention that grain free isn't for every dog. I can't remember whether either of your dogs didn't do well on grains, but will relate this story anyway.

 

The first couple years after we got Shoshone, I tried several different ways of feeding her, due to allergies. At one point, I was feeding according to Wendy Volhard's diet plan, which is very meticulous about amounts, types, supplements, etc. Shonie was still itchy. I took her off all carbs, fed her only animal proteins and vegetables plus the supplements, and she did not do well at all. At one point, I was giving her more than 2x the amount recommended for her weight, and she was still losing weight almost to the point that she was losing muscle mass, and looking very scruffy. After a month of that, I gave up, put her back on CA Natural, her itchiness got better (it didn't go away, but it got better) her coat looked much better, she had a normal amount of energy, her stools were better, etc.

 

Some dogs seem to need carbs/grains. Shonie is one of them. If you're feeding what you think is an inordinate amount of grain free, perhaps your dog(s) need some carbs. I think Rebecca has a dog who has to have grains of some kind or he gets too skinny.

 

Ruth

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Geez, hard to say exactly. Right now I'm feeding six dogs (one is a tiny dog, though, so consider that he eats less than a half a cup daily). I feed about 1-2/3 of two 40# bags of high qual kibble, so around $50 monthly there for all but Ginger. Estimate about $12/month for Ginger's food - takes her about 3 months to go through a 36# bag. Supps I'd say 10-15 monthly, and maybe 5-10$ in canned. Otherwise I will crock pot them something that I've left in the freezer too long with extra veggies, maybe $2-5 a month. It would be reasonable that on a normal month you can assume I spend about $80 on food and supps for each. I buy a box of cow's hooves to use and share every six months or so $50.

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We buy the Costco Chicken and Rice 40 lb. bag which now costs $23.99 a bag. One bag lasts almost a month. We also add in some yogurt, veggies, chicken, salmon, eggs, etc. - usually whatever we are eating. If we buy something specifically for the dogs we might spend $10 - $20 in addition to the dog food. We probably spend about $10 for treats per month as well.

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Just wanted to mention that grain free isn't for every dog. I can't remember whether either of your dogs didn't do well on grains, but will relate this story anyway.

 

Lok was on Canidae for several months, he mostly did well, but had diarrhea and loose stools all the time and I often had to clean out his crate when I got home from work. That problem cleared right up when I switched to the Wellness Core, his coat stayed in great condition and he seemed to have more energy. I have been thinking about mixing in a food with grains though, to see if I can feed him less that way. I know last winter he was eating about 2 cups of Canidae/day and was at a good weight, then over the summer he gained a little weight (he wasn't fat by any means, just a couple pounds more than I like him to be) so I reduced his food to 1 1/2 cups a day and he was back to a great weight. Then over the past couple months he has lost a little bit, so I increased his food. That's why I think it's related to the seasons rather than the food. He does run a lot more in the cool weather--in the summer he gets too hot, so he's mostly laying the shade when he's outside.

 

As for my skinny minnie foster girl--part of her issue is her age (barely a year) and that she is in constant motion, so she metabolizes a lot of energy no matter what she eats. Her previous foster home had her eating over 4 cups of Canidae/day and she wasn't gaining weight at all. I switched her to the grain-free and added digestive enzymes and she is still skinny, but no longer a skeleton.

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Finally, another dog who only eats 10lb/month - glad to hear mine is not the only wierd one out there :D Plus it happens to be one of my favorite girls here!

 

I :D Missy!

 

Aww :D

 

I must confess that she does eat a bit more than the 10#/month. She's the one who gets the bulk of the raw/homemade food - maybe 7-8 meals/month right now.

 

But for the first few years I had her, she would eat her bowl of kibble about every other day. The cat would snack on it more than she would. Food was just not a big deal. And her weight always stayed just about the same.

 

Kipp, OTOH, is a food hound. I'm sure, if given the chance, he would bury his head in the food bin and come out looking like a barrel on four legs. I greatly prefer Missy's style of eating :rolleyes::D

 

 

I have been thinking about mixing in a food with grains though, to see if I can feed him less that way. I know last winter he was eating about 2 cups of Canidae/day and was at a good weight, then over the summer he gained a little weight (he wasn't fat by any means, just a couple pounds more than I like him to be) so I reduced his food to 1 1/2 cups a day and he was back to a great weight

 

You might just try adding in some homecooked grains to his Core kibble. Missy is sensitive to grains, but seems to handle the occassional home cooked oatmeal or rice just fine.

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Boy, I'm realizing from all this that I am way overfeeding Cody. He gets 1/2- 3/4 can of Wellness Core canned, plus 2 cups-2-1/2 cups of the Wellness Core dry each day.

 

You could save money by not feeding so much canned food. The kibble is complete nutrition, so the canned really is just top dressing. I split one regular size can (~13 oz) between 6-7 dogs and just mix it in with the kibble to give it extra flavor, but they really don't need the canned at all (unless I want to add, say, canned salmon or something). So if you can make the expensive canned food last a week vs. 2 days or less, your savings will add up quickly, given that most of those premium canned foods go for $2 or more. Some days I don't use canned food at all, but instead top dress with leftovers, eggs from my hens, etc.

 

Wendy,

I was just at the vet today (for the third time in a week working on the same issue with one of my elderly cats) and one of the receptionists said "thanks for paying my salary for the year" as we were discussing how much I spend on vet bills. With 10 dogs and three cats, half of which are geriatrics, and the other half of which are hard working dogs that sometimes get injured, I probably have paid an employee's salary at the vet this year.

 

J.

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With 10 dogs and three cats, half of which are geriatrics, and the other half of which are hard working dogs that sometimes get injured, I probably have paid an employee's salary at the vet this year.

 

I'm pretty sure that I've bought my vet his new boat. Yet, he's never invited me to go fishing. How Rude!

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Keep in mind that my oldest dog, Maggie, eats 1 cup/day and weighs 33lbs, but she's also 9.5yo. My younger dog, Ziva, is almost 2yo and weighs 25lbs, yet eats the same amount. To make things even more interesting, my 26lb foster ACD, Teak, who is just about a year old, eats 2 cups/day and STILL isn't really gaining weight - she's still as bony as she was a month ago when I first brought her home! Every dog will be different in terms of consumption given their own individual needs.

 

Also remember, too, that there are a number of good grain-free kibbles out there, so you could do some price checking and food testing to see if there's one that's still grain-free but costs less than your current food in addition to cutting back on the canned.

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You could save money by not feeding so much canned food. The kibble is complete nutrition, so the canned really is just top dressing. I split one regular size can (~13 oz) between 6-7 dogs and just mix it in with the kibble to give it extra flavor, but they really don't need the canned at all (unless I want to add, say, canned salmon or something). So if you can make the expensive canned food last a week vs. 2 days or less, your savings will add up quickly, given that most of those premium canned foods go for $2 or more. Some days I don't use canned food at all, but instead top dress with leftovers, eggs from my hens, etc.

 

Thanks for this good advice. Kind of like canned food = gravy for mashed potatoes for humans, right? :rolleyes: A little goes a long way! I think that is where I can definitely cut back for him and help save money.

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I think we're up in the $130/month range too, since the surgery. My brother, who feeds his dog purina one and ONLY purina one, just laughs his head off when I describe Odin's meals. DH also makes fun of me and Odin - now that he's a teenager he seems to only like raw and "Kelly's fancy dinners", which include: some canned to mix his supplement and drugs into, and kibble coated with some beef/chicken broth and olive or fish oil, which goes in a moat around his canned. I roll my eyes at myself on this one too, but preparing his dinners is a ritual we both enjoy, so what the hey. If he's not hungry enough to eat all his dry kibble shook directly out of the bag by DH in the mornings then so be it.

 

So, probably 8-10 lbs a month of Prairie kibble @ $20?? (I can't remember if the small bags I buy are 5 or 7.5 lbs).

Instinct canned, about 10 cans per month @ 20?

Metacam (will stop this soon though), $50 per month

Synovi G3 supplement about $10-15 per month

And raw meats, broth, and oil (DH buys these mixed with our human food and is variable in cost)

organic yogurt for kongs, but again we humans eat that too.

 

While on crate rest, he was going through a RMB or a bully stick each day, and I was stupidly not buying them in the value packs. And when I splurge, I also buy food rolls, Zukes, or 101 treats for training (otherwise he gets kibble). I guess I should really look at ways to cut down!

 

But it seems on par with what we spend on the two cats, weight-wise. They get Wysong kibble, instinct canned, catnip and teeth-cleaning treats, and Lobo has his nightly Elavril (blessedly cheap drug, at least).

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The way I look at it you are saving money by feeding better stuff. Tell him that he won't be laughing when the effects of feeding poor food catches up with him and his poor dog, and the vet bills hit....lol. :rolleyes:

 

I usually spend $50/mp on a 28 lb. bag of Natural Balance Lamb and Rice. Sometimes they get rawhide treats at a whopping $5 a bag..lol. But everything else they are allergic to!!

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