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Dog food prices on the rise


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My dogs have done very well on fish based foods from a variety of manufacturers in the past. They love fish and loved the taste of the Costco kibble. I bought 180lbs, which lasted me about 6 weeks, so I think I gave the food a fair chance. Several of my dogs went from a body condition score of 4.5/10 to 3/10 in that short period of time despite adding supplemental puppy food after the first 2 weeks. From what I could see of their poop (and given their weight loss) they were unable to effectively utilize the nutrients in the food.

 

Please keep in mind that my dogs are MUCH more active than most pet or even sport dogs. They are going to reveal the overall quality of a food much faster because there is no room for compromise.

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I feed my dog a chicken meal dog food which has NO corn. In addition, the company makes a air dried raw beef grade dog food which I also feed my dogs. I signed up to be a dealer so I could get it at wholesale and try to buy it in bulk for a cheaper rate. I offer it to my students at my cost also.

 

My cost of Dynamite Super Premium Kibble is $40 a bag (counting tax and shipping) at bulk rate, retail is about $60 (not counting tax and shipping) . The Ultimate raw is $37 for 25 lbs at bulk orders and retail is $62. (counting tax and shipping ) I buy 50 bags of the 40 lbs kibble and 20 bags of the 25 lbs raw dog food (no grain) and most of it goes to my students. You can’t get it in the stores. So it breaks out to $1 a lb for the kibble and about $1.48 aa lb for the raw. I feed them about ½ cup of the kibble and about ¼ cup of the raw for Tess and the other dog 3/4 cup kibble and ½ cup raw. If they are not working, I have to reduce it as it make them fat. The poops are small and whitish and they don’t stink.

 

It’s a really high quality dog food and I offered my students samples for a test…..I wanted to see how it compared to their dog food.By buying in bulk it made it cheaper than TOTW, Canidae and etc. If I was not able to buy it in bulk, it would be much pricier.

 

I had my dogs on Flint river (which is just as good) but made the lead to Dynamite because it offer more products. I had the LGD on Diamond High Energy. Kodi is ten and was getting stiff so I put him on the Dynamite and it has helped him. I also have him on joint supplements.

 

I had to find a dog food at a good price since I have over 10 adults dogs and soon several pups to raise and one LGD. I ‘m glad I took the plunge as it has been cost effective for me. So far, no increase in the dog food prices. As long as this product works for me, I will keep getting it.

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I average about a $1/lb feeding raw, which is pretty good. But you can't really compare a pound of kibble with a pound of raw. My working dogs each get about 18-21 ounces of food a day, with the others needing 12-16 ounces. Kibble-fed dogs don't eat a pound of kibble a day, do they?

 

Both a cup of Royal Canin Duck & Potato & Evo small bites (2 kibble brands I happen to have on hand) average between 4-5 oz per dry measuring cup. So a pound is going to be 4 cups. I don't feed kibble routinely so I am not sure how much a BC sized dog eats per day. Is it near 4 cups?

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Depends on the food. Evo I was feeding 1/2 to 3/4 cup per day for my less active dogs, closer to 1.5 to 2 cups for the larger, more active ones. Something like Pro Plan I probably average 1.5 to 3 cups per dog per day. With the Costco food I was giving one of my dogs nearly 5 cups a day and he was still losing weight. So you can see that while the food had a lower price per pound, I was feeding so much of it that it would have been more cost effective to go with a better quality kibble.

 

*You have to look at calories/cup and the quality of the food.*

 

Once I get settled I will be ordering food directly and splitting the shipment with friends. That will cut our costs by about 25 to 30% (standard markup for retail).

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My dog food bill has definitely gone up in the last year or so, but not especially because of dog food prices increasing.

 

After following a few threads on the Boards about dog food, I stopped feeding Iams kibble and settled on 2 cups of Wellness Super Five Mix along with half a pound of raw beef or chicken. (Kibble fed in two meals, meat with the 2nd feeding. She also gets a Greenie a day and three small Milk-Bones before bedtime.

 

The cat gets 1/4 cup Wellness canned in the morning, 1/3 cup Evo kibble and a handful of raw beef or chicken with the second feeding, and a handful of dried, shaved bonita at bedtime. He's lean and fit, has a luxurious coat and has energy to burn...

 

I only have the one dog, (and the cat) so the cost is less problematic than that of multi-dog households. My dog is 40 lbs. + or - depending on the season, (I don't heat my place, so she carries a bit more weight in the winter.)

 

Her teeth and coat are fabulous and she has energy to burn. I have a bit less to spend on me, but I'm OK with that.

 

By contrast, my neighbor sneers at my expensive pet food and feeds his Pittie nothing but Pedigree kibble and she's got brown teeth and an itchy, dry coat.

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Not at all surprised to hear this seeing as lamb/cattle prices are through the roof right now. I guess I'll take the extra money from lambs and use it to buy dog food.

 

 

They all look good, no itching, nice coat and they have energy.

 

The bonus is that cleanup B) is a breeze.

 

I know I could feed a little cheaper with kibble, but I really like what I get with RAW :)

 

I guess its really personal preference :P

 

And what works for your dog. I've got one on raw. Kept her allergies in check for a few years, but now she's itching even on raw. sigh.

 

Tried switching my youngster and that wasn't happening. After starting her second round of metronzidole (sp?) I said forget it, got her on Canidae and she's doing good, so she's staying on kibble for now.

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I think that most companies have already exhausted options as far as substituting cheaper ingredients. The next thing will probably be bag size reductions. It seems to be happening with everything at the grocery store. It wasn't all that long ago where 50 lbs bags were the norm, many replaced them with 40 lb bags but kept the price the same or nearly the same.

 

Deb

 

It's already happening. :-/ Our cat food used to come in a bag that over-filled the plastic lidded can we keep it in. Now it doesn't even come close to filling it - but the price sure isn't going down. Then, just this week we bought what *used* to be a big bag of dog biscuits. Suddenly it's 1/3 less in size, but same price.

 

Glad to see others talking about the rise in dog food prices, as hubby and I kind of choked when we bought this month's kibble!

 

Humbug. :(

 

~ Gloria

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This looks like it is accurate. http://www.mycockerspaniel.com/mer.htm

 

less active = average pet

working dog light duty = average working Border Collie (herding, not sports)

working dog heavy duty = husky running the Iditarod (1200 mile race across Alaska averaging 120 miles/day in frigid weather)

 

BTW, dog foods are finally starting to list calories per cup on their bags, something that was rare in the past.

 

ETA, the caloric needs of a puppy look to be way off. If you feed that you will have one porkie pup with OCD and HD.

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Thank you. That was the one I found, and I actually thought it was way off (for me anyway). The dog in question is my (almost) 3 y/o Golden. She is 50lbs (she's lean, but has lost some muscle over the winter) and is on TOTW which is 360 kcal/cup. If this calculator is right, as a less active dog it suggests 1099 kcal/day...which if you do the math, is roughly 3 cups of food a day. If I fed her that, I can't imagine how much weight she would put on. I feed her 1 3/4 cup a day, which is about 630 kcal/day.

 

She's gained weight this winter at her 1 3/4 cup (or 630kcal/day), but I don't see how I could feed her any less.

 

Sigh.

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Have you checked her thyroid levels? Goldens are the poster children for hypothyroid dogs. I've seen many that had lovely coats, plenty of energy and really didn't look at all sick despite having very low levels. Three years old is not too young to have the disease by any means.

 

Even if her levels are normal you have to keep in mind that every dog has a different metabolism.

 

PS, is she spayed? That really does slow down their metabolism and the MER calculators are for intact dogs.

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I haven't thought about that but it wouldn't surprise me. She is allergic to just about everything out there (humans, dogs, cats, grass, pollen, etc), has had demodex, gets hot spots....I will keep this in mind. During the summer she swims 2-3x daily and does lure/agility 3-4 times a week and I do up her food and have never noticed her having issues. She puts on a lot of muscle. This is the first winter I've noticed her with a good extra pound or two.

 

Thank you :)

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Guess I'm lucky as the price of my dogs' food hasn't gone up. Sure hope it stays that way! I have to wonder if part of it isn't the store where the food is sold marking it up more.

 

I tried Diamond Naturals out and my dogs didn't do well on it, but I can't remember why. As my vet said, if the dog food company has to come up with another line named "Natural" I'd hate to think what's in their food.

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Guess I'm lucky as the price of my dogs' food hasn't gone up. Sure hope it stays that way! I have to wonder if part of it isn't the store where the food is sold marking it up more.

 

I tried Diamond Naturals out and my dogs didn't do well on it, but I can't remember why. As my vet said, if the dog food company has to come up with another line named "Natural" I'd hate to think what's in their food.

 

Once you determine basic good quality (and Diamond Naturals is), I think it's all in the dog -- I was feeding Primitive Naturals (also marketed as "holistic"), one of the pricier brands and Robin and Ladybug were doing well, but the food was running right through Brodie - I switched to Diamond Naturals, which is a bargain compared to some and Robin continues to do thrive as does Ladybug, and Brodie is so happy he's actually bringing his dish to DH in the morning asking for breakfast. He even eats it without "additives" such as mashed potatoes and chicken gravy! He's even gained a few pounds!

 

Liz

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I feed NutriSource Chicken and Rice made here in MN at $35/33lb bag 26% protein 16% fat, 370kcal/cup 2 cups per day per 40lb dog works out to about $0.70/day, and I have to be careful to watch they don't gain weight at 2 cups per day.

 

If they are in work in the summer and/or training or trialling hard, I'll switch them to the Performance or SuperPerformance (developed for hunting dogs mostly). Performance comes in 40lb bags for about $48, 30% protein, 20% fat 463 kcal/cup (25% more calories per cup). It does have corn gluten whereas the Adult formula has no corn (brown rice and barley for grains). For the same number of calories per day, the price is about the same; 71 cents per dog per day. Since I keep the amount constant, it costs about 80 - 85 cents per dog per day to feed this.

 

Super Performance is 32% Protein, 21% fat, 465 kcal/cup in 40lb bags around $49.

 

If my dogs lived outside, I'd probably just keep them on the Performance or Super Performance all winter.

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Pearse, there have been some very clear studies done on sled dogs that show feeding a lower quality (lower protein/fat) food during the off season then switching to a better one during the racing/training season isn't a good idea. It took 2 to 3 months for the performance of those dogs to catch up to the dogs who ate a good quality food year round. Just something to think about.

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Liz do you have links to those studies? I'd like to read them. Thanks!

 

I switch mine back and forth between higher and lower protein (actually the same foods Pearce mentioned), but it's not a huge difference, probably around 5% and the food quality is the same. I notice a difference pretty quickly in energy levels.

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I'll see if I can find them online. I had two file boxes full of nutritional studies done on working dogs. When I moved to the Midwest I had to give them away.

 

I have also seen a rapid increase in energy level, bot NOT in endurance, which is what working dogs need (being able to keep going beyond that initial sprint). The conclusion of the studies was that the dogs' bodies took months to adapt their metabolism to using fat more efficiently. Carbs provide quick energy, but beyond the first few minutes of exercise it is fat that keeps the dogs going.

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Pearse, there have been some very clear studies done on sled dogs that show feeding a lower quality (lower protein/fat) food during the off season then switching to a better one during the racing/training season isn't a good idea. It took 2 to 3 months for the performance of those dogs to catch up to the dogs who ate a good quality food year round. Just something to think about.

 

It is good quality food. It's the same food by the same manufacturer. It's just the protein/fat content is lower in the normal formulation. Too much protein when the dogs aren't working as much and they go a bit squirrely in my experience, plus it's hard to keep weight off them with just the regular food. If I was feeding them the Performance blend, all winter, they'd be getting about a half cup twice a day. They're inside dogs and when there's three feet of snow outside, all they get is a five mile a day run with me, which barely takes the edge off.

 

Pearse

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two things:

 

for those of you switching foods based on working vs. non working times of the year. Why woudln't you just change the amounts based on what the dog needs for that time of the year? save yourself & the dog the switching around

 

second for anyone intersted my trainer gave us all this site about dog foods, unbiased, they don't take advertisements from the different companies:

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/brand

 

it's an easy site to glance through find your band and see how you're doing

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I have heard really good thing about the new food at Costco Pelican Bay, it is almost identical to TOTW Salmon but it runs at 30 bucks a 30 pound bag

Has anybody tried it?

 

I tried this food for my two, but after the first bag and a half I went back to giving them the Costco Lamb and Rice. Although both Jes and Kit liked the food, their coats were less shiny and it appeared to me that Jes was losing weight although I was giving him the same quantity of food.

 

Probably would be great for lots of other dogs, but didn't work for mine. Maybe just as well, as the Lamb and Rice is cheaper! ($25 for 40 pounds).

D'Elle and dogs

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