Keeping a dog can be an expense these days. However feeding a dog does not have to cost you a fortune. It is possible to feed your dog well but a little more cheaply.
In these times, when money is becoming even more precious than it used to be, most of us are looking at ways to economise. Most people will have overspent at Christmas and many will already be looking for ways to economise.
If you own one dog, or more, you will know that dog's can be costly to keep. After the initial buying of the animal there are vaccinations, health checks, pet insurance, miscellaneous expenses and of course dog food. No pet lover would want to economise on a dog's food if it was going to put their animal's quality of life, happiness and health in jeopardy, but there are ways to reduce your dog feeding bill without doing any of these.
Things You Will Need
To plan your shopping.
Compare prices for various products and at various outlets.
Research the possibilities.
Step 1Shop around.
Do not buy your dog food from the most convenient store. Shop around and make sure that you compare prices. You will be surprised at just how much the price of a basic tin of dog food, for example, can vary from shop to shop. Usually larger supermarkets will offer the best prices.
Firstly let me say that you should never bulk buy dog food unless you know your dog will eat what you have bought. Make sure your dog has tried a little, and will eat what you have bought, before you purchase heaps of the food.
Look around for special offers, promotions and good prices for bulk buying of dog food. Usually, for example, if you compare the price, weight for weight, of a dry dog food mixer you will find that it is far more economical to buy a huge bag, as opposed to a small one. Make sure you check the use bu date before purchase, though.
Store this food well though to prevent it becoming stale. Once the bag is opened tape down the top to keep it airtight. Transfer a weekly amount, for example, into an old biscuit tin, or similar, and store the rest in the garage or shed. Make sure that you do not overfeed your dog, as this is easy to do if you have a loose amount of dry dog food.
If you buy tinned dog food make sure that you buy the largest multi-pack that you can afford, carry and store. As long as the use by date is good this will save you a great deal of money in the long run.
Step 3Remember to research what is available on-line.
Online is perfect for bulk buying as long as you know that the seller is reputable and the goods are as advertised. This method of shopping will save you time, money and effort. Goods will be delivered to your door and so you can order as much as you like. Remember to watch out for short use by dates though.
Change brands if necessary.
Look at the labels om different dog foods to see if the nutritional values are the same on the more expensive dog foods, as the cheaper ones. Many dogs actually prefer the cheaper brands of dog foods, once they have tried them.
A store's own brands are always cheaper than well known brands and the quality is usually just as good. Dogs, like human beings, get bored with the same old diet anyway and usually like the occasional change of food. Remember though, that a drastic change of diet may upset your dog's tummy, so use caution.
Supplement traditional dog food with other foods.
Take care if you feed your dog table scraps, as many foods that humans consume, are not really suitable for dogs. Chocolate, grapes, raisins and white bread are prime examples of foods that can harm a dog.
However dogs love boiled rice and pasta. Both of these are cheap to buy and are good for the dogs as an occasional treat. When you cook a pan of rice or pasta for the family add a little extra for your dog. Mix some of this with the dog's food as a cheap alternative to a mixer.
Avoid purpose made dog treats.
Many dog treats are overpriced, unnecessary and bad for your dog. If they are made with more than 30% protein they will make your dog hyperactive. Many of these treats are also fattening for your pet as well as being expensive.
Try cutting a few peeled, fresh, raw carrots into snack size chunks and give them to your dog instead. Your dog will love these treats and they are a healthy alternative treat and good for a dog's teeth. Take care not to over feed them with the carrot though as it may affect the dog's bowel movements.
Lungs or lights
If you can still buy lungs, or lights as they are also called, from your local butcher shop do so. Many butchers used to give these away to their customers on request. They can be hard to find, even for sale these days, though.
Cut the windpipe away from the pair of lungs and then cut each lung into small-to medium-sized chunks. Boil these for about 20 minutes. They will smell awful to humans but the dog will love the smell as the lungs cook. Serve to your dog, when cool, with rice or a dog mixer as a replacement to the wet dog food. Nutritious and very cheap but not for the faint-hearted.
If possible buy a few pairs of lungs at a time and freeze those not to be cooked immediately.
Use your common sense and take your time when buying dog food. If you rush your shopping you will just grab the first thing that you see, which may be the most expensive dog food available.
Use any money saving coupons that are genuine savings and appropriate.
Plan your shopping well. If you have done your research and know what is a bargain and what is not you will save money.
If necessary take a shopping list with you to prevent spur of the moment purchases and to help you stay focused on bagging a bargain.
Tips & Warnings
Never compromise your animal's health and safety to save some money.
Introduce new foods gradually. Try your pet with a little first, just in case the food upsets your animal's digestive system.
Always check use by dates on food products.
Store well following the manufacturer's guidelines.
Do not bulk buy food not yet eaten by your dog.