Friday, March 9, 2012

What Does Your Pet Food Really Cost?

By Julia Williams

If a bag of pet food (let’s call it Brand A) sells for $20, and Brand B sells for $26, which one actually costs more? Most people are going to say the obvious answer is Brand B, right? Not necessarily! Now, we all know that $26 is more than $20, so how can that be? It’s because there is more to figuring out how much your pet food really costs than just the price of the bag or can.

One of the most common misconceptions about pet food is that it costs more to feed a high quality food like CANIDAE. People come to this conclusion because they are only comparing what one bag of pet food costs versus another brand of similar weight. I have seen this time and again, most recently when a pet owner reviewed CANIDAE dog food on their blog. Their dog did really well on the food, and both owner and dog were very pleased with the food. However, she said it wasn’t something she could afford to purchase to keep her dog on. A reader commented, “It's a shame that it's too expensive for you to buy all the time.”

It makes me sad to know she found a food her dog loves, but she didn’t keep her dog on it because she thought she couldn’t afford it. Moreover, that food was helping the dog with its sensitive stomach issues, but now it would be going back to eating an inferior pet food solely based on the price of Brand A versus Brand B.

Instead of looking at the cost of each bag, a better way is to consider how much it costs to feed your dog or cat per day. This is a real eye-opener for many pet owners. A bag of lower-quality food will obviously cost less by the pound, but here’s the catch – you will have to feed *much* more of it every day! Better quality foods like CANIDAE don't include all of the fillers, so what you're buying is just the good stuff. This means you feed your pet much less food than lower quality brands. The end result is that a bag that costs more per pound is actually less expensive to feed!

When figuring out how much your pet food really costs, you have to look at the total picture. In addition to understanding that your pet will need to eat more of a lower-quality brand to be full, you have to look at the types of ingredients used and how they can affect overall health.

Not all protein sources are created equal; some are much more useful to your pet than others. Protein from real meat costs more than meat by-products, so obviously a pet food with higher quality ingredients will cost more. Comparing the two is a bit like comparing your own “turkey dinner with all the fixins” to a bag of potato chips. Sure, the turkey dinner costs more, but which one is healthier and more filling? Which one will keep your body balanced and feeling good? Admittedly, it’s not a perfect analogy to compare a bag of chips to a bag of lower-quality pet food, but hopefully it gets my point across.

CANIDAE will often cost about a dollar a day to feed a typical dog, and sometimes less depending on the size of the dog, the size of the bag and the preferred formula. You can use the Cost to Feed Calculator on the CANIDAE website to see for yourself what your *real* cost is. You might be pleasantly surprised to see it's actually less expensive than the other food you’re feeding. Also, the RPO article “Is Premium Dog Food Worth the Cost?” goes into more detail about why quality foods often cost less in the long run.

Photo by Joe Whited

Read more articles by Julia Williams


  1. That is all so true. That is some good info. Thanks.

  2. Sometimes itza not da moola but da ingredients! My allergies wentza arriverderci with Felidae dried Natural Elements.

  3. So true, but Zoie was given Wal-mart dog food and she was use to eating a lot of it and it is so hard to back her down on the amount she wants to eat!!!! I am trying!!!

  4. We never thought about it that way. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Very good info, but now my pee problem give my pawrents no choice. Because they have to pay my food for big Aussie dollars , I only can have my food ( Fix-Pee Brand )

    It's a good post, and I'm sure this will be very useful for lots of kitties who still have choice to choose what they eat.

    Thank you

  6. Very true! Thank you for pointing that out, Julia. :)

    We hope you are doing well, dear friend!


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