I recently received an email asking my opinion of a couple of brands of pet food. Both of the foods the pet owner asked about were what I considered to be very inferior. When I informed him of this, his response was they could not afford one of the better quality foods.
I understand that higher quality dog and cat foods can be two or even three times as expensive than the cheaper brands. However pet owners who think they cannot afford the quality pet foods more than likely will pay in the long term. Pets often get sick with kidney or liver disease or skin and ear problems due to inferior nutrition – those ‘few cents’ more a meal to feed them quality nutrition are nothing compared to the heartache and vet bills. Nowlet me explain the ‘few cents’ more a meal issue
Many pet owners experience ‘sticker stock’ when looking at a better quality pet food. They look at the price tag and gasp when thinking how fast Fido or Fluffy goes through that bag of food. What they don’t understand is that with better quality dog or cat foods, you don’t feed nearly as much as with the cheap pet foods. Cheap foods have cheap ‘filler’ ingredients that doesn’t satisfy the nutritional needs of the pet – thus they tend to eat a great deal more attempting to get the nutrition their body is telling them they need. On average, dogs and cats that eat higher quality pet foods (higher quality ingredients) consume about 1/3 less than that of a cheaper inferior food.
Looking at a pet food cost per mealIf your pet currently eats 1 cup of food per day, a 20 pound of pet food will provide you with about 50 meals. If the dog food or cat food costs you $15.00 for a 20 pound bag, that costs you about $.30 per meal. Now, if you feed a high quality pet food – feeding about 1/3 less, a 20 pound bag will provide you with about 80 meals for your pet. If the better food costs twice as much as the inferior food – $30.00 for a 20 pound bag, that breaks down to less than $.38 cents per meal.
Even if the price tag of a high quality pet food looks to be twice as expensive as the cheaper brand – it is actually far from the truth. With the example above, at $.30 cents per meal, two meals a day, in one month you are spending about $18.00 to feed your dog or cat with the cheap pet food. However, with the higher quality pet food, at $.38 cents per meal, two meals a day, in one month you are spending only $22.80. Less than $5.00 per month difference for far better nutrition for your pet. It’s necessary to look at the cost per meal to completely consider the price of a pet food.
With high quality, nutritious dog and cat foods, your pet will not need to each as much as with the cheaper foods. Try not to let the old habit of feeding more sway you when you change to a higher quality food – again, with high quality ingredients your dog or cat will just not need as much food as with the inferior foods. In most cases, if you change your pet to a high quality pet food and continue to feed the same amount as the lower quality food – your pet will gain weight.
Serving size for your pet is something you will need to experiment with. If your dog or cat has no ‘figure’ – shows no waist when looking at them from above – chances are they need to lose a few pounds. Cut back the serving size. If you can visibly see ribs – they probably need to gain a couple of pounds and you need to slightly increase the serving size. Please note too that a cup of food a day at 2 years old will more than likely be too much food when they are a little older. Keep a constant monitoring eye on them – a healthy weight is a healthier pet.
And please don’t just look at the cost of the bag of food, look at (at least) the first five ingredients and consider the cost of the serving.
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