The Dog Food Project
No matter how little money and how few possesions you own, having a dog makes you rich. - Louis Sabin
A better food makes a big difference!

Main Page About the Author What Readers say Dog Discussions Forum
Commercial Dry Foods
Introduction Label Information 101 Identifying better products Ingredients to avoid Product List
Specific Product Groups
Organic Dog Food Grain Free Dog Food Vegetarian & Vegan Dog Food
Meat vs. Meat MealNew! Choosing the right food Feeding Puppies Feeding Senior Dogs Canine Obesity Is too much protein harmful? Grading kibble - easily? "Five Star Foods"
Other Diet Topics
Questions on Diet Myths about Feeding The Yuck Factor Where the money goes Natural Supplementation Menadione (Vitamin K3) Nutrient Requirements Links & Resources
Nutrition Primer
Nutrient Overview Water Protein Fat Carbohydrates Fiber Vitamins Minerals Essential Fatty Acids Probiotics

Get Firefox!

Where the Money goes

All the health concerns completely aside, have you ever considered how much money you are really spending on a product that appears to be fairly inexpensive at first sight? How much money do you spend on dog food every year? Do you compare just by looking at the price tag on the bag?

Below is a calculation that compares one grocery store brand, one popular brand sold at pet stores and one high quality brand. The comparison is based on the requirements of a hypothetical, adult, moderately active dog of 50 pounds. I am aware that each animal is different and for individual feeding amounts other factors have to be taken into consideration, but for the sake of a comparison in regards to ingredient quality and price, let's just keep it simple and stick with the manufacturer's recommendation.

Food Type Grocery Store Brand Popular Pet Store Brand High Quality Brand
Guaranteed Analysis 25 / 10 / 4 / 14 21.5 / 13 / 3 / 10 24 / 14.5 / 4 / 10
Kcal content per lb 1674 1683 1864
Kcal content per cup 360 365 466
Largest bag unit 35.2 lbs 40 lbs 40 lbs
Cups per bag 163.7 184.4 160
Cups per lb 4.65 4.61 4
Cost per bag $25 $32 $35
Cost per lb $0.71 $0.80 $0.87
Cost per cup $0.153 $0.173 $0.219
daily amount
3.25 cups 3.63 cups 2 cups
Daily feeding cost $0.497 $0.628 $0.438
Days bag will last 50 50 80
Bags needed / year 7.3 7.3 4.6
Monthly feeding cost $15.21 $19.47 $13.42
Yearly feeding cost $182.50 $233.60 $161.00

The examples were calculated using actual, existing brands but I have left out the names since they are not required to make a point. If you absolutely have to know, check the source code of this page, the names are in the commentary. The initial cost for each brand was based on the biggest bag size and price average calculated from several sources (online as well as local stores), and the manufacturer recommended feeding amount. The amount of cups per bag and pound were calculated from the manufacturer's statement on caloric content per cup and per pound or kilogram of food (e.g. if you know a kibble contains 1,683 kcal per pound and 365 kcal per cup, you can easily deduct that a 40 pound bag of kibble contains 40 x 1,683 kcal = 67,320 kcal. If you divide that by the amount of kcal per cup, you get the amount of cups in a bag: 67,320 kcal/365 = 184.4).

As you see, the price tag on the bag should not be the deciding factor. A quality brand convinces not only with superior ingredients but also economically.

Canine Nutrition Consulting

Due to current concerns about the food recall, 50% off basic consultations on canned and dry food!

Available options include recipes for home prepared diets, cooked and raw, individually designed and balanced for your dog, according to the newest nutritional guidelines of the National Research Council (2006).

Check out and contact me today for a consultation.