Dog food is one of the largest annual expenses of dog ownership. While raw food is touted for its health benefits, it typically costs more than the cost of kibble. Feeding a 10 kg dog with raw food costs anywhere from 80p per day up to £1.20, depending on the type of meat. We've researched the UK frozen, complete raw food market and calculated the average cost of a raw dog foot diet based on different types of meat and sizes of dog.
- How Much does a Raw Dog Food Diet Cost?
- How to Save Money on a Raw Food Diet for Dogs
- Comparing: Cost of a Kibble Diet
Average Cost of Raw Dog Food
Raw food diets can cost as little as 80p per day for every 10 kg of dog weight. The amount you spend depends not only on the weight of the dog (big dogs clearly eat more) but also on the type of meat in the meal. Chicken meals cost the least, followed by beef, then lamb is typically the most expensive.
|Average Daily Cost of Raw Dog Food, by weight of dog (kilos)||Chicken||Beef||Lamb|
To calculate average costs, we gathered prices from Wolf Tucker, Nutriment, Natural Instinct (Natural), Luna & Me, Nature's Menu (Original, Country Hunter and True Instinct) for frozen, complete meals composed of 80% to 90% meat and bones, plus 10% to 20% vegetables, fruits, oils, essential vitamins and minerals, etc. Prices were gathered for 500g packs, where available, since these are the most common and convenient (versus 1kg or larger packs).
How to Save Money on Raw Dog Food
Feeding your dog with raw food typically costs more than feeding with an average, processed wet or dry food. If you want to feed raw but find it expensive, here are some tips to save money feeding raw.
- Type of Meat: Buy lots of chicken meals, since chicken is generally the cheapest type of raw dog food. For instance, chicken meals cost around 33% less than lamb in our raw food pricing study.
- Brand: If you're very price conscious, pick a brand that offers lower prices per gram, such as Wolf Tucker or Nutriment.
- Buy in bulk: Some companies offer savings for buying on repeat or buying larger packs of frozen food. For example, Nutriment sells 1.4kg "chubbs" that cost around 20% less per kilo than their 500g tubs. They'll also offer a 30% discount when you order more than 80kg of raw dog food—only for those with a separate freezer in a shed or garage!
You might think that you can save money by making your own raw dog food meals, but this isn't really the case. For instance, you can buy 450g of Turkey mince for £1.69 from Lidl. Add to that some vegetables like broccoli and sweet potatoes and you can create 500g of raw food for under £2. But frozen raw dog food chicken meals cost only £1.99 on average for a 500g tub, with some brands costing as little as £1.55. Prepared, frozen raw dog food is not only cheaper but is less hassle—all you have to do it thaw and feed.
Cost of Dry Dog Food
For comparison sake, we've gathered pricing data on the cost of feeding your dog with dry dog food. Minimum daily cost estimates are based on less expensive dog foods; maximum daily cost estimates are based on more expensive, premium dog foods. As you can see, feeding with dry dog food is typically less expensive than feeding raw, unless you buy very premium dry dog food. Raw dog food made with a chicken base usually costs less than premium dry dog food.
|Average Daily Cost of Dry Dog Food, by weight of dog (kilos)||Minimum (cheaper food costing £1.33/kg)||Maximum (premium food costing £6.50/kg)|
Those looking to switch from a kibble diet to a raw food diet may pay more to feed their dogs. The difference between raw and kibble over the course of a year doesn't amount to much if you were feeding a premium kibble. But switching from a cheap kibble to raw might cost you an extra £173 per year or more in feeding costs. Depending on your budget and your opinion of the reported raw food diet health benefits, this cost may be worth it to you.