It’s that time of the month when I take an inventory of the freezer, sit down with a calendar and a calculator, and figure out how much dog food I need to order to get us through another month. Here’s how it all went down.
Today is March 1. The next food delivery after this one will be April 13. That’s 44 days of food I need to have on hand. I feed Jackson approximately 1.5-2 pounds of food a day (one pound of raw meaty bones, one pound of muscle meat+organ mix), and Clover approximately three-quarters to one pound of food a day (half a pound of raw meaty bones and half a pound of muscle meat+organ mix). It’s not exactly that much … some days they get more, some days they get less, but for the purposes of this exercise, those are the amounts I use. That means I need about 60 pounds of raw meaty bones, and about 60 pounds of muscle meat+organ mix.
I have, on hand:
1 whole beef heart (approximately 3-3.5 pounds of muscle meat)
5 pounds of beef kidneys (organs)
3 pounds of turkey hearts, livers, and gizzards (organs)
5 pounds of beef and green tripe with liver and heart (muscle meat+organ mix)
5 pounds of duck HVM (all-in-one raw meaty bone and muscle meat+organ mix)
5 pounds of chicken necks, hearts, gizzards, and liver (all-in-one raw meaty bone and muscle meat+organ mix
34 chicken backs (raw meaty bones)
Translating that out for food order purposes, ignore the beef kidneys and the turkey organ mix. I have enough of those to get me to the next food order. The beef heart, beef and tripe mix, and duck HVM all count as “muscle meat+organ mix” for my calculations, even though some of that contains bone: about 13 pounds total. The chicken backs average about 8 ounces per back, so 17 pounds, plus 5 pounds of chicken neck mix, for a total of 22 pounds.
From here on out, the math is easy.
1 40-lb case of chicken leg quarters from the butcher. This satisfies my raw meaty bone needs, and will cost me about $35.
From Top Quality Dog Food, I ordered:
20 pounds of beef and green tripe with liver and heart
10 pounds of ground pork, no bone
10 pounds of ground turkey, no bone
3 whole beef hearts (about 10 pounds)
5 pounds of chicken feet (snacks!)
The total for the TQDF order will come out probably around $90 by my estimates, which means we’ll be slightly over budget this month for dog food. This is fine because last month we were under budget. We average about $100 to feed the two dogs, which is a pretty comfortable amount.
This weekend I had a quick discussion with someone who is transitioning her Canaan to a raw food diet (moving from a high-quality kibble), and I told her that if it were me, I’d focus entirely on ordering the HVM mixes with bone from TQDF. They’re an all-in-one meat, bone, organ, fruit and vegetable grind, and with one Canaan about Clover’s size, she could just order 35 pounds of HVM mixes each month, and thaw/feed it just like it were canned food. If I had just Clover, and not Jackson, to feed, that’s exactly what I would be doing. Make sure I had at least four different flavors on hand every month, and I’d be set. It’s the same advice I gave another friend of mine (with a Miniature Pinscher): just order the HVMs. All the good stuff the dog needs, and nothing it doesn’t. And with the Min Pin, she’s literally feeding just a few ounces a day. Tiny dogs sure are easy on the wallet!
However …. I do have my lovely red-headed boy to feed (and he eats a lot!) so we cut costs by ordering our raw meaty bones from the butcher, and shop the TQDF sales to pick up deals when we can!