A frequent concern among people new to raw feeding is “how much is this going to cost?” Don’t worry, it’s a frequent concern of mine as well, being that we live on a budget! Late last year I began tracking my monthly costs for food purchases and supplements, and here’s a breakdown of how much I have been spending.
I feed three dogs. Two are large breed dogs (Rhodesian Ridgeback) and one is a medium sized dog (Canaan Dog). Collectively, they eat five and a half pounds of food per day. While that’s a relatively small amount by some people’s standards, it’s a lot more than your average one-dog household will face!
I have a spreadsheet I’ve developed to help me manage costs. It tracks how much I feed each dog, breaking it down by raw meaty bones, muscle meat, liver, organs, and other. It calculates for me how much food I need to order each month, after taking into account the number of days to the next dog food order and how much food I already have on hand.
You don’t have to track your food this way — most raw feeders do not! I like to be organized though, and I strongly dislike having to “fill in” with a food purchase mid-cycle, so I do track it and use it as a tool to help me manage my food costs.
Using this spreadsheet, I know that I spent $120 in November 2013, $135 in December 2013, and $160 in January 2014 on food. I also spend about $100 a month on eggs, cottage cheese, and the supplements for the dogs.
To keep my costs manageable, I do not shop at grocery stores for the dogs unless they have a very good sale. My raw meaty bones are purchased from butchers, who can give me a price per pound that is half what I would pay at the grocery store. My organs are mostly purchased from my human food farm share, and all my muscle meat comes from a raw food supplier.
To read more about what I am ordering on a month-to-month basis, please click the “raw food” category link on the right.