Jul 06, 2022 Dan


It is time to have another look at the comparative cost of feeding our pets.  The recent pandemic has taken a toll on the global economy.  Inflation has spiked and interest rates are rising.  The cost of everything seems to be increasing every day.  

I am now starting to hear some grumbling in social media groups that the cost to feed a dog (or cat) a raw diet is becoming too much and that some are deciding to switch partially or totally back to kibble.  I get it.  Most people think that kibble is much less expensive than raw and that they will save some money by feeding a less expensive option.

Surprise!  The cost of kibble has gone up as well.  In fact, for those that choose to feed a U.S. manufactured kibble, the shelves are looking a little empty due to lack of product shipped into Canada.  

So why don’t we do a comparison of feeding raw versus feeding a higher end kibble.  


Here are a few things to know when looking at the numbers.


  1. We will calculate the cost of feeding a 50lb adult, semi-active dog.
  2. The three kibble brands I have chosen are popular in the kibble world and considered higher end (by kibble standards). I have also chosen brands that are free of grains.
  3. We will assume that there are no protein sensitivities, and that the overall health of the dog is good where no supplementation is required.
  4. All food should be supplemented with a reliable source of Omega 3 (even the kibble).  I have not included this in the calculation since it will not change the comparative numbers.
  1. Each of the bags of kibble will last approximately 1 month (confirmed by a kibble store employee that I used to get my information from).
  2. I have included the first five ingredients of each food AND have also included the % of carbohydrates in each (more on this later).


Acana Ranchland 25lb bag, Retails for $94.99

Ingredients:  Beef, Lamb, Pork, Beef Meal, Lamb Meal

Carbohydrates:  28% max

Daily Cost to Feed $3.16


Origen Regular Red 25lb bag, Retails for $114.99

Ingredients:  Beef, Wild Boar, Goat, Lamb, Lamb Liver

Carbohydrates:  26% max

Daily Cost to Feed $3.83


Fromm Heartland Gold 25lb Bag, Retails for $98.95

Ingredients:  Beef, Pork Meat and Bone Meal, Peas, Lentils, Chickpeas

Carbohydrates:  48% max

Daily Cost to Feed $3.30


Note:  We have chosen The Alpha Variety Pack as our raw comparison. It contains a good variety of proteins full of complete dinners and blends.  There is a wide variety of options to choose from, but this fits the bill nicely.

Raw Performance The Alpha 30lb of Raw, Retails for $96.99

Contains 3 2lb tubs each of Gourmet Chicken, Gourmet Beef, Gourmet Turkey, Performance Blend and Turkey Salmon Blend. 

Carbohydrates:  Gourmet Chicken 1.1% max.

Gourmet Beef 0.65% max.

Gourmet Turkey 2.97% max.

Performance Blend 2.07% max.

Turkey Salmon Blend 2.56% max.

Daily Cost to Feed $3.23


As you can see, an excellent quality and well priced complete raw package is really not that different in price.  Moving to an excellent quality, grain free kibble does not generate significant savings.



Ah yes.  The carbs.  This is a crucial point that needs to be discussed.  Carbs and dogs/cats do not mix well at all.  Our pets are carnivores.  They can eat carbs. They can survive on carbs.  But carbs are very inflammatory to the body and are one of the main reasons pet cancer rates and pet obesity has skyrocketed in the last 50 years.  Our pets thrive on moisture-rich fresh raw food.  There really is no place for significant amount of carbohydrates in their daily diets.  

One can make an argument that there are much less expensive kibbles that could create a significant cost savings.  This is true.  But at what cost?  Now we are talking about kibble products that are loaded with grains and a wide array of suspect ingredients.  You do get what you pay for. I feel one will end up paying the piper at the end of the day.  It only takes one visit to the vet because of inflammation and that will wipe out any cost savings by moving to a cheap feed.  Just so you know, Atopic Dermatitis is the most popular reason pet owner’s take their pets to the vet.   The itchies and scratchies.  Root cause?  Inflammation throughout the body and an immune system pooched because the gut biome has not been properly fed.  Carbs are bad.  More on this part in another blog.


“I found me some cheap raw food on-line”


Beware.  I see it all the time.  Small operations promoting a healthy mixture of raw meat being sold at a per pound rate that is extremely low.  Much lower than what we could buy meat for ourselves.  These mixtures consist of end-of-the-line trim that has way too much fat, an incorrect ratio of bone to muscle meat and too much or not enough of the proper organ meat.  These Franken Prey mixtures do not contain ingredients fit for human consumption.  Most importantly, they are not constructed with proper ratios nor supported with a lab tested nutritional analysis.  I know it is compelling to some to reduce the cost of the food you are feeding your pet.  But what is the actual cost over time?


At the end of the day, we just want to do what is best for our pets.  Increasingly pet owners are choosing to feed a species appropriate diet.  The results speak for themselves.  Unfortunately, times like this some have to tighten the belt.  Pet ownership is a full-time responsibility and what we choose to feed them is key to making sure we give them the best chance at a long and healthy life.  Stick with raw.  


The Proof is in the Poop!!!