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Does anyone feed a puppy/dog on a budget?(83 Posts)
We are getting a puppy soon (cockapoo) and so I have been doing some research - a lot actually in to different foods and what’s best nutritionally. I have joined the cockapoo owners club and I’m surprised to find that very few people (or those who will admit) feed their dog a lower priced ‘budget’ food. I guess I was naive regarding dog food as growing up all of our family dogs just had a massive cheap bag of wagg or the like, it seems like everyone feeds raw or (what I would consider) expensive foods. I completely understand different nutritional content and meat content etc and people have said to others on the group ‘why would you pay that much for a dog and feed it rubbish’ which I understand to a certain extent but my point is, aren’t dogs fed on a budget food such as Aldi, pets at home or others just as well as dogs fed on premium foods? Genuine question - does anyone get by just fine with it?
Our ddogs have Aldi tinned food and a budget dry.
Ddog 1 hasn't needed a vet apart from jabs in nearly 9 years.
The others are younger and no issues at all. Lovely coats +teeth!
Evening meal usually has cooked veg added and raw veg as treats now and again.
I tried the expensive food but it didn't agree with my dog. He only likes Dr John food. It's a big bag for about a tenner and lasts about a month. I do give raw meals every few days to mix it up a bit though.
Oh and he is now 3 and healthy and well
I buy a big bag of what ever on offer at our local farm store, plus bits of raw stuff at home. Both 8 and super healthy with good skin and teeth
I am sure lots of people feed cheap food but you can't just compare on price alone.
A dear bag of kibble might last far longer than a cheaper same sized bag as typically you need to feed less of the better quality food as it doesn't contain as many 'fillers'.
Also I think people have just become better informed on nutrients and look and compare brands far more than before.
So if you are happy to feed cheap food to your dog and they don't have any side effects then no one will stop you after all it's your dog.
However a lot of people, including myself, have found that their dogs poos are much better on certain types of food and given that you spend a lot of time picking up poo you tend to want yours dogs digestion to be at its best. Plus why not spend money on our dogs. I would rather spend more money on him giving him the best I can.
Thing is the better stuff you put in the less you tend to spend at the vet etc.
Also foods that are more expensive per bag often work out cheaper than you think as you use less.
My oldest has had a new lease of life since being moved to better food.
I also think you wouldn't feed a kid McDonalds every day so why do people think it's ok to give a dog a nutritionally deficient food?
There is mid-quality foods available for about the same price as Bakers and Pedigree.
Yes Bitey I completely agree with what you say, each to their own, their dog their choice and yes nothing wrong with either way. I guess I’m just after advice because I’ve found some so conflicting. Some say expensive stuff has given their dog the runs and others say expensive stuff is the only thing that has firmed it up so to speak. Yes I said to DP that although he thought some of the prices were ridiculous I did notice that a cheap bag I looked at required over 500g a day where as a more expensive bag I looked at required a lot less so I said it may balance itself out! Just a minefield to be honest.
Buying cheap dog food may be counter productive as you'll end up with possible behaviour problems, health issues, dental problems and staining round the muzzle (especially in a cockapoo)
Bakers is the worst type of food you can buy for a dog closely followed by Pedigree.
A vet once told me that 'Chappie' wasn't too bad but I feed the best I can afford with is Forthglade wet food combined with grain free kibble.
A fab site here for comparison, you can filter on price or star quality rating based on ingredients. https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/the-dog-food-directory
I think you may have to try a few brands and foods anyway to see what suits your dog. The best advice I can give you is do not buy bulk until you have established that your dog really does like the food and it suits their digestion
I have made that mistake before
I used allaboutdogfood.co.uk because if you put in your dogs details it gives you an idea of not only the quality but also a cost per day which is very handy.
My dog is now on two good quality brands of food as he goes off flavours so we rotate them. However, it isn't just brand and cost that you need to think about as we found he couldn't digest kibble very well so we ended up switching to the same food from the same company but in wet form and his digestion improved dramatically.
The key thing is what suits one dog will not suit another so aim for as good a quality as you are prepared to pay and see how your dogs likes it. If he doesn't or you find their poos are soft and sloppy then consider switching either brand or type of food.
Ive had a quick look on that’s website before Failing but just had another look basing it on prices and there was a food on there called Asda hero or something like that. A few people had said they found it brilliant but it has a rating of 0.6 out of 5!!! That has really shocked me.
I would never feed cheap food unless it was all the dog could tolerate.
Ours is on Wainwrights (which is a Pets at Home brand but grain and additive-free) - it works out around £30 a month for that, plus we feed natural treats on top of that - I probably spend another £20 a month or so on Paddywhack, tripe, pigs/goats ears and duck/goose necks for him. I don't feed him anything like Bakers or Rawhide. At the end of the day, you need to just figure out what works for your dog and budget. I would always try and buy the best quality food you can afford, though.
Like PP's have said, poor quality food often causes behavioural problems like hyperactivity, stomach problems (over time, so maybe not noticeable straight away) and dental issues due to the high sugar content in some cheap foods. Someone once said to me that food like Wagg/Bakers is the equivalent of feeding your dog McDonald's every meal, which makes sense when you read the ingredients!
There will always be people that say a 0.5/5.0 quality food is great just as there will be saying a 5.0/5.0 was awful.
That's why you need to decide what you can afford
or want to pay.
Personally I work backwards so base it on high quality and then within that group on price so within 4.0-5.0/5.0 what brands are there and at what prices.
Obviously if you don't want to buy online and just what is in the supermarket you could look at those and compare them.
I have 3 German Shepherds aged 9, 4 and 1. They are fed Skinners Field and Trial Maintenance which costs £10 for a 15kg bag. Lasts about a month. It is a working dog food so don't pay vat ( Even though they are not working dogs). All in great health and very rarely see the vet. All dogs are different, my only recommendation is to stick with one dog food if your dog is prone to getting a tummy upset. X
You may want to spend more on food whilst your dog is a puppy and needs lots of nutrients for growth etc if cost is a big issue and then cut back when they are an adult.
My dog behaviourist recommended Chappie as it contains few additives - it stinks though !
Allaboutdogfood.co.uk is a fab resource.
Through it I found Markus Muhle, which is a German cold pressed brand that works out very cheaply and gets a rating of about 4.5 or something.
When DDog was owned by his last owner he was fed on some very cheap and nasty stuff - cereals, meat and animal derivatives etc. When I formally adopted him and took control of his diet, I switched him to Markus Muhle. He put on weight (needed), has a really glossy coat, his behaviour improved a little... Definite improvement.
Some dog foods out there are ridiculously expensive, but you can get some very good quality foods for the same price as some more heavily marketed poor quality foods.
I've fed Dr Johns and Skinners, both VAT free if you get the 'working dog' variety too. About £15-£20 for a 15kg bag that lasts ages.
I feed Pets at home Wainrights range. It's been brilliant for my dog. I did a lot of research as well and a lot of Labrador owners recommended it.
My Mum uses a more expensive brand (I can't recall the name) and her dog gets all sorts of digestive issues. She won't listen to me though. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean better.
www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/dogs/dry_dog_food/lukullus I used to feed this cold pressed food which well rated on Allaboutdogfood and the dogs loved it.
My current budget won't stretch to lukullus, so they're on Autarky salmon (chicken's not as good) & had skinners field & trial hypoallergenic kibble in the past. Both are classed as VAT free working dog food, but they aren't high energy stuff.
There are some half decent cheaper feeds out there OP but I would not touch Aldi.
We feed our golden retriever pets at home Step Up To Naturals. No idea how its rated. It's a reasonable price and it doesnt upset ddog's stomach, which is good as she's always had a sensitive tum (she cant have treats etc). Dog is healthy, teeth are good, last vet check was a thumbs up. If you've got money to burn, fine, but i think a lot more people just pick a food they can afford and stick with it.
I feed my dog Lily’s Kitchen - because she’s small it’s only £16.99 a month
Frankly with the £300 on doggy daycare, £50 on insurance, £24 on flea/tick/worm - the food part is the cheapest 🙄
It’s not cheap vs premium IMO anyway, some of the premium brands have rubbish ingredients, not quite as bad as the ones that are marketed at the bottom end to be fair, but by no means quality ingredients and way too much money for what they are.
I went with a bit of a balancing act, so ok ingredients, ok price... and I can get it easily and the dog does well on it.
I could get a better food or a cheaper food - but the one I use is good enough that I’m happy with using it.