Cut Costs With Home-Made Dog Food
Have you noticed massive increases in the cost of dog food, treats, toys and veterinary treatment? I am amazed that every time I shop in the pet store, prices have risen yet again! Our dog’s health is so important, so here is how to cut costs with home-made dog food.
1.Shop around for offers on dog food and buy in bulk if you can.
2. Homemade dog food is easy, healthier and much cheaper than branded food. It can be made in large batches and frozen for convenience. However, make sure that you add all the vitamins and minerals that are needed in your dog’s diet.
3 You can make your homemade dog food go further by mixing it with your regular brand.
4. Always add new food gradually to avoid stomach upsets
Why does my dog need protein?
Protein is made up of amino acids and these amino acids are essential for tissue growth and repair. It helps with skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Also, hormones and immune systems are supported.
Dogs require a high protein diet but meat, poultry and fish have become more expensive. Cut costs by following the tips below and still give your dog the very best nutrition.
Tips To Cut Costs On Protein
- Speak to your local butcher who will be happy to provide off cuts, or meat that needs to be used that day at a reduced rate. Cut away any fat, skin or bones from the meat.
- Inexpensive proteins for dogs include brown meat, mutton, rabbit, sardines, mackerel and eggs.
- Organ meats including liver, tripe, and kidney can be used in small amounts. These are cheap to buy and provide heaps of nutritional value
Add vegetables like carrots, broccoli, green beans or peas to your choice of protein.
Tips To Cut Costs On Vegetables
- Steam the vegetables to keep in all the beneficial nutritional value.
- Try market stalls at the end of the day and ask for ‘wonky’ versions that other shoppers overlook.
- Rinse pesticides off fruit and vegetables, just like you would if preparing a meal for yourself.
Do dogs need carbohydrates?
Dogs only require a small amount of carbohydrates in their diet. They provide glucose which is a main source of energy for your dog. Protein also provides energy, but the addition of carbohydrates give proteins the chance to do more important tasks like maintaining and repairing the body.
Use brown rice, whole grains or sweet potato as a healthy carbohydrate .
This is an excellent post from American Kennel Club which details all the ingredients needed to give your dog a balanced diet when making food at home.
Vitamins and Minerals
Conventional dog food manufacturers add all the vitamins and minerals your dog needs in his diet. Home-made dog food provides heaps of nutrients, but there may be essentials missing. To cover this, purchase a good quality supplement and use in addition to your home cooked food.
Here is a list of food items that Should Not be added to homemade food. Some will surprise you!
- Corn on the cob
- Raw Egg
Always remove all pips and seeds from fruit.
Homemade Dog Treats to save money
In addition to food, dog treats have also risen in price.
You know the feeling of dread that you feel when the treat jar is empty?
You can’t explain to a dog that treats are off the menu until shopping day.
However, with regular store cupboard ingredients, you can make your own dog treats that are cheaper and healthier than shop bought variations. These can also be made in bulk to save money and your dog will love you forever.
These everyday ingredients can be used to make really great dog treats.
- Peanut Butter (without artificial ingredients)
- Apples (pips removed)
- Sweet Potato
Many recipes can be found online.
Here is a really simple dog treat recipe using three everyday ingredients you may already have in your store cupboard.
You will need:-
- 2 Bananas
- Peanut Butter (without artificial sweetener)
Grind the oats into a fine powder either by hand or using a food processor for a few seconds.
Add banana and peanut butter and mix into a firm dough.
Roll out and cut into bite sized treats using a knife or cookie cutter.
Bake for thirty minutes at 150c.
My dogs love frozen dog treats in the summer to keep cool. I put some yoghurt in ice cube trays and add a blueberry before placing in the freezer. They are great if you are concerned about your dog overheating.
Cut costs with homemade dog food and give your dog a healthier diet with no additives or preservatives.
Make a large quantity of dog food and freeze some for later.
Use cheap cuts of meat and ‘wonky’ vegetables from local traders, or grow your own veggies!
Buy dog food in bulk if you can and shop around for offers.
Save money by making your own dog treats with just a few store cupboard ingredients.