Spending less may always sound like a good idea. This month I want to talk about how using grocery store or “cheap” dog and cat food actually costs you more. Brands like Alpo, Nine Lives, and Ol’ Roy seems like an excellent choice for the savvy shopper. However, these foods aren’t good for your pet and are packed with fillers that don’t actually provide nourishment. Think about how eating potato chips doesn’t actually fill you up and you can wind up eating the whole bag before you know it.They’re empty calories. Same thing with these cost efficient pet foods-empty calories means you have to feed more in order for your pet to feel full.

Let’s do a comparison. I feed my 50 pound, fit, dog Taste of the Wild. Each cup contains 370 kcal. This is caloric measurements for pet food. I feed her about 1 3/4 cups a day based on her activity level to maintain a good body condition store (BSC.) That equals roughly 647.50 kcal per day. If I fed my 50 pound healthy dog Alpo, the story might be a little different. Alpo has 383 kcal per cup, a 13 calorie difference! That may not mean a lot to you and I, but to our smaller pets, they need much less caloric density than we do. I would have to feed my dog 3 cups of food in order for her to feel full. That’s nearly double the amount I’m currently feeding.

Again, let’s look into another low cost food compared to a higher quality food. My friend feeds her fit 7 pound Yorkie Poo Fromm’s dry food. She feeds him a 1/2 cup per day at 408 kcal per cup. This means he eats 204 kcal a day. The bag is $46 for 33 pounds. This bag should last her 288 days. Say she fed him Purina Beneful which is 347 kcal per cup. The recommended feeding is 1 cup a day. A 31.3 pound bag costs about $30 and it should last her 144 days. The high quality food is going to last much longer because you have to feed less to make your pet feel full and obtain an  optimal amount of nutrition.

Low costs food obtain a lot of fillers and byproducts. Over the years, domestic pets have been fed the same byproduct and fillers, this is leading to a pet allergy epidemic. Many pets I see display some kind of food allergy. Not only that, but all the “extras” in commercial dog foods leads to pet obesity. Obesity can lead to serious health problems like diabetes, pancreatitis, and heart disease. Feeding pet foods with all of these byproducts, dyes, and fillers is similar to us eating fast food every single day. Empty calories that are filled with fattening byproducts and grease

Pets deserve a higher quality food just like we do! However, it doesn’t mean it has to cost us an arm and a leg. Feeding higher quality food may seem expensive up front but in the long run, it will save you money and provide your pet with solid nutrition that lacks the byproducts and fillers of commercial dog foods. In short, I hope you’ll consider making a change and reading the label on your pets food. After all, your fur children deserve the very best!

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