When it comes to being a pet owner, there are so many ways to feed your dog that it can make my head spin. The amount of misinformation floating around out there is mind blowing, to be honest. Plus there’s the amount of dog foods and treats that are exceptionally overpriced but really not great for your dog. It’s amazing to me how many choices there are today, and how little cohesion there is between experts as to what is actually good for your dog.
Luckily for me, I have an educational background in this specific area. So, when we got a puppy last winter, it was much easier for me to weed through the noise. And by doing so, I’ve been able to find the best options for puppy, and all other dogs and cats we help through our business. So, the following are my best tips to help you frugally feed your dog, yet well.
Besides dog food, the first thing I think of when it comes to feeding dogs are snacks. Most people only think of treats. But treats should be just that; only a treat. With dog snacks, these are things I add in regularly throughout the day or week to supplement feeding time. Plus, a lot of these work really well for training dogs too.
My favorite go-to dog snacks (always organic as long as I can find them) are:
- Baby carrots – high in Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Fiber and Potassium
- Sugar snap peas – high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Antioxidants and Fiber
- Green beans – high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Silicone and Fiber
- Beets (all colors) – high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B9, Iron, Fiber and Potassium
- Salad greens – high in Magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Fiber, Folate, Calcium and Beta Carotene
- Nuts (usually peanuts or chestnuts, but sometime also walnuts, pecans, cashews and/or pistachios) – with all nuts, they shouldn’t be given too many of them but can be an addition to other snacks. I usually only give nuts maybe once a week or so, and even then only 1 or 2. Nuts are high in protein and can have a lot of other health benefits. But they can also cause issues if there is mold cross-contamination or if your dog has any gastrointestinal issues or are prone to swallowing things whole.
When it comes to dog food, that is probably a completely different article. However, since dog food can be so expensive, I’ve found ways to stretch it further. By adding some good, healthy food additions to my dog’s food, I am able to save a lot of money. Plus, I’m able to give her some added diversity in her diet. By creating diversity in my dog’s diet, I am assisting her gut microbiome health. And this directly impacts her overall immunity and wellness.
I not only add some of these food additions to our dog’s diet, but also for some of the dogs we watch. This is especially true of the older dogs or dogs who already have some health issues.
- Organic beef broth – fantastic for dogs with arthritis or any other joint issues
- Brown rice – high in Fiber and Magnesium, plus it stretches the food out much further
- Organic low-sodium vegetable broth – perfect for introducing more vegetables into your dog’s diet and stretching their food further
- Coconut oil – great for skin, coat, eyes, teeth, digestive tract, immune system, breath, etc
- Green sauce (we make it out of organic beef broth and parsley, but sometimes add in some rosemary also if we have any fresh growing in our garden) – this helps tremendously with dogs that have UTI’s digestive issues and/or arthritis.
Our puppy gets a tablespoon of coconut oil added to one of her meals a day. She has had this since the day we brought her home. We have also added some beef broth into her meal a few times a week for added diversity.
Dog treats should be treated just like dessert for us humans. And most dog owner’s have a tendency to give way too many treats. When doing this, you can cause a lot of harmful side effects for your fur baby, on top of the most common, obesity. Therefore, if you want to give treats, that’s awesome, but limit them to just treats.
We only give treats very sporadically so that they aren’t an expected part of any routine. We did use them more when we were housebreaking our puppy, but that is generally to be expected. Outside of that, I only give them sparingly. And I make sure they are high quality treats and not full of junk.
That being said, I am not a huge fan of most dog treats on the market. But a few of my favorites are:
While these may seem a bit pricey online, I’ve actually been able to find them for dirt cheap at Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Homegoods. So I would suggest roaming the pet aisle there regularly to see what treats you can find to feed your dog.
frugally feed your dog summary
Ultimately, when it comes to feeding your dog, there are a lot of different ways you can save money. While we all love our dogs, we don’t have to break the bank to do it. So, just remember to add in some:
- healthy snacks
- good food additions to stretch your budget further
- healthy dog treats
If you’re able to do even one of those, it should not only save you some money, but also create a happier dog. Now who doesn’t want that?