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Stretching Your Dog Food Dollar


Guest hlpnhounds
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Guest hlpnhounds

After much debate and research, I have recently switched my hounds over to TOTW. They are on their 3rd bag now and have done pretty well....stools are great, coats look nice and shiny, energy level is good. Our big guy seems to need more of this food than he did of the old food. Since the TOTW is a bit more $$ than the Purina One we were previously feeding, I was thinkng of starting to add some "filler" foods to their meals----cooked rice, etc to add some inexpensive bulk to their diet---substituting a portion of their kibble with the rice.

 

I'm trying to feed them the best food I can on a very limited budget---3 greys and a little beagle (she only eats 1 cup of kibble/day) can be expensive to feed as I know you already know.

Just hoping to get some thoughts/ideas on ways to stretch our dog food dollar and still feed a high quality food.

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Guest scfilby

Green beans are good for filler without weight gain. Spaghetti noodles work, but can add weight and extra grain to the diet. We either boil chicken parts or buy rotisserie whole roasted chicken and add a bit to their evening meals. I usually get about a week on a roasted chicken for 5.99.

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Guest sirsmom

It's just my opinion but adding just rice might unbalance things. Maybe do a search on homecooking for dogs for carb/protein ratios and add rice, meat & vegetables according to the recipes. There are some good books on it also. The other thing I might do is to add 1/4 c(or more) Purina One (you mentioned they were on that food) to the TOTW for the filler then you wouldn't have to balance out anything.

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What about buying some of each and mixing the two? That would be more nutritious than adding rice, for example, which has few calories and not much nutrition.

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Guest KennelMom

We feed TOTW to our crew and add in meat or tripe, but that tends to be as expensive as the food. Our goal is to keep some raw foods in their diet, not necessarily to save money. With TOTW I would make sure you aren't overfeeding...our smaller dogs (50lb girls) get 2 1/2 cups/day...our average size dogs get 3 cups per day and our big boys (75lbs+) get 4 cups per day. So, you can play with the amounts of food you are feeding and see what you can feed that still keeps their weight stable. If you want to do add ins, I would stick with maybe ground beef you can get on sale or veggies like greens that you cook up for them yourself.

 

Green beans are good for filler without weight gain. Spaghetti noodles work, but can add weight and extra grain to the diet. We either boil chicken parts or buy rotisserie whole roasted chicken and add a bit to their evening meals. I usually get about a week on a roasted chicken for 5.99.

 

One of the benefits of TOTW is that it's grain free. I'm not sure I'd want to spend the $ for TOTW only to add back in grains, which are inappropriate for dogs to begin with.

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I never heard of this brand. I like the idea of no grains. I just called Tractor Supply after reading TOTW site.

 

a 30 lb bag is 42.99.

"To err is human, to forgive, canine" Audrey, Nova, Cosmo and Holden in NY - Darius and Asia you are both irreplaceable and will be forever in my heart beatinghearts.gif
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We feed TOTW to our crew and add in meat or tripe, but that tends to be as expensive as the food. Our goal is to keep some raw foods in their diet, not necessarily to save money. With TOTW I would make sure you aren't overfeeding...our smaller dogs (50lb girls) get 2 1/2 cups/day...our average size dogs get 3 cups per day and our big boys (75lbs+) get 4 cups per day. So, you can play with the amounts of food you are feeding and see what you can feed that still keeps their weight stable. If you want to do add ins, I would stick with maybe ground beef you can get on sale or veggies like greens that you cook up for them yourself.

 

Green beans are good for filler without weight gain. Spaghetti noodles work, but can add weight and extra grain to the diet. We either boil chicken parts or buy rotisserie whole roasted chicken and add a bit to their evening meals. I usually get about a week on a roasted chicken for 5.99.

 

One of the benefits of TOTW is that it's grain free. I'm not sure I'd want to spend the $ for TOTW only to add back in grains, which are inappropriate for dogs to begin with.

 

 

+1 here. Rice or even more so, wheat products, is pretty much empty carbs/calories -- you're not doing your dogs any nutritional favor by adding it. Anything I add to my dog's food is to give her more nutrition (protein and fat!) and fresh food.

 

The point about monitoring the amount you feed is also good -- and I agree, my dog (58-59 pounds) would get 3 cups a day if I wasn't doing meat/fish/tripe as an evening add-in.

Edited by PrairieProf

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Guest hlpnhounds

Thank you for all of your replies.

I guess I hadn't said how much I was actually feeding. My male that currently weighs 89# but looks best at around 95# gets 4 cups/day, my females 73# and 65# get 3 cups and 2.5 cups/day. Each also receive a dollop of yogurt at each meal and a Tbs or two of home made chicken mash on their morning meal. My male is really the one that we have trouble keeping weight on, I guess.

 

Part of my "issue" with the purina products is the recent unannounced formula changes that left me with 4 dogs with the big "D" for several weeks after previously having nice solid stools for over a year on the same product. Although they are a huge company and have been in the pet food business for many years, I am hesitant to go back to them after this last incident. I've lost confidence in the company and their concern for the well-being of my pets. This was a huge disappointment for me since they had previously done so well on an affordable product.

I started making the chicken mash in '08 when my first grey was diagnosed with cancer and was only able to pass liquids into his stomach.....I would make the mash and puree it for him. Shortly after that is when the huge food recall happened and dogs were getting sick left and right. I stopped buying any canned food and started making the chicken mash on a regular basis. The cost is about the same and at least I know what I'm feeding my dogs.

So instead of rice, I should try to add in beef or chicken parts.....something along those lines ?

 

Time to do some more research.

Thanks for your input everyone !!

Edited by hlpnhounds
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Guest greyhoundude

I feed my guys TOTW Pacific Stream, alternating occasionally with a bag of TOTW Roasted Fowl and they love it. For the $$$, it can't be beat.

 

For snacks they get EVO's Wild Cravings Turkey biscuits.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One of the nice things about a better food - is that you feed less of it - so it lasts longer. I'm a big fan of throwing meat at my dogs as opportunity arises. Chicken on sale for 39 cents per pound - they're getting it added in. (I just give meat raw usually).

 

I also believe in giving my dogs dinner leftovers if it's appropriate food for them (meat or veggies or pasta) not something crazy to digest. They love fridge clean-out day each week - they get a leftover extravaganza!

 

And - I've been known to find a roast in the freezer that looks like it got a corner freezer-burnt, hack off the corner - and the dogs get beef add-ins for days.

 

Most dogs can eat a lot of different stuff that you might have leftover. As an add-in to their "regular" diet. Leftovers are ok to feed - but if you're looking for quality on a regular basis to stretch your dollar - chicken on sale is awesome.

Edited by sobesmom
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Guest SpicyMom

My girls love chicken, chicken livers, pork liver, green tripe, ground up rabbit, cottage cheese, eggs - whatever is the best deal that week from Hare Today or the grocery store. They've even helped me with my bumper tomato crop - they love my homemade sauce! I'm trying to stretch the wet portion of their meal. They do best on about 1 1/2 cups dry (wolf king bison) and 1/2-1 cup canned wet or a home made mix in. They love good canned (Evo or Solid gold tripe) but it adds up for the two of them. If I had more freezer space, I'd do away with the canned all together but my real kids still need to eat!

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Guest Greytluv

I only feed mine 1 cup kibble (Wellness Core) and a spoonful of Wellness canned. One can last me two feedings. I only give canned at night. Everyone seems like they feed a lot of food :dunno I can't imagine feeding my dogs 4 cups of kibble a day :dunno I have been known to give too many treats blush.gif They get a turkey neck and a pig ear or pizzle on the weekend :wub:

 

hipnhounds....is there a Costco by you? I know some are carrying Nature's Domain, grain-free. It's probably cheaper. It's also made by Diamond.

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Guest DoofBert

We feed TOTW as well and with terrific results. The main reason we went with TOTW is that it's grain free.....so the though of adding a grain (my opinion) seems to defeat the purpose.

 

We add a little plain yogurt afew times each week, maybe some canned pumpkin on other days or some veggies (green beans)... On special days, we'll add in some raw beef...the Black also gets raw turkey necks and RMB on regular basis.

 

 

 

 

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Guest Houndstown

If you can buy in bulk at Sam's or Costco, you can make up a bunch of chicken and vegetables and freeze it. We typically buy 10-12 lbs of chicken and throw it in the slow cooker until it's easy to mash up. Then we take a 5 gallon bucket and stir in frozen vegetables. The heat from the chicken melts the vegetables. Once it's thoroughly mixed, we transfer some into large freezer bags. One bag usually lasts about 4 days for 2 dogs. The whole thing usually lasts for a little less than a month. It's a great additive, and our hounds love the broccoli almost more than the chicken!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Dorothy gave me some advice about finding raw food a while back. She said to keep an eye out for sales on "chicken quarters" and buy in large bulk when the price drops (usually the mexican markets have the best prices). She said she could get quarters for down around 30 to 40 cents a pound. You can substitute the raw for kibble and this could help. I am currently feeding my foster both raw and kibble. Kibble in the am, raw in the evening (usually 1 large turkey neck). As you know, the turkey necks are .50 a pound so thats pretty reasonable.

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I feed TOtW and feed less than some brands,,, I too think the better the feed the less you need to feed,,, as for add-ins,,, eggs are a cheap protein,,, and I use lots of them,,, ground turkey I buy it by the case, and boil it,,,, canned jack Mackrel is cheap,,, and all kinds of veggies,,, my big boy 80 lbs,,, gets 1 cup of kibble twice a day with add-ins of at least, at least 1/2 a cup,, and snacks twice a day of dryied chick strips, or dryed tripe strips,, and doG only knows what else he gets from our grandchildren :lol

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Guest hlpnhounds

I never heard of this brand. I like the idea of no grains. I just called Tractor Supply after reading TOTW site.

 

a 30 lb bag is 42.99.

 

We're paying 37.99 at a "natural" pet supply store.

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Do you really need a filler? Is it just to stretch the food budget or because you think the hounds are still hungry?

 

 

It's a budget thing.

 

I've found that the fillers are often more expensive than the dog food itself. Aside from that, dog food is sold as a balanced diet, and adding things to it will throw off that balance. In a worst case scenario you could be setting your dog up for vitamin and nutrient deficiencies and/or other medical issues down the road. Best case scenario you just wasted a few extra dollars and minutes of your time.

 

That's my take, anyway. :dunno

 

ETA: I'm a college student and I, too, am on a budget! :)

Edited by Brindles

| Rachel | Dewty, Trigger, and Charlotte | Missing Dazzle, Echo, and Julio |

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Guest TexasGreytMom

The only thing we've added to our girls' dry food is plain yogurt. In the past, with our other greys, we've added thawed, frozen veggies, but Dora and Shelby don't care much for it.

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Guest Swifthounds

Do you really need a filler? Is it just to stretch the food budget or because you think the hounds are still hungry?

 

 

It's a budget thing.

 

I've found that the fillers are often more expensive than the dog food itself. Aside from that, dog food is sold as a balanced diet, and adding things to it will throw off that balance. In a worst case scenario you could be setting your dog up for vitamin and nutrient deficiencies and/or other medical issues down the road. Best case scenario you just wasted a few extra dollars and minutes of your time.

 

That's my take, anyway. :dunno

 

ETA: I'm a college student and I, too, am on a budget! :)

 

Have you tried adding something like turkey necks or chicken leg quarters or another bone in meat piece? They're inexpensive, good for teeth, and balanced. The chewing work also adds an enjoyment to meals that is otherwise glaringly absent from a kibble diet.

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Guest hlpnhounds

I did the rice thing for about a week. Not really helpful one way or the other. These dogs do get turkey necks once a week or so---more for the teeth cleaning benefit than anything else. Anything raw like that is fed in their crates as a "treat" to make the cleanup easier.

I do like the idea of adding raw to their diet occasionally.

 

Thanks for your input everyone !!! Lots of great ideas here !

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Do you really need a filler? Is it just to stretch the food budget or because you think the hounds are still hungry?

 

 

It's a budget thing.

 

I've found that the fillers are often more expensive than the dog food itself. Aside from that, dog food is sold as a balanced diet, and adding things to it will throw off that balance. In a worst case scenario you could be setting your dog up for vitamin and nutrient deficiencies and/or other medical issues down the road. Best case scenario you just wasted a few extra dollars and minutes of your time.

 

That's my take, anyway. :dunno

 

ETA: I'm a college student and I, too, am on a budget! :)

 

Have you tried adding something like turkey necks or chicken leg quarters or another bone in meat piece? They're inexpensive, good for teeth, and balanced. The chewing work also adds an enjoyment to meals that is otherwise glaringly absent from a kibble diet.

Yes, but Echo throws them up. :(

| Rachel | Dewty, Trigger, and Charlotte | Missing Dazzle, Echo, and Julio |

dewttrigsnowsig.jpg
Learn what your greyhound's life was like before becoming part of yours!
"The only thing better than the cutest kitty in the world is any dog." -Daniel Tosh

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