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CostHelper > Pets & Pet Care  > Dog Food

Dog Food Cost

How Much Does Dog Food Cost?

low costLow: $100-$250 a yearaverage costMedium: $200-$400 a yearhigh costHigh: $1,000 a year
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  Typical costs:
  • Basic dry kibble, on average, costs between $100 and $250 per year for a 30-pound bag every month to two months.
  • Premium or "holistic" dry kibble, on average, costs between $200 and $400 per year for a thirty-pound bag every month to two months.
  • Canned food or frozen raw food, on average, costs between $400 and $1,000 per year for one to three cases of 13-ounce cans per month or for one to three 10-pound bags of frozen raw food per month .
  • Cost varies widely based on the size, age and activity level of the dog. An elderly, sedentary toy breed dog might be able to eat for less than $100 per year, while it could easily cost more than $1,000 to feed a young, very active giant breed dog.
  • The price per day for any given brand is most expensive with the purchase of small bags and least expensive with large bags.
  •[1] offers a cost vs. quality comparison of various types and brands of dog food.
Related articles: Dog Teeth Cleaning, Dog Walker, Owning a Dog

What should be included:
  • Dog foods include one or more sources of: protein, fat, soluble carbohydrates, fiber and supplemental vitamins and minerals.
  • Some companies make grain-free foods of fruits and vegetables, designed to be mixed with raw meat and oil. The raw diet is controversial, so it is important for dog owners to do their own research.
Additional costs:
  • Treats can cost anywhere from $2 per bag for simple grain-based treats to $2-plus each for handmade treats from a dog bakery.[2] has a guide to using treats in a healthy way.
  • The average dog owner spends $77 per year on vitamins, according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association.[3] also has a guide to supplements, herbs and nutraceuticals.
  • Some retailers and manufacturers have frequent buyer programs that allow customers to receive a free bag of dog food after purchasing a certain number of bags -- usually 10 or 12.
Shopping for dog food:
  • Tip: Look at the labels for high-quality protein -- such as meat or fish -- at the top of the list. Federal law requires manufacturers to list ingredients by weight. has a primer on choosing a dog food[4] and a guide to understanding dog food labels[5] .
  • It is important to consider the dog's life stage and health issues, such as obesity, allergies or other health problems. has a detailed article on addressing allergies with diet[6] .
  • The Menu Foods pet-food recall that began in early 2007 has continuing implications for dog owners. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration[7] offers current information on the recall. And ThePetFoodList[8] offers a list of foods that were and were not part of the recall, including ingredient sourcing and manufacturing location information, to serve only as a starting point for consumers who want to do their own research.
  • For health reasons, and to avoid questionable ingredients and preservatives, some owners choose to make dog food at home using ingredients such as chicken, oats and vegetables.Amazon[9] offers books on how to make your own dog food, and[10] offers free recipes. For consumers interested in holistic or natural foods,[11] offers a guide to which ingredients to look for and which to avoid.
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