View Full Version : Feeding the farm dog - Different types of food and $$$ saving ideas?

Nov. 17, 2009, 01:55 PM
I know the different brands and diets have been abundamently discussed, but I was wondering about the differences between dry and canned food or even feeding a combination.

Specifically, I am being very careful of my finances lately (I don't know what's going on, but work has been quiet for FAR too long!) and I am trying to find a compromise to feed my dog.

She is a big Doberman/GSD cross, just turned 5 years old and is in excellent health. Tons and tons of stamina, lovely coat... no issues whatsoever.

I was wondering if for a short period of time it would be possible to feed her a cheaper brand of dog food and mitigate any potential issues by perhaps adding some canned food? She often gets table scraps too (quality stuff, everything is homemade and plenty of veggies :)).

Or does anyone have any other suggestion? If there are no "good" solutions, I'll just suck it up and buy another bag of premium food. :yes:

Many thanks in advance!

Nov. 17, 2009, 03:07 PM
YES YES YES. I have four rescued barn dogs. They are fat and happy on Tractor Supply's brand of dry food. $17.99 for 50 pounds. Lasts my 4 BIG dogs a week with two feedings a day!

Nov. 17, 2009, 04:20 PM
Since you are in Canada, can you get Summit food. It is middle-of-the-road in price but high quality and made here. It did not get caught with the Chinese melamine in it, which a lot of premium dog foods were.

I also give all the dinner-time leftovers to the dogs and they do fine with everything from MY table. Can't stand throwing anything out.

My greyhounds came with dreadful coats and skin conditions and have been on Summit all these years and have beautiful coats.
There is a loyalty program where if you buy ten bags you get the next one frew (worth about $30.00)

Nov. 17, 2009, 05:03 PM
One money saving tip is to remember that you don't really have to feed just one type of food - my dogs don't like the cheaper (but still good quality) food that I get, so when I have to cut back on cost a little I mix the cheaper stuff in with the premium kibble they prefer. Stretches out the premium kibble and they don't waste it by not eating or turfing it out of the bowl.

Rather than mix it each time, I just use a big plastic tub and dump both bags in and roll it around until they're mixed up.

Piatt Farms
Nov. 17, 2009, 05:43 PM
I was in your boat a few years ago...
I am a reformed dog food snob...I used to only fed Science Diet or Iams. Mine do great on Diamond Dog Food...Do I feel like the quality is as good? Nope. Do I feel like it's decent enough to feed them and not feel like I'm feeding them junk? Yup.
We feed the Maintence (yellow bag) and when the weather gets cold and I want to up the calorie/fat I go to the Premium (green). I have 2 large dogs (120+lbs, a 50lb dog and a 20lb dog. We go through roughtly 1 50lb bag a week free feeding...more when it's cold and less when it's hot. Everyone is healthy and shiny!

Nov. 17, 2009, 07:20 PM
When I had to quit working to go to vet school, I switched all the pups to Purina Dog Chow.

Honestly, they look just as good as they did on Hill's. And I save $20 a bag.

My old dog continued to eat Hills (Science Diet). I switched him to Innova this spring. And he gets Fish Oil supplements.

The Purina Pups have shinier coats.

Our biggest, a dane x, got a little gassy with one big meal. So we split them into 2 for him, and he's much better.

Nov. 17, 2009, 07:32 PM
I'm a idiot. I don't even cook for myself yet have spent every evening lately cooking hamburgers or boiled chicken with noodles and other stuff for my two dogs.

I always thought that people who did this was well..just nuts.

The old guy needs to be pampered and he in on 4 meds twice a day and has no appetite. The GSD just decided to stop eating for sometimes 2 days at a stretch so I had to entice her.

I actually think that Diamond dog food is on the better side of average. It doesn't list corn in the first few ingredients like most does it?

Nov. 17, 2009, 08:03 PM
My 10 year old eats EVO. He gets 1/2 cup 3x/day. When I used to feed him a lesser quality food he required more food to maintain his condition and he had frequent ear infections. He gets fed 3x/day because I have a puppy who still requires 3 meals/day. I actually save money by feeding him a more expensive food.
The puppy eats Innova Large Breed Puppy.

Nov. 17, 2009, 08:53 PM
If you have a Costco near you, I do know that there are quite a few people who think that the Kirkland brand is good for the price. I haven't tried it with my dogs - but if I had to try something less expensive than what I currently feed I would probably try the Kirkland brand.
I would probably add extras to the food over giving canned (leftover chicken, eggs, etc.). One thing I've done is use generic heartworm. My dog doesn't like it as well as the brand name version, so I smear a little bit of peanut butter on it.

Nov. 18, 2009, 08:20 AM
Thanks ;) I tried Kirkland but for some reason, she doesn't digest it well (stools get really really soft... and weird).

She seems to have an allergic reaction to chicken, so I only use kibbles that don't contain chicken. :eek: I know, good luck finding THAT on a budget! ;)

Has anybody examined canned foods? Are they typically better then dry food? They can't put as much corn in it for obvious reasons... would that be an idea? Although more expensive... my dog wouldn't object though! :lol:

Nov. 18, 2009, 10:01 AM
Ive always heard dry food was better for them because it helps keep teeth and gums healthy. But if your dog has issues with chewing, mixing the two might be an option.

Nov. 18, 2009, 10:47 AM
dry food DOES NOT keep the teeth clean, quite the opposite; dry food is the least healthy option for feeding dogs. Anyway, if broke, well, price per bag of kibble doesn't have much correlation with the quality of the ingredients; many of the so-called "premium" foods that go for $2+ per pound have the most awful ingredients.
Diamond Naturals has good, solid, basic, won't-kill-your-dog ingredients and costs far less than most so-called "premium" brands, I can get it for 75 cents a pound.

Nov. 18, 2009, 11:40 AM
I used to only fed Science Diet or Iams. Mine do great on Diamond Dog Food...Do I feel like the quality is as good? Nope. Actually Science Diet and Iams are not good quality foods, so you can sleep easier knowing you didn't downgrade in quality.

To the OP... I may look again at Costco's Kirkland if I were you. Soft stools could very well have meant that you just tried to switch too quickly. I thought one of my cats was allergic or sensitive to everything under the sun until I realized she just needs switched REALLY slowly. How quick did you switch? I'm a believer of NO less than preferably 2 weeks. My cats who seem to be pickier usually switch over a MONTH!

I personally would give it a try before I went to any other lesser quality foods. If you have to save money, you have to save money. No harm in that. What about feeding a raw diet? You can buy the meat in bulk... disclaimer, I'm a vegetarian so I know nothing about buying meat but I heard a friend say it's cheaper so don't laugh at me if I'm way off... the only meat I have ever purchased is canned chicken for my cats. :lol:

Moderator 1
Nov. 18, 2009, 12:16 PM
Per the sticky at the top of the forum, we're trying to limit the general pet care questions in this forum to keep it focused on more farm-specific issues.

We'll continue to evaluate our approach going forward, and the forum topics we offer, particularly after we get through the transition period to the new site.

Mod 1