Some dog owners just buy the cheapest option and their shallow care only goes so far. You are reading this article because are probably interested in doing the best for your dog, but at the same time you may be constraint with a budget. You ask: What do I do?
Step 1: Educate yourself
Regardless if you are on a budget or not education is a good idea. You will be comparing between different recipes/ and brands, and need to have knowledge to perform as best as possible.
You need to figure out:
- What nutrients a dog needs
- What does the nutritional information mean on a dog food bag
- What ingredients to avoid
On this site there are few articles help you get started:
- Guide to selecting dry dog food
- The big 4 companies that dominate the dog food market
- Dry Matter vs Guaranteed basis analysis. Both methods are important
- Dry Matter Basis. A method of reporting nutritional content
- BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) in dog food potential cancer carcinogen
Step 2: Find brands/recipes you can afford
First we assume you will feed your dog dry dog food, since this cheaper than wet. Figure out how much you can afford, then what brands fall in that category.
Step 2: Filter those brands
Pick the one you think is best suited for your dog and appears to be the healthiest. It may be lacking in nutrients or not provide enough nutrients that your dog requires. Example: It may have less meat protein than you like for your dog. Of course, read some reviews too.
Step 3: Compensate if needed
Your relatively low cost kibble may not offer everything within your budget. For little added cost (of course this depends on the size of your dog), you can supplement their meals.
When you cook your meals (assuming you cook since you are budget constraint and not eating fast food) you can also either cook for your dogs in the same cookware or separately. You can even cook enough food for a few days for your dogs, and then store it if that helps alleviate the work. Added the cook food into their dry food to supplement their meal and this will improve palatability at the same time.
- Make sure cooked food that is dog safe/friendly
- Do not feed dogs: garlic or onions
- Do not ONLY feed cooked food to the dog that you feel is good enough. Dogs need a diverse amount of nutrients and serving only human cooked food may and will likely not fulfill their dietary needs; only supplement their dog food.