How Much Does Homemade Dog Food Cost?

Of course we want our beloved pets to live a strong and prosperous life. They become our family. We nurture them just as much as they nurture us. They open our hearts to a whole new kind of love.

Sure they can be a pain when they poop in your house or eat your favorite pair of heels but regardless of how angry you get with them, they will never let you stay mad at them. They don’t run into their room and slam the door or dismiss your invitation for a cuddle or a kiss. They are never too busy or too embarrassed. They just want love and they want nothing more than to return that love to you, entirely.

So when I was on the fence about the cost of going homemade, ultimately I made the decision based on the fact that they would do anything for me, so why not reciprocate that dedication.

It may seem like you are biting off more than you can chew but I can assure you, the benefits will surely outweigh the potential time constraints or the financial burden you may think you would be facing. I would be of disservice to my readers if I said I was immediately sold of the homemade diet when I was researching, based primarily on the financial aspect. Of course we all think about money, everything we can or cannot do is based upon money. How will we pay our bills, how much will we need for gas, or groceries….how making a change in anything financial would be cause for anxiety.

So what exactly is the cost of homemade dog food? It is not what you think….

I am a single mom who lives on one income. So yes, I was completely skeptical on the financial aspect of the homemade cooking. It was not until I actually sat down and figured out the costs involved that I was able to weigh the cost of kibble vs. homemade.

Prior to switching to homemade I was feeding my dogs Zignature. After tons of research I found this brand because it offered the most natural and wholesome ingredients as a price I could afford. This particular brand runs about $60-70 per bag. Excited, I brought home the bag and fed it to my two pups. Moose ate it without hesitation (though Moose would eat a shoe for dinner if he could); however, Lulu turned her nose to it immediately. I was crushed. I had just spend my entire grocery money on this food and she hated it. She smelled it, then smelled it again, and walked away. Did she smell something I couldn’t? The answer is simple, probably.

Disappointed and frustrated I sat down and thought about it. Have you ever looked at kibble? It is brown, it is hard, it smells like….who knows what. When Lulu was a baby I would add water to her kibble to soften it up, have you ever left kibble drowned in water in a bowl and returned hours later? It actually stays completely intact, just bloated. It is designed to lay in their bellies for hours to help them feel satisfied all the while leaving them feeling groggy and tired.

And canned food? Ugh! It is a brown mold of a can similar to that of cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving but with foul remnants of a jelly like fluid on the bottom.

Stop the madness! Please!

To give you a better idea of what you would be up against if you chose to make homemade dog food, lets break down the cost of kibble vs. homemade:


27lb. bag of Zignature @$65.00 (would last me three months)

= $21/month


Ground Beef $5.00
Chicken Thighs $4.00
Organs $4.50
Veggies $4.00
Rice $1.00
Nupro (supplement) @$37.55 will last about six months = $6.00
= $26.00/month
I also give my dogs a raw chicken neck every day. Around me, raw chicken necks run about a dollar a piece but if you run into the problem where you can’t find any, check out Raw Paws Pet Food and have a box shipped directly to you.
If feeding raw chicken necks is a big no, buy freeze dried instead at Chewy:

So there you have it!

Doesn’t seem so bad now does it?! Furthermore, need I mention the amount of money you will be saving on future vet bills by going homemade?

You will truly be surprised how many vegetables and proteins your dog can have and absolutely love. They will look better, feel better and have more energy than ever before. You will too, knowing that you are feeding your devoted companions clean, nutritious meals.

So go ahead and scroll through my site for some easy (and cheap) homemade dog food recipes 🙂


I am not a nutritionist or a veterinarian. I am just a mom to two pups who has done quite a bit of research on the homemade dog food diet. These guidelines are ones made by me, used by me, unless otherwise told by my veterinarian. Please consult with your dogs vet before changing your pets diet as each dog is different and has different nutritional needs*


12 thoughts on “How Much Does Homemade Dog Food Cost?

  1. Oh wow it’s cheaper than I expected. I’ll need to put in a bit of extra time to make the dog food myself, but I expect it’ll be worth it! Will try it out sometime soon ^^

    1. Yes, it will be so worth it. Your pups will thank you, as well as your wallet. I do hope you consider the switch. It takes some time at first to get in the “flow” but you will see it is not as bad as you may think!

  2. Hi Kimberly,

    This is a very good post, I know you did your research, I had four dogs and I made a home business on dog biscuits, it is hard more than one dog you are always going to get one out of the bunch that doesn’t like something. I give you a lot of credit for your determination. Keep going you are looking great.

  3. Wow,

    I have never tried making food for my dogs in a long term. I just make them some when I am running out of kibbles! And I always feel like it’s expensive to buy fresh food to make dog food. Now I am going to try this in long-term and track all my receipts to really find out!

    1. You will probably have half the ingredients I use at your home right now. Though I am sure you dont have liver, beef heart or gizzards in your freezer but they are quite easy to come by.

      Take a look around! Thank you for visiting!

  4. Amazing post and a great idea of making my own dog food. Hadn’t really ever thought about that too much but it would be a lot healthier than buying that old junk dog food. I am going to look into making my own and probably check out your recipes thanks a bunch.

  5. This is a great article! I tried in the past to cook for my dog. She absolutely loved it! I would give her organs, brown rice and vegetables or sweet potatoes. The only reason I stopped is because I heard it was bad for them because they aren’t getting the nutrients and vitamins they normally would get from dog food. And that adding supplements wasn’t good for small dogs because of the calcium that could build up in their kidneys and create kidney stones.
    What’s your thought on this? I would love to get her back on more nutritious food.

    1. Yes, I have read that but is seems that only certain breeds are predisposed to crystal and stone formation. However, I am sure any dog can get them, just like humans, but I would think less likely. My pups haven’t had any issues yet. As long as you provide them with a canine-specific probiotic and make sure they drink enough fluid they should be just fine!

  6. Great information. We have a shih tzu which we used to give organic frozen human grade meat which he used to eat to start with. However, it worked out quite expensive to buy. We now use dog biscuit and then add chicken or some other meat which works out a lot cheaper.
    I never thought of home made dog food until now , it seems a really good idea and well worth a try.
    Thanks for sharing.

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