It goes without saying that large dogs need a lot of food. The bigger your dog, the more energy they’re going to need to sustain their daily activities. We love our dogs and want them to have the best quality food and therefore the best quality of life.
If you run a quick search for the best dog food for your large or giant dog, you may just end up breaking the bank for fewer benefits than promised. Gourmet dog food is sometimes more about the appearance and the packaging over the actual quality of the good.
So be sure to investigate the ingredients to be certain you’re getting the benefits that you’re paying for. There are plenty of alternatives to these pricey diets that are just as beneficial without the sky-high price point.
Feeding your big dog a commercial diet
Dried, commercial dog food, otherwise known as kibble, is the most dog food on the market. It’s easily attainable and the food itself is quite inoffensive to handle and store (that is, some owners may be put off by handling raw meat). Dried biscuits rarely smell, are easily kept fresh and most dogs will eat a dry diet happily.
If you choose to feed your dog kibble, it doesn’t just have to eat kibble. There are ways to feed your dog a cost-effective kibble while also bulking up the nutritional value to support your large or giant breed dog.
The biggest drawback to a lot of budget dog food is the quality and percentage of the protein levels. These foods are often bulked out with grains and other additives to make them cheaper to manufacture.
If the quality of the protein doesn’t meet your dog’s needs, you can incorporate your own supplementary protein to add extra calories and extra nutrients. Just because your dog isn’t raw fed, doesn’t mean you can’t take inspiration from raw fed diets for this.
Eggs are a fantastic supplement to add more protein. Feeding them raw either with or without the shell will help to keep all the nutrients from being cooked out of them. Eggs contain iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 but shouldn’t be fed as your dog’s main source of protein, they should be incorporated just a few times a week.
Other additions can include different meats like chicken or beef to bulk up the protein value of the meal and provide more energy to your large dog on top of their usual diet.
Raw food options and raw food subscriptions
Raw food is often associated with a higher price tag per weight of the food but if you comb through the ingredients and you will find that there are fewer waste products your dog will not be able to process.
Kibble will often include bulking ingredients like ash and carbohydrates that don’t benefit your dog in any way.
A dog’s intake of carbohydrates should be low unless you’re trying to give them a quick boost of energy that they will use instead of allowing it to be processed into fatty stores they don’t need.
Owners who feed raw have noticed their dogs go to the toilet less because they are putting to use the nutrients that are given to them instead of wasting more. A dog on a low-quality diet will defecate several times a day whereas raw-fed dogs will go once, maybe a maximum of twice a day, which shows they’re using much more of what they eat.
For larger dogs, making sure their food is useful to them is vitally important to help keep them healthy and strong. Raw feeding dogs is getting much easier, convenient, and affordable with companies offering dog food subscription services of pre-prepared raw meals.
If you find handling and preparing the raw meat off-putting, this is a great option. You can shop around for the best budget-friendly option and order exactly what your dog needs with no waste. Less waste means more cost-effective feeding for your dog.
Home cooking your own dog food
While raw feeding is more accessible than ever, not everyone wants to raw feed their dog but making your own homecooked meals can have a similar effect. Just like with raw meals, you can be fully aware of every ingredient you’re feeding your dog.
A balanced meal is easier to work out than you might think. Dogs need about 40% protein, 50% vegetables, and 10% starch. Generally, dogs should be fed around 2-5% of their body weight per day.
While cooking your own meals is time-consuming, you can batch cook meals and freeze them to keep them fresh and avoid doing it as often. It also gives you the ability to shop around a lot more for better deals on meat and to find out what vegetables are in season and therefore usually the cheapest.
Dogs can eat veggies like carrots, various beans, spinach, pumpkin, and sweet potato. Just be sure to avoid foods they can’t eat like avocado, grapes, and onions.
Purchasing your dog’s food in bulk
One of the best budget ways to feed your dog is to buy in bulk. Whatever you choose to feed your large dog, having a stock of it can be helpful to make the most out of store’s deals. Sometimes pet food stores offer deals like buying two bags of food and getting a third free which immediately brings down the cost of feeding.
If buying in bulk, you need to be sure you can correctly store whatever excess feed you buy.
Dry kibble should remain in the sealed air-tight bag until you are ready to begin feeding it to your dog. As soon as you open the bag and allow the air in, the nutritional value of that kibble will slowly start to diminish. To help with the longevity of dry kibble, you can store open bags in sealed, airlock containers to keep it as fresh as possible for your dog.
Meat and vegetables can be kept frozen for several months provided they’re not allowed to thaw until you’re ready to feed. Raw meat can stay fresh for up to nine months while cooked fish and poultry can be frozen for anything up to six months.
Other cooked meat like beef and venison should only be frozen for a maximum of three months but all options will allow for plenty of opportunities to bulk buy food and cut costs.
Lower cost doesn’t have to mean lower quality
The cost of feeding is often associated with the quality of the food but if you take the time to do some research and find ways of keeping the cost down, you can still maintain or even boost nutritional value while saving money.
It’s important that whatever choice of food you find suitable for your lifestyle and their health, you only feed the proper amount. Many dogs will not stop eating when they are full so be sure to calculate the appropriate amount to feed them.
Your dog may be more than grateful for extra food in their diet, but it should still be appropriate to the amount they need and how active their lifestyle is.