Raw food vs Dry food Costs

I am seriously considering going with raw food option for Dexter.

Here is him trying it for the first time… To say the least, it was a success

It has been 3 days and we are doing kibble (Taste of the Wild Salmon) in the morning and raw Bravo Turkey Blend in the evening as a transition process. I do see qualities of raw food that many people speak of. Dexter’s stool is more solid and he is drinking less water after he eats raw. There hasn’t been enough time yet to make a better evaluation, but so far there has been no negative side effects.

However, an important aspect of going with raw (pre-manufactured, not home-made) option is the cost. Especially for a large breed it could be substantial even with kibble, but raw comes out even more.

Here is a breakdown of costs kibble vs raw:

Taste of the Wild Salmon 30 Lb = 120 cups $40.79 s/h http://amzn.com/B0018CIP6K

According to the manufacturer, Dexter requires at the age of 6-12 weeks about 2 and 1/2 cups a day. As an adult at the weight of 110 lb, he will require about 5 cup per day.

Thus, simple math shows that a 30 lb bag would last me about 48 days now and about 24 days when he is an adult. The cost of feeding is about $1 a day now and about $1.70 later.

Bravo Original Formula Turkey Blend  from PetFoodDirect.com 2lb Chub $6.01 s/h

According to the manufacturer, Dexter requires at this age about 0.56 lb a day. As an adult, at the weight of 110 lb, he will require about 2.5 lb per day average.

Thus, same period as a bag of food would last me, raw food for Dexter would cost me about $80 ($1.66 per day) and about $180 (about $7.50 per day) when he is fully grown

So the cost of raw food is about double the price for the puppy (or small dog) and almost 4.5 times more for an adult large breed (Cane Corso) dog.

48 days of food for puppy

Dry high end kibble food – $40.79 (aprox. $1/day)

Bravo Raw – $80 (aprox. $1.66/day)

24 days of food for adult

Dry high end kibble food – $40.79 (aprox. $1.70/day)

Bravo Raw – $180 (aprox. $7.50/day)

Obviously, it is a lot more expensive to feed raw, especially for an adult large mastiff breed. If raw food delivers all the health benefits claimed by pro raw food community, then the argument is easily won for the favor of raw diet. The vet bills to deal with skin, coat, allergy and digestive issues can be very high. Many dogs with food allergies end up on special vet diets, which can be nearly as expensive as raw.

Aside the costs, dogs health and well-being is a major concern and if raw will prevent all of the above mentioned health issues then, again, the pro-raw argument is easily no-brainer.

I am not arguing here one way or the other. There are great quality kibble foods out there (nearly 100% grain free; grain is usually one of the main concerns in kibble food). I think a conclusive ruling on raw vs kibble is still out there. I am leaning towards raw.

Raw also presents a storage issue as it requires fridge space which can be difficult if you live in an apartment (like I do) and do not have space for extra fridge.  I will have to buy a mini-fridge to store food for Dexter.

Here is an article from WebMD discussing raw diet for dogs.


I would love to hear back from people about their raw vs kibble experiences and opinions.

5 thoughts on “Raw food vs Dry food Costs

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  1. We have 4 dogs, all feed store bought raw,I buy prepared raw and we cut up large boneless roast and mix it in to save on cost, it is more expensive especially buying the already prepared raw, but worth it, I used to give chicken quarters and whole turkey wings ( which are quite large), but I know of a couple people that have lost their dogs due to choking on the bone, (one a sweet mastiff), so that scared me into changing how I feed raw, I don’t know if they sell something called ” Honest Kitchen” but it’s also a great way to feed raw, it’s a mix that is either a complete meal just add water, or a base that you add water and meat, I use this also. Good luck with the transition.

  2. We just switched our Girl (11 or 12 years old) who is a mastiff/boxer mix they think (we adopted her 8 years ago)~ she has had skin issues the entire time with major chronic infections, allergies, ears, skin, etc……recently went to a dermatology vet and what a difference in combination with food switch~ She’s been on a home-prep’d for years (balanced by a vet nutritionist) but still had issues that we thought after all of the research we did and folks we talked to would be good for doing the raw food. We are working with a local holistic vet/nutritionist and it was an easy transition since she wasn’t on kibble. She LOVED IT from day 1~ we started with just an afternoon snack of it about a golfball size and increased every few days as we watched her reactions~ after a bit we switched out her breakfast for the raw and old food was for her dinner~ after several days of that she started having a few boughts of gas and slight change of stool~ so we thought maybe it was time to switch the old food at dinner for all raw and she did great with it! We decided the best fit for us right now is to do the pre-made raw from a family-owned delivery /drop-off concept. Farm-raised meat the way we wanted it and the % of meat/bone/organ is already in the right proportions~ We add some can pumpkin and probiotics and other supplements (ones she was already on with old home food) and will start feeding her small portions of tripe once a week after she’s been on it a bit longer~ We started this process with the raw end of November~ so it’s been a good 5 weeks now and she’s been all raw for about 2 weeks. We are planning on switching our 1 year (tomorrow!) old male English mastiff (150+ lbs) to raw as well~ He’s been on kibble (a couple really good brands but never quite liked him on it, cost kept us afraid to switch. Doing the math as you say is a bit to chew off, but for us the concerns of him on kibble are getting more so. He’s a gulper and chokes constantly on his kibble, he’s had some kind of staph infection (mild) we think for a while (spot under his thigh on inner leg and chin acne)~ We switched our first mastiff (years ago) to a new food and his acne cleared up so we are pretty sure it’s the food for this one too. Doing the cost comparison showed that we could do it and then it was a matter of storage. 135 pounds (monthly) between both dogs for food is a bit of storage~ we have a tall upright freezer but are getting a smaller chest freezer for dog raw food to keep them separate. The costs of the delivery food we use is about $2/lb for whole ground up chicken that is already in the right proportions~ and for us it’s well worth it~ I have other folks I know who do a CoOp and pay much less for whole pieces and then do the balancing themselves. We are hoping our male 1 year old will also have better digestive system on the new food as opposed to the raw~ it’s not awful~ but just not what it should be. I know prices for various meats/sources is a big range~ so we’re really hoping the chicken is good for both of them or else the costs really will be sky-rocketing! One step at a time though, we take it slow and steady and watch them closely. Our older Girl also has mild kidney #’s that we’re watching~ so she’ll have blood/urine tests frequently to watch that. So far it’s been VERY SCARY in the beginning and then it was a relief to see her doing so well~ Now for our male. I know that was long~ but I enjoy reading other folk’s info and the more the better for actual first-hand experience!

    1. Thank you for your comment. My guy seems to be doing great with raw. I feed kibble in the morning and raw in the evening. Soon will switch to full raw.

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