The 3 Hidden Costs of Dog Food.

THERE are 4 COSTS directly connected to DOG FOOD 

  1. Sticker price ($35 to $95)
  2. Recommended Daily Feeding Rate (can raise the cost by 33% to 100%)
  3. Increased Veterinarian and medical costs ($1,000 to $5,000 is not uncommon)
  4. Emotional Cost of a sick dog.


The Sticker Price of dog food is usually the only cost people associate with dog food. But there is a direct correlation between less expensive dog food and higher costs in the other three areas connected to the quality of the dog food.

The idea that you are saving money by buying a cheaper dog food is wishful thinking that can be  very expensive . It’s a trap that most people fall victim to. The reality will end up costing much, much more in the long run. It’s not easy to see, when you’re trying to save a few dollars in the now, but the small savings from buying cheaper food has a negative ripple effect that ends up creating expenses down the road that are many, many times more than the few dollars they think they are saving up front.



Higher Feeding Rates = Higher Cost. The 2 cups/day cheaper food on the right @ $45 a bag costs more to feed than the 1 cup/day quality food on the left @ $85 a bag.

The sticker price on the bag is what most people think is the whole story when it comes to the cost of dog food. But the best food @ $85 and a cheaper food @45 are going to cost close to the same to feed your dog once you take into account the recommended daily feeding rate. An $85 food will end up costing less to feed each day than a $45 food if you have to feed twice as much of the $45 food each day. The cheaper food is a few dollars less at the beginning but it will only last one half as long, So in the end it will cost as much to feed the cheap food as it costs to feed the best.

A people analogy would be two people each needing to rent a vehicle to drive from NY City to San Diego and back.  They have a choice between renting a new Lexus or an old pickup truck. The Lexus costs $85 a day and the pickup truck only costs $45 a day to rent. On the surface the pickup seems like it would save money over the Lexus. The problem is that the pickup truck burns 50 gallons of gas a day and the Lexus only needs 25 gallons a day.


When you figure in the cost of the extra gas the truck needs, the cost to drive each vehicle for a day is about the same. The man driving the pickup thinks he’s saving money but he’s actually spending just as much money to drive the uncomfortable, noisy, gas guzzling pickup truck as the woman who took into account the daily cost of gas and is gliding along on comfortable, supple leather seats, in a quiet new Lexus, listening to Mozart or a book on tape and enjoying the whole trip.

The Recommended Daily Feeding Rate can increase the cost of the food by 33% to 100% or more in a way that’s out of sight and out of mind. People are usually unaware of the impact that the feeding rate has on the actual cost to feed that food.  The higher the feeding rate, the higher the cost compared to a more nutritious food that requires less volume. A lower quality food (with a sticker price of $45 and a feeding rate of 2 cups a day) will cost more to feed than a high quality, nutrient dense dog food (with a sticker price of $85 that only requires 1 cup a day). The cheaper $45 food ends up costing the same price to feed each day as the highest quality $85 food because you have to feed twice as much of it.

You can see for yourself what your dog food costs to feed per day compared to the very best nutrition with the cost comparison chart and calculator at: 


Less expensive dog food usually isn’t less expensive at all – with higher feeding rates it often ends up costing as much or more than the cost of feeding the highest quality food – and that’s just based on the daily feeding rate. It doesn’t include increased Veterinarian and medical costs that result from feeding less than the best.

It is far less expensive to own a dog if you feed the very best high quality, nutritious food because the feeding rate per day is less, and the best food will almost certainly help avoid medical problems and the increased costs that go with them. I can tell you this with 100% certainty based on 11 years of experience with thousands of our customers and their dogs in our dog food store. The idea that buying cheaper dog food is saving money is a total illusion, and a very expensive one in the long term. A dog is not like a car that you can trade in after the 3 or 4 year lease is up and let someone else deal with and pay for the problems if the proper maintenance was not performed. A few pennies more each day to feed the very best food available will save you thousands of dollars and much frustration over the life of your dog – and make for a much healthier, happier dog.



When you consider the health problems that usually develop from feeding the cheaper dog foods and the medical and Veterinarian costs that go with them it ends up costing FAR MORE over time to feed the cheap food you thought was saving you a few pennies a day. It’s an illusion to believe you are going to get something you are not paying for. Companies are not creating the highest quality dog food and losing money by only charging you one half of what it’s worth.

Veterinary and Medical expenses are usually much higher with cheap dog food that has ingredients like grain, potato, lentils, or sugar in any form. Over the years we’ve heard hundreds of stories of the long, frustrating , and expensive experience dog parents have had when their dog developed allergies or skin conditions from eating the less expensive dog foods. Less expensive dog food often leads to health problems that increase expenses for Veterinary care and medicine many times greater than the small amount of extra money it takes each month to feed your dog healthy food.



The Emotional Cost of dealing with a sick dog suffering from constant skin problems and allergy related problems to even worse food related conditions is draining for a conscientious dog parent. The emotional cost of spending thousands of dollars you don’t have on a sick or suffering dog should not be underestimated. It’s very trying for both the parent and the dog, and in some cases it proves to be more than the dog parents can deal with. What’s really sad is that few people understand that the majority of problems could be prevented by buying the best food available. A healthy dog is a joy and a wonderful experience that can be sabotaged by trying to save a few dollars a month by buying cheap dog food. Believing that you are going to find healthy dog food for half the price of truly nutritious food is a fantasy that will prove to be very expensive in the end in terms of costs and the health of your beautiful dog.


Richard Darlington, Co-CEO

Brothers Complete Dog Food, LLC

















































































































































































































































































consequences of feeding cheap dog food.