Do you know how much it really costs?

Don't be misled into thinking the cheapest food you buy is going to be the least expensive. There are multiple considerations in figuring the true cost of raising a pet, besides what you pay for a container of pet food.

Robert Mueller · December 11, 2018

Don't be misled into thinking the cheapest food you buy is going to be the least expensive. There are multiple considerations in figuring the true cost of raising a pet, besides what you pay for a container of pet food. Let's start with pet food ingredients in any product; their cost is in direct proportion to the value. Value in animal foods is based on the nutritive component or biochemical assimilation and digestibility factor of each ingredient, which are priced accordingly. 

The higher the value, the higher the cost. Additional considerations which affect the true cost of raising dogs and cats are additives, supplements, hygiene, clean-up, litter size, body condition and veterinary care. The only formula that matters and won’t deceive you is:

Total cost per day per pet = "TRUE COST."

Let's take a look at the pet food industry where four distinct categories of captive companion animal foods are offered. They are numbered from the most widely used and seemingly inexpensive to the least used and seemingly most expensive – but are they?

Generic commercial rations - canned, dry, semi-moist

The predominant ingredients are always plant matter; usually corn, soy, wheat, barley, rice with some cooked meat meals. These are the rations, along with table scraps and junk food treats that cause many of the nutritionally deficient maladies of today's captive pets. These conditions include weight problems, skin and coat problems, digestive problems, large stool volume, odor and urinary problems, just to name a few.

Premium commercial rations - canned, dry

The predominant ingredients are usually cooked meat meals; such as meat and bone meal, chicken by-product meal, fish meal along with plant matter, such as corn and soybean meal, etc. These rations, though somewhat more digestible, are still lacking many of the natural nutrients that were once there, due to the extreme temperatures reached during their cooking processes. Yes, processes. The meals are cooked twice, relieving them of many nutrients long before they reach the animal's digestive juices.

Scientifically formulated rations - canned, dry

The predominant ingredients are very similar to the premium rations with varying formulas to treat specific ailments usually caused by wither of the first two rations. These rations are cooked, some ingredients double cooked, and often fall short of their intended goal to help relieve the ailment.

Fresh RAW meat diets! Preserved by freezing or freeze-drying

The predominant ingredients are fresh muscle meat and organs which include tripe, liver, lungs, hearts, kidneys, spleens and other organ meats, which are the first choice of non-captive carnivores in the wild. Small amounts of the plant matter are added to balance amino acids, calorie requirements and add fiber for stool formation. Yes, carnivore do eat small amounts of plant matter from the stomachs of their prey which they generally consume entirely. 

Fresh meat diets are brought to your captive canines and felines frozen in forms of feeding portions like; chubs, patties, nuggets and morsels. No matter the shape or size, the goal is to preserve the nutritional integrity of the oldest ration on earth, by avoiding nutrient damage done by cooking. This ration has been served by Mother Nature very successfully to non-captive carnivores for thousands of years - Fresh (uncooked) meat. 

Your favorite captive carnivore will enjoy while experiencing "The Magic of Meat". This can translate to fewer trips to a health care clinic and most pleasurable way to raise a happy, healthy, long living, captive meat-eating companion at a truly reasonable cost - all things considered! 

Raw Food Tip:

"Canned and kibble diets - which are heat-processed - do not provide a 100% balanced diet for our dogs and cats. Once the vital nutrients are altered or destroyed by extreme heat, you cannot substitute synthetic vitamins and minerals back in and have them be anywhere as effective and utilized in the body compared to the way nature has provided them. So it is best to feed your pet fresh, raw foods like the BARF Diet, and eliminate as many processed pet foods as possible. This will provide the best possible defense against a subclinical nutrient deficiency." 

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Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF Diets® patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF®) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. To receive more articles like these in your email inbox,click here to sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” weekly e-zine absolutely FREE!

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What is BARF?

"BARF®" is our acronym that means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a complete and carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. Our formula mimics what nature has designed our pet's to thrive on in the wild. The result is a pet free of allergies, digestive problems, and full of life!