Premium Pet Food Prices Got You Down?Are you in shock at the prices of premium pet food? Well, you might be surprised to learn it's not as bad as it appears. Quality pet foods that use quality ingredients DO cost a great deal more than cheap foods that use inferior filler ingredients. The good news is that the cost per meal is probably far less than you think. Quality ingredients means that you feed less - on average about 1/3 less.
So let's break it down to cost per meal… Let's say your pet currently eats 1 cup of food per day. A 20 pound bag of food will provide you with about 50 servings. If the food costs you $15.00 for a 20 pound bag – that equals about .30 per meal.
Now with a good quality pet food – feeding about 1/3 less – a 20 pound bag will provide you about 80 servings. If the better food costs $30.00 for a 20 pound bag – that breaks down to a little less than .38 cents a meal.
So even though the price tag of the food reads to be twice as expensive – it's actually far from the truth. Using the above example, at .30 cents per meal, two meals a day, in one month you are spending around $18.00 per month to feed a pet with the inferior food. With the apparent twice as expensive higher quality pet food, at .38 cents per meal, two meals a day, in one month you are spending around $22.80 per month. Less than $5.00 per month difference that can save you thousands of dollars in vet bills and add years to their life. You must look at the cost per meal to completely give the price of the food consideration.
Here is what has happened to us…for years and years we've watched the television commercials of pet food. They emphasize the words ‘for your pet's health' or ‘choice'. We've trusted them and we've followed their directions to feed our pet 2 or 3 cups of food per day. What we didn't know was that those recommended 2 or 3 cups of food was necessary because the pet food contained cheap inferior nutrition sources like by-products, meat and bone meal, and grains.
So, it has become our habit to feed more – which they do need more with inferior ingredients. Then someone like myself comes along and tells you how horrible ingredients like by-products and meat and bone meal are – and you learn that grains such as corn, wheat, and soy are inferior – and since this recent pet food recall, you learn that chemicals can actually be added to variations of these grains (glutens)…so then you look over your options at the pet store or online. And you think in terms of how much per ‘bag' of food. After all, you've probably tried several different types of pet food in the past – maybe even one or two that cost a little more than the cheap brands – and you still ended up feeding the same 2 or 3 cups of food a day. Naturally, you look at the $30.00 for a 20 pound bag of pet food and gasp at the cost – you are thinking just the way they want you to think…in terms of the cost of the bag, not the cost of the serving.
The determining factor for your choice of pet food should not be cost or advertising. You must look at and understand those first five ingredients. Of course there is much more involved than the first five ingredients, but in my research…if the first five ingredients of a pet food are good, so are the rest of the ingredients. If a pet food manufacturer cares enough to make the first five ingredients quality – which is the majority of the food…they care enough to make all of the ingredients quality. Don't be mislead into any comfort zone of a pet food manufacturers advertising…do your homework and read and understand at least the first five ingredients of your pet's food. With better, more nutritious pet foods – they do NOT need as much as with the cheaper foods. Don't let the old habit of feeding more sway you when you switch to a more nutritious pet food – again, with more quality ingredients they just don't need as much food as with inferior ingredients. If you switch your pet to a quality pet food and continue to feed the same amount as the lesser quality food you were feeding – your pet will gain weight.
The daily amount of food our pets require depends on many things such as activity level, age, breeding animals, or neutered animals. As an example, my 100 pound German Shepherd only eats two cups of food per day; 1 cup AM, 1 cup PM. My Papillion Kirby (8 pounds of love) eats about 1/3 cup a day. Both dogs are active. However, my little guy is young and is fairly high energy level. My big guy is 12 years old and much more sedate. Considering his little size, the small dog eats far more for his size than the big dog. His energy and activity level requires it.
My cat on the other hand free feeds – he has access to a full bowl of food at all times and eats when he wants. He has never been an over eater and this works well for him. I could never do the same with my dogs.
So serving size for your pet is something you will need to experiment with. If your dog or cat has no ‘figure' – shows no waist when looking at them from above – chances are they need to lose a few pounds. Cut back the serving size. If the ribs are visible, you probably should increase the serving size slightly. Please note too that a cup of food a day at 2 years old will more than likely be too much food when they are a little older. Keep a constant monitoring eye on them - a healthy weight is a healthier pet.
Please don't just look at the advertising of the pet food or shop by price alone - examine the ingredients in the food (at least the first five ingredients) and make your decisions based on cost of serving.
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About The Author: Susan Thixton http://www.TruthAboutPetFood.com