The Cost of Cooking for My Dog – Priceless

The Cost of Cooking for My Dog – Priceless
Now that I have been cooking for Mesa for 3 months, and talking highly of the results I am seeing, I am getting to you what a lot of people have been asking…how much does it cost. Here is the break down of our home cooked diet. We admit, we have an advantage of living on a ranch and getting our own beef butchered, as well as living amongst big game hunters who kindly share their elk and deer meat. And a great big shout out again for our local butcher, 5-D Processing, for helping us with this project by giving us raw meaty bones, and other organ meat – oh and a really sharp knife!

Mesa's Meat Mixture

Mesa's Rice Mixture

I work at a local organic grocery store, so I do most of my shopping there due to convenience. Thus, Mesa’s ingredients are also purchased from Mountain Front Market. They may be a bit pricier at that store than others but if I eat organic, why shouldn’t my dog?

The original recipe we began with was taken from Monica Segal’s book called K9 Kitchen: Your Dogs’ Truth Behind the Hype. My recipe goes like this (price is per recipe which gets us through 1 week):
4 lbs Ground Elk – $0
16 oz Beef Heart – $0
4 oz Beef Liver – $0
2 Eggs
7 oz Sockeye Salmon – $5.95
4 C Brown Rice – $4.00
32 oz Carrots – $5.00
1 C Lentils – $1.75
8 t Calcium Carbonate – $0.97
2 t Kelp – $0.19
40 mg Zinc Gluconate – $0.28
1 tablet Vitamin B – $0.08
6 capsules Vitamin E – $1.88

TOTAL  –  $20.10
Knowing What is In My Dog’s Food – PRICELESS.

It truly is priceless knowing exactly what is in my dog’s food.  Of the 13 ingredients, 6 ingredients are made here in Montana – I love buying local.  Take a look at this image:

This is taken off of the dry kibble I do feed to my other dogs, and what Mesa ate before her home-cooked meals.  I admit, when we are low on home made food, or are traveling, Mesa still gets this dry kibble.  Let me get to my point.  My point is that there are 53 ingredients, yes, over 4 times the amount of ingredients in this dry kibble than there are in the home cooked meal we use.  None of the dry kibble ingredients are produced locally. There are several (most) ingredients that I don’t even understand what they are or what their purpose.  Yes, I could do the research on those but who wants to spend time  researching that many ‘things’?  I don’t.  I would rather train my dogs with that time than spend the time on the computer…

I forgot to mention time – after all, time is money.  Aside from shopping for the store bought ingredients for my home cooked meal, I spend 1 hour a week making a pot of food.  It takes me 30 minutes to drive, one way, to get to my kibble distributor.  1 bag costs $50 and can get me through nearly 2 months of feeding 1 dog.

So on paper, buying dry kibble for my dog is more cost effective.  But knowing exactly what is going in to my dog and knowing where each ingredient came from and it’s purpose, that makes up the difference.

Which would you choose?

Mesa's Final Cooked Meal

Dry Kibble

If you have any questions about feeding home cooked meals, please contact me.  I am happy to answer any questions I can, get you started, and point you in the right directions for more information.

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