Gracie is now 13 years old!

For nine years she's eaten REAL, HOMEMADE FOOD, NOT commercial dog food. This blog shows how easy it is to be a DOGGIE CHEF and how healthy a home-fed dog can be.

November 2, 2010

Is Homemade Dog Food Cheaper...continued from my last post

Since my last blog post I started recording the prices of the ingredients I use to make Gracie's Doggie Chef meals. I wanted to figure out how much a Doggie Chef meal actually costs.

I also started recording the prices of some commercial dog foods, the recommended feeding amounts for a dog of Gracie's weight and how much these commercial dog food meals would cost.

I'm still in the process of collecting and organizing the data but I do have some results to share today:

ONE DOGGIE CHEF MEAL (pictured above):
Roast chicken, cooked with corn oil
Whole wheat bread
Brown rice
Green peas
Corn oil
Bone meal powder
Doggie Chef Meal Cost: Approximately $1.23


One meal of California Natural Lamb Meal & Rice dry kibble
Cost: Approximately $1.41

One meal of Alpo Prime Cuts canned dog food
Cost: Approximately $2.10

One meal of Dad's Economets Beef Flavor Two Tasty Pieces dry kibble
Cost: Approximately $.54 cents

How I Figured Out the Cost of the Above Doggie Chef Chicken Meal:

One, 5.23 lb, whole chicken, at $.99 per pound cost $5.18.
After cooking, it yielded about 8 meat servings for Gracie (when amounts and figures weren't exact, I estimated and rounded up, in favor of costing more) or $.65 cents per meal.

Gracie's store bought whole wheat bread cost $2.09 per loaf and yields 19 slices. One slice costs $.11 cents and equals 1 meal serving.

A bag of brown rice cost $.68 per pound, or $.34 per cup, uncooked. One cup, uncooked, yields 10 meal servings when cooked. Cost: $.03 - $.04 cents per meal serving.

A 1-pound bag of frozen, baby sweet peas cost $2.20. When I serve Gracie peas I use about 15 peas, or less, per meal. There are too many peas in the bag to count so I  estimated a minimum of 22 servings (22, 15-pea servings;) in the bag (yet I'm sure the bag contains more servings), so $.10 cents per meal for peas.

When I feed Gracie yogurt, she usually eats Greek yogurt. It costs $4.99, from the local grocery store, for 16 ounces (or 2 cups). I usually include about 2 tablespoons in a Doggie Chef meal. Since 1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons, or 2 meal servings, I figure the whole container = 16 meal servings for $4.99. $4.99 divided by 16 = about $.31 cents per meal serving.

A few times a week I add corn oil to Gracie's meals. I can't remember how much my 48 ounce bottle of corn oil costs but I'll overestimate and say it cost $4.00. 8 fluid ounces = 48 teaspoons. So 48 fluid ounces = 288 teaspoons. Which equals 576, 1/2 teaspoons, which is about the serving size I give Gracie. The corn oil costs less than $.01 cent per meal serving.

A few times a week I add bone meal powder to Gracie's meals. One, 8-ounce bottle of KAL Bone Meal Powder cost about $8.50. The bottle lasts longer than a year and Gracie gets bone meal powder only a few times a week. I figure it costs less than $.07 cents per meal serving.

I was pleased to learn the Doggie Chef meal pictured above cost less than a meal of California Naturals dry dog food, or a meal of Alpo canned dog food. Of course, time is money. It does take extra time to prepare Doggie Chef meals for Gracie. Yet I consider it an enjoyable hobby. In a future blog post I'll share the cost of other Doggie Chef meals and other commercial dog food meals.


  1. One of our dogs has been having stomach troubles and the vet said to feed her rice, chicken and bread! This reminded me of your blog. Do you feed Gracie only one meal per day? Do you make her different foods, or mostly the same thing?
    -Garden Girl

  2. Hi Garden Girl. Gracie eats two meals each day; one in the morning and one in the evening. On my blog's main page, under "Blog Archive," you'll see "Labels." Click on "Doggie Chef Meals" to get an idea of the kinds of foods Gracie eats. Click on "Other Doggie Chef Foods" and "Supplements" for additional meal information. Gracie eats a variety of foods but each week her meals will consist of similar ingredients (whole wheat bread, beef or chicken meat, egg whites, a whole egg, cooked oatmeal, brown or white rice, canned or fresh fish, some dairy, some vegetables or beans, etc...).
    When Gracie had stomach trouble I fed her boiled chicken and white rice for two or three days and it helped. When she had stomach trouble in the middle of the night, for several nights, I gave her a few small pieces of bread at bedtime, and during the night. That helped, and the problem soon passed.
    Best of luck with your doggie's stomach troubles.