Most pet owners are switching to raw, natural ingredients for their dogs, given the well-documented benefits of raw feeding. Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) is an alternative diet for dogs that comprises raw meat, vegetables, fruits, and bones. While BARF dog food and diet have gained significant popularity, most pet owners hesitate to transition their dogs to this diet due to the potential costs. Feeding your dog a raw diet does not have to be expensive; you can take certain steps to consider your budget while prioritizing your furry companion’s health. Here are some tips to help you adopt a BARF diet for your dog without burning a hole in your pocket.
Buy in Bulk
Purchasing the raw ingredients required to meet your dog’s nutritional needs in bulk can help you save some bucks and reduce the per-meal cost. You can look for wholesalers or shop from your local butcher to seek discounts on bulk purchases. However, keep in mind that you will need a freezer that can accommodate all the raw ingredients so that you can feed your dog fresh, healthy food.
Prefer Affordable Cuts
The price of meat depends on the cut. Therefore, choosing a cut that costs less can help you save significantly without compromising your dog’s health and dietary requirements. Some recommended cuts that you can consider include ground beef, chicken thighs, pork shoulder, and other leaner cuts. However, make it a point to remove bones and excess fat from the meat, as your dog may end up consuming more fat than they should.
Leftovers from the meals that you prepare for yourself or your family can be utilized for feeding your pet. While preparing meals, you can set aside some portions of certain ingredients, such as vegetables and meat that are appropriate for your pet. However, ensure that every leftover ingredient is fresh, healthy, and safe for your dog. Further, make sure that none of the ingredients have spices, sauces, or other components that might be potentially harmful to your pet.
One of the advantages of embracing variety when planning your dog’s meals is that it can make for a well-balanced diet. Yet another significant advantage is that you can save money. For instance, alternating between different protein sources, such as chicken, beef, turkey, pork, etc. can allow you to avail discounts and sales, making it easier to shop on a budget when feeding your dog.
Make Your Own Supplements
While your dog needs raw foods, they also require supplements to ensure every meal caters to their nutritional requirements. One of the issues when shopping for premade supplements is that they’re relatively expensive. You can create your own supplements by utilizing certain components of different ingredients. For instance, you can add eggshells to your dog’s meals to ensure calcium intake, and you can use fish oil to add omega-3 fatty acids to their meals. Using such supplements instead of buying premade supplements also gives you greater control over what your dog consumes.
If you lack enough freezer space to shop in bulk and store all the ingredients for a longer period, you can also collaborate with your friends or other family members with dogs to buy raw ingredients in bulk and avail discounts, sales, and shop from wholesale stores. This will help you ensure your dog consumes fresh raw foods while making the purchase budget-friendly for you and your family and friends.
Plan Your Pet’s Meals
One of the biggest mistakes that dog owners make after adopting their furry friend is not planning their purchases, meals, ingredients, and portion sizes. When you have a proper plan for the entire month, you can ensure that you only spend a certain amount of money and don’t exceed your budget. Therefore, identify your dog’s dietary needs and come up with a plan as per the ingredients and portion sizes to avoid overspending.
Raising and taking care of a dog is a huge commitment, and you need to ensure that you place great emphasis on their diet to keep health problems at bay. One of the best ways to meet your dog’s dietary requirements by keeping their dietary predisposition in mind is to switch to the BARF diet. As opposed to the common belief held by most people that a raw diet is naturally expensive, taking the above-mentioned steps can help you keep your dog healthy without overspending.