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How Much Does it Cost to Feed My Dog Raw Food?

A lot of dog owners would like to feed their dogs raw dog food but can’t afford it.

I also had to decide whether or not I want to spend $150+ on raw food for my dog each month.

To help myself and others decide if we can afford to feed raw dog food, I compared some prices for commercial raw food, homemade raw dog food, natural dry dog food and standard dry dog food.

These are just some general examples intended to give you an idea of what the dog food costs without spending time searching for sales or coupons or anything like that.

There are all kinds of ways to save money on raw dog food such as shopping at Costco, buying in larger quantities, only buying food that is on sale or working out a deal with a friend who hunts or farms or whatever. That’s not what this post is about.


When I first published this article, I had a 5-year-old, 67-pound black lab/hound mix with a naturally lean build. I keep him active, but he was not a high-energy dog.

The following examples are based on the amount of food he would eat per day (generally 1.5 pounds raw or 3 cups dry) and the cost per day and per month to feed him.

Since Ace primarily ate chicken as his main protein source, that’s what I used for the following examples.

Commercial raw dog food – about $210 per month

The prices of commercial raw dog food brands vary quite a bit from store to store, state to state, etc. I did my best to take the average prices, so don’t freak out if you find a certain brand for a lot more or a lot less. I also did not include any shipping costs if you plan to order online.

Stella & Chewy’s – Chewy’s chicken frozen dinner
$26.99 per 6-pound bag
$6.75 per day or $202 per month

Primal – canine chicken formula
$34.99 per 8-pound bag
$6.60 per day or $198 per month

Nature’s Variety Instinct – organic chicken formula
$29.99 per 6-pound bag
$7.50 per day or $225 per month

You can get 10 pounds of raw food from Darwin’s for just $14.95 and delivered right to your door! No code required. Click here.

Darwin's raw dog food

Homemade raw dog food – about $120 per month

There is a ton of flexibility here depending on what you want to feed your dog. If you want to spend significantly less on homemade raw dog food, you really need to buy directly from a butcher or buy in bulk.

You can easily cut your costs for meat in half by shopping this way. For those of you who feed homemade raw dog food, I would love to hear your money-saving tips!

Raw dog food ebook

You’ll also want to consider my ebook 10 Easy Raw Dog Food Recipes. It is available here for $9 and includes a guide to raw feeding to get you started.

Raw dog food ebook

Raw dog food prices from grocery store meat

The following prices are from my standard grocery store, nothing special. I wasn’t worried about organic meat or what was on sale. I just took 15 minutes to walk through the store and jot down some prices of some foods I would use if I were to make homemade food for Ace.

Chicken thighs: $1.72 per pound, $2.58 per day or $78 per month

Ace would eat about 1.5 pounds of meat per day. Obviously you want to mix up the kind of meat you feed your dog. This is just an example.

Chicken liver: $1.99 per pound, about 1 pound per week so $8 per month

Again, just an example. You want to feed your dog a variety of organ meat.

Vegetables: $0.50 per day or $15 per month

For fruits and vegetables, I would just feed Ace whatever I happened to be eating that week (lettuce, spinach, bananas, apples, carrots, zucchini, asparagus or whatever). He would get 1/4 C. or so of veggies per meal. On the high end, that might equal out to $0.50 per day.

Yogurt: $1.25 per cup, $0.63 per day or $19 per month

Ace would get 1/4 C. of yogurt or so per meal.


Other expenses not included could be calcium tabs, glucosamine tabs, fish oil, organ meat, raw bones, raw eggs, etc. These are all things that could be included in my dog’s meals from time to time regardless of whether I’m making his food or not.

*Get our three FREE raw dog food recipes now! Click Here

Natural dry dog food – $50 to $75 per month

Ace would generally eat about 3 cups of high-quality dry food per day.

Taste of the Wild – wetlands canine formula (wild fowl)
$47.49 per 30-pound bag
$2.37 per day or $71 per month

Standard dry dog food – $50 to $65 per month

Ace would generally eat about 4 cups of standard-quality dry dog food per day.

Iams – large breed chunks (chicken)
$31.95 per 40-pound bag
$1.60 per day or $48 per month

Hills Science Diet – large breed adult formula
$35.99 per 35-pound bag
$2.05 per day or $62 per month

Just want to point out that corn is the #1 ingredient in this food highly recommended by most vets!

Purina One – Smartblend chicken and rice forumula
$35.99 per 34-pound bag
$2.12 per day or $64 per month

I didn’t realize how expensive standard dry dog food has gotten. It’s almost as expensive as higher-quality brands. All the more reason to switch to natural dog food!

How much do you pay for your dog’s food?

I’m not out to make anyone feel bad about not being able to afford the cost of raw dog food or high-quality dry dog food. Worry about yourself and your family before you worry about what your dog is eating.

Sometimes I look at my dog’s food and my cats’ food and see that all the ingredients are natural or organic and then I look at the food I’m eating – usually not organic! We definitely should not put our pets before ourselves.

Dogs can get by on a lower-quality food just like people can get by on a lower-quality diet. I do not believe someone shouldn’t have a dog just because she can’t afford the best food. That would be ridiculous.

My dog and cats ate Purina One for a good two years. Eventually I started buying higher-quality food every other month or mixing the two together to save $10 here and there.

My dog eats raw dog food

Ace did great on 100 percent raw food. I am a true believer in feeding dogs and cats raw! Ace ate mostly raw chicken but he also ate some raw beef.

Darwin's raw dog food

Here are some of the changes I noticed when I switched Ace to raw food:

  • Fewer ear infections
  • Less itchy skin/dandruff
  • Less poop!
  • Ace was definitely not as thirsty!

*Get our three FREE raw dog food recipes now! Click Here

Let me know what your dog eats and how you save money on dog food!

Lindsay Stordahl is the founder of That Mutt. She writes about dog training, dog exercise and feeding a healthy raw diet.

Marilyn Mitchell

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

I appreciate the information u provide along w the fair way in which u give it. I tend to get balky when pressed too hard. . Therefore, I’m curious now about this raw food feeding and willing to at least LOOK at the pros and cons. You spoke with good sense and it reached beyond my stubbornness. I Thank you.


Friday 17th of May 2019

I just did some calculations, and I spend about $105 per month to feed my two cocker spaniels. They get rabbit, beef, duck, and tripe in the appropriate 80/10/10 proportions. What I buy is pre-ground and packaged in chubs. I did have to invest in a freezer, but it was well worth it. I have seem dramatic improvement in my older dog's health. I'm sick I didn't start raw feeding when he was a youngster, but better late than never!

Sole of Missy

Thursday 13th of November 2014

I was looking for a best dog food for my chow and was routed to your website. I learned a lot! I will go and try raw food diet to my dog. i am excited to see what's gonna happen next. :D


Thursday 27th of September 2012

Hi Lindsay! If your dog is still itchy and getting ear infections on a raw diet, I would say try switching him to a different protein source. It sounds like he may have a sensitivity to chicken (it's actually very common, and understandable considering what we've done to that species).

Lindsay Stordahl

Thursday 27th of September 2012



Tuesday 21st of August 2012

I found this blog great until I read this one line about science diet:

"Just want to point out that corn is the #1 ingredient in this food highly recommended by most vets!"

proves how most vets are dummies IMO. corn is bad for dogs - and science diet is crap. jus' sayin'.

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 21st of August 2012

That was exactly my point! :)