When home-cooked diets for dogs cost more than commercially prepared kibble

raw dog food and kibble

If you have a dog with chronic enteropathies or chronic illness like renal disease or pancreatitis that is partially manageable through diet then you are aware of the higher cost often associated with these diets.

But despite the benefits associated with commercially prepared diets for the management of chronic enteropathies and diseases, many owners are electing to go another route and forgo popular over-the-counter dog foods.

Many owners decide early on in a diagnosis that they want to switch their dogs to a homemade diet

One study found that the median costs of all dry commercially prepared kibble cost more than feeding a complete and balanced homecooked diet. However, this was not the case for canned diets which costs more when compared to homemade diets.

It is also important to note that homemade dog food is cheaper when compared to commercially prepared human-grade diets.

So, why does it cost more to feed a dog homemade, let’s find out

Why are homemade diets more costly?

1. Ingredients

The ingredients in homemade dog foods are many times human-grade which will cost a lot more. If you are feeding organic fruits and vegetables, free-range chickens, and grass-fed beef you can expect that number to be even higher.

2. Equipment

If you are making your dog’s food at home, you will have to purchase equipment. This will most likely be a one-time purchase unless you have to replace a machine or scale that has stopped working.

To learn more bout the items you will need to purchase when starting to feed your dog a homemade meal, read our latest article here.

3. Vet visits

We highly recommend you speak with your vet who can usually refer you to a veterinary nutritionist that can help you come up with a good game plan for feeding your dog homemade.

This is a crucial step that you don’t want to miss as if you don’t give your dog the proper nutrients in the necessary amounts your dog could become malnourished.

However, it will cost some money but it is worth it.

4. Time

Yes, you definitely should factor in the time spent making your dog’s meals at home.

Purchasing kibble or over-the-counter dog food is as easy as stopping by the store after work on your way home, paying, and feeding your dog.

But there are many steps to making your dogs homemade meals and it will cost you time and lots of it. Not to discourage anyone from feeding homemade but it is something that you should be aware of since your time is valuable.

5. Quantity

Many pet parents find that they seem to have to feed a higher quantity of food when making homemade meals over giving their dog kibble. This will add to your overall cost in the end especially if you have a large breed dog.

We know that most pet owners just want the absolute best for their pups and are willing to pay a little more to do so. There are ways to cut costs when feeding your dog at home without cutting quality. To learn more about how to do so read our article here.


  • Evaluation of recipes of home-prepared maintenance diets for dogs (AVMA)
  • Home-cooked diets cost more than commercially prepared dry kibble diets of dogs with chronic enteropathies (PubMed)