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Thread: Cheapest grain free food?

  1. #1
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    Default Cheapest grain free food?

    I have a friend who has a Great Dane with allergies to something, but they're not sure what. The dog has red itchy skin. She is thinking it might be grains in food. Money is tight, I won't go into details.

    When i think of grain free food, the first thing i think of is raw food, how does the price of buying raw food compare to dry dog food? (I'd also be interested to know this)
    I don't think she's too keen on switching to raw food... being a great dane this dog eats a lot.

    What about dry food? Whats the cheapest grain free brand?

  2. #2
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    Oh yeah, they'd eat heaps!

    Don't know about dry food. I know to feed my dogs, pet mince is about the same price as the mid-range supermarket tinned food. I pay $4 a kilo for pet roo mince when I buy in bulk from the pet store. I think chicken necks are about the same at Woolies. Chicken carcasses are cheaper and I can get chicken mince for about $2.50 a kilo, but I rarely get it as it's very fatty. In rural towns, you may be able to find even cheaper deals, especially on raw bones and carcasses and such. It does add an extra level of having to be organised, because you can't just buy the food from any supermarket. For a dog that size, they'd really need a reasonably sized freezer. My 10 kilos lasts us 2 weeks for 2 cats and 2 medium sized dogs. It fills up almost half of my bar-fridge style freezer.

    My dogs both get 300gr of mince/chicken necks a day. Banjo weighs (or should weigh!) about 23kg and the pup 16kg, but she gets more because she's growing (and very active!) and also gets some dry food in the morning. So to feed one of them costs me about $1.20 a day. I suppose a Dane would eat at least twice that amount? Usually they say 2% of body weight, but my Banjo only gets about 1.5% because she stacks on fat by just looking at food. I also used to add VAN, which is quite pricey. You can buy it in bulk to save money though. Alternatively, you can just add some veggies, kelp powder, and vitamins yourself. I also like to add a little bit of brown rice or barley or similar to fill it out, but they don't actually need this.

    I've no idea how much dry food you'd have to feed a dog if that's all they get, so really can't draw a comparison.

  3. #3
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    The cheapest grain free dry food I have found is Earthborn Holistic. I pay $95 for 12 kilos, so not exactly cheap but my biggest working dog (22kgs) gets about 2 cups per day. A little more than is recommended but they are working dogs.

    A 55kg dog needs 350g per day according to the pack.

  4. #4

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    Get your friend to have a look at this link:

    Great Dane link: Great Dane Rescue & Rehoming

    A lot of really good information to be found in the above link.

    It really is a process of elimination to work out what is causing the skin problems. It may be food related or it may not !

  5. #5
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    I've definitely found going with raw food cheaper that dry food. Went to the pet store and got the science diet puppy food the breeder had her on plus some puppy's milk and a couple of other things bang $80 right there and the dry food maybe lasted 2.5 weeks. But with raw food I use chicken necks and frames $1-2 kg, hearts and livers a couple of dollars a pack, some home brand oats and some kangaroo mince, veggie fibre from when we do a juicing, make up a big batch and there's at least a week's worth of food for about $15. Mine's a bit more expensive because OH insists that only human grade food goes in the fridge so I pay a bit extra for human grade kangaroo mince. but still think its pretty cheap all up. Depends on how much they go through though.

  6. #6
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    Yes I took a dog with a similar problem to a specialist. She gave her that allergy test where they inject tiny amounts of allergins under the skin and look for a reaction. My dog was allergic to fleas and some grass pollens. They made up a course of desensitising injections and I made sure flea control was good and I had no more problems.

    With another dog the general vet I saw suggested that I start initially with a diet of roo meat and potatoes and gradually added other ingredients to see how she reacted. That is a bit of a process and needs some committment. Turns out my dog didnt have a problem with food, it was the grains of sand on the beach that were making her feet itchy.

  7. #7
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    it's not easy to find a grain free dry dog food.

    Even black hawk fish and potato - still has brown rice in it (and maybe oats).

    I think Nutro Natural choice (Mars corporation - yes, the mars bars people not Nestles the supercoat people) might make one.
    Nope - they've all got rice in them... There is a fish and rice version that might be worth a try.

    But otherwise - making your own might be the easiest option. Not so much fun for travelling tho.

  8. #8
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    Earthborn grain free has potatoes, peas, eggs with lamb, fish or beef meal being the first listed ingredient. It is imported from the USA

  9. #9
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    Kibble, grain free woolworths both supply is cheapest. $28 for 8kg for Brian, 500g/day for his 50kg weight. That's 16days of food, for $28 i can buy.

    Raw, that's 4kg meaty bones per day. Cheapest is human mince from supermarket at $5 kg.

    Ive tried the suggested measure, and he's starvin marvin, so i dont get as much mileage as others. But my dog is exercised daily and not carrying an ounce of fat, just muscle, and this head that keeps growing.

  10. #10
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    This is an ingredient list I found for Woolworths VIP natures goodness grain free dry food.

    Ingredients: Meat (Poultry Meal and Meat Meal, Duck and Meat Meals), Vegetable and Vegetable Meals, (including Potato, Peas, Carrots, Pumpkin), Potato and Tapioca Starch, Tallows and Oils (Poultry and Vegetable), Beet Pulp, Chicken Digest, Oilseeds (Canola and Linseed), Egg Powder, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (A,D,E,B1,B5,B6, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, B12), and Minerals (Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Iodine, Selenium) Kelp Meal, Choline Chloride, Soy Lecithin Powder, Dried Chicory Root, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Garlic Powder, Tomato Powder, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Antioxidants.

    Crude Protien Min 26.0%
    Crude Fat Min 14.0%
    Crude Fibre Max 5.0%
    Salt (Sodium Chloride Max 1.2%
    Calcium Min 1.0%
    Phosphorous Min 0.8%
    Metabolizable Energy 350 kcal/100g APPROX


    All I can say is I hope the salt percentage is wrong - because 1.2% is SHOCKING. And I can't see the point of swapping out rice for tapioca...

    and there's a lot of mystery ingredients like "meat" and "vegetables"... vegetable oil is often Palm Oil or GM cotton seed oil - both of which I like to avoid. Also like to see "meat" not confused with "meat meal" and for a list to be specific about which meat.

    Ie a bit hard if you think your dog has allergies and you're trying to do an elimination diet and you don't really know what is in this stuff.

    Wikipedia describes tapioca as a "grain" but apparently it comes from some sort of vegetable root. In the USA they refer to the "Grains" as "pearls" - but my family has always called them "frogs eggs" and I can't quite bring myself to eat it any more...

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