We own a beagle kennel and have been feeding around 20 dogs for the last 10 years. With feed prices going higher and higher, we are looking for a brand of dry food in 50# bags that can cut some costs. We've been feeding Diamond and are happy with it, but can't handle upwards of $20 a bag with that many dogs. We can buy it bulk by the ton if that would help cut some cost as well ~ we are in Michigan. We have picked up from stores and also had it delivered in the past. Looking for something 20-24% protein and 12-18% fat with winter coming on. Anyone have suggestions? Thanks much!
I'm sorry, but if you don't have the resources to buy good food, why would'nt you cut down on the number of dogs you own? I have a friend who feeds Diamond and her dogs look very well on it. If you go to a lower priced product you are really wasting your money totally, because the cheap food is filled with grain, or as many other fillers as possible. If you hit the lowest of the low, it will contain animal digest....about the most revolting ingredients you can think of, including eutanized animals, used restaurant oil, and road kill. The 'animal' portion of animal digest is described as the 4 D's..dead, diseased, disabled, or dying, before slaughter. There is a sticky on TP's home page called Wiley's food grading system. It's a really good reference for people looking to compare dog food brands.
Thanks for the Pet supply store idea ~ they are very happy to cut the price when you'll buy 40 bags from them! Ideas as this is what I put this out here for ~ other peoples experiences or connections to/in cost-cutting. Never did I think of feeding junk food - I would sell off my kennel before that happened. I'm not new to the concept of the ingredient list, but I don't think a dog has to be fed lamb and salmon to stay happy and healthy, either. Just looking for ideas!
Only $20 for 50 pounds, thats a good deal already. I have priced Diamond food here in Ohio, have yet to find it that cheap. I dont feed diamond currently, but have been omparing label and prices myself lately.
Shoot, that's cheap!! I'm paying almost $40 for a 35 lb bag of Nutri Source and with all my "kids" I am using about 1 bag a WEEK!! It's exspencive but I'd never skimp on my dogs food!! I have healthy dogs with shiny coats and lots of milk and fat healthy puppies, the results are worth all the money I spend in food!! As a breeder the last thing you want to do is skimp on food!!
The fact that some food is less than $20 a 50 pound bag says a lot about what's in the food. If I had your dogs, with an average weight of 20-30 pounds, I would be feeding 1 to 1 1/2 cups a day for an adult dog, with the food that I feed.How much Diamond do you feed your dogs per day?
I can sympathize on the whole concept of feeding multiple dogs. I show and raise Shelties and I have a "deal" worked out with extended family that I'll pay for their dog food if they help me socialize puppies and will come help with my dogs when I am out of town at dog shows (cheaper than hiring kennel help and I trust my family). So I'm feeding a lot more dogs than I would like.
But I'm also a firm believer that your breeding program and the health and well being of your dogs suffers if you're only focused on the price per pound/per bag. I also know first hand that in a lot of cases, the more expensive foods work out to be cheaper to feed. It's getting a lot harder to make that work with the way prices keep climbing, but for a long time it was A LOT cheaper for me to feed Canidae than it was to feed Diamond because Canidae has a higher calorie content per cup and with better ingredients, they need to eat less.
I've fed "Holistic" and "Corn Free" for about 4 years now and am MUCH happier with the coats, teeth, and overall conditioning of my dogs. Since they are show dogs, being in a full, fluffy, shiny coat and being in good muscle tone is a BIG deal.
But I agree... having to pay $50+ for 35 lbs of dog food was KILLING me.
I'm currently trying a new food... I peeked at their site and you can find it in Michigan... It's called "Native". The ingredient list is quite what I usually prefer to feed - but it's corn, soy, and wheat free and Chicken Meal is the main ingredient. I've been using it about a month now and I think I like what I'm seeing in my dogs. They have a GREAT breeder program with a "card" they give you to present to retailers where you get $7 off a bag. They also give you a free bag for every 10 that you buy. I'm buying mine from a Wholesaler (you may be able to find one in your area too) so I'm only paying about $29 for 40 lbs. I have a friend who also breeds and shows who found it for $38 less the $7 discount is $31 for 40 lbs.
It's a performance food - which with having active dogs I need in order to avoid feeding 4-5 cups of food to 25-30 lb dogs - with different "levels". The levels all cost the same - but the calorie content and protein and fat levels vary, so you can find an appropriate "level" for your dogs. With mine, I'll feed a higher level in the fall and winter than in the summer. The level 3 has 500 calories per cup and is 30% protein and 20% fat. The level 2 is more in line with what you say you're looking for... but it still has about 460 calories per cup.
Most people get stuck looking at a bag and can't get past the price tag. Protein and fat content doesn't really dictate how much you'll feed... look at the calorie content too.
I had friends who were giving me guff about feeding higher quality food... but I wasn't paying much more than they were even feeding my puppies Innova. You have to look at more than just price.
And unforunately... $20 for 40 lbs of Diamond is a good price. Even from the distributor. From the distributor I order from occasionally (when I can come up with $400-500 for dog food in one pop) the 50 lb bags run about $23. That's the distributor... they don't mark their food up like retailers do. If you are paying much less than that... you may as well give up. I can't see how your dogs would be in any kind of reasonably good shape.
I don't HATE regular Diamond... but I'd have to be REALLY broke to feed it. The Diamond Naturals is a better food and not that much higher in price...
As a breeder, I know it's HARD to feed what pet owners consider great food (I'd LOVE to feed all of mine Innova... I just can't do it at the price Innova is usually marked at). But there is a line between quality and crap that you can't cross and expect to have healthy puppies and healthy, well conditioned dogs.