Archive for January, 2012

Aiming For a More Frugal 2012? Try Switching Your Dog’s Diet…

January 13, 2012

Happy New Year to everyone! We hope that you all had a wonderful and restful holiday and you are looking forward to the New Year as much as we are!

Santa was very good to all of our dogs this year! Pictured here is Cane from Beyond The Leash holding his very own stocking.

A few month’s ago, we sat down at Beyond The Leash to budget what we were spending on dog food and wanted to share our findings with you. With 7 of our own personal dogs, we averaged that we were spending approximately $350 per month on kibble. After factoring in supplements, we decided that spending close to $5,000 per year on our dogs’ diet probably wasn’t the most prudent idea in this economy.

As a result, we decided to switch all of the dogs over to a raw diet. Not only do they LOVE their new meals, this decision has also saved us large quantities of money and has cut down on the amount of waste in our yard a considerable amount! With premium kibble costing $1.50 per pound or more, we are able to save lots of money and feed our entire pack a raw diet for only $100 per month now! We highly recommend Adams Chapman Co for meat in downtown Boston for great meat prices and have been very happy so far supplementing their meat with The Honest Kitchen’s Thrive and Animal Essentials’ Seaweed Calcium.

We began feeding raw when turkey prices were so low around Thanksgiving. Here is what our bathtub looked like then.

Though we do realize that part of the reason this decision has proved to be SO cost effective for us is because we are feeding in bulk. We even purchased a separate freezer on Craigslist for $180 exclusively for our 30 and 40 pounds boxes of duck necks, chicken backs, etc. in order to have the required storage space. It is obvious that all of you don’t own as many dogs as us and understandable that you don’t want to go through all of that trouble. Not to mention, feeding raw can be a bit of a nauseating task at times. Don’t worry, we have a great option for all of your households as well, which is home cooking.

If a diet is healthier for your dogs and better for your wallets, why not at least try it out? The issue of all of the processed foods and vitamins that come along with feeding kibble is no longer a problem with home cooking your dog’s meal! Furthermore, because you are feeding a healthier diet, your dog isn’t excreting as much waste. Literally, you don’t have to clean up as much poop because your dog’s stool will likely be much smaller and should be very nicely formed. Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

Of course you need to be careful of food allergies much like you have to be with any other diet and you want to ensure that your dog’s meal is well-balanced, but why not give it a whirl? All of us out there who are trying to cut costs and doing our best to set ourselves up for a financially successful 2012 have likely not thought of changing our dog’s diet to save money. We recommend you speak to your veterinary professional if you have questions about switching if and when you decide to make the leap, but there are also many great online resources to consult if you are merely trying to gather information in the meantime. Some of which include some nice blog posts about home cooking by Suzanne Clothier, an article in the New York Times published a year ago about cooking at home for your pets, and some informative books out by Dr. Billinghurst if you are considering feeding raw.

No matter what you decide, we wish you and your pets a very healthy and happy year. And if you happen to be looking for some fun new training ideas, check out our website for new class postings. We have scentwork, group obedience, and trick classes starting this month and plan to add Puppy Preschool, Recall Refresher, and K9ProFit courses early spring. If we can be of any service to you in 2012, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment at our Andover location. Call us toll free anytime at 866-957-DOGS(3647) or drop an e-mail to We are excited about pursuing many new training and business goals this year and hope to be able to include you in them! Now, go find some great meat deals at your local grocery store and plug in your crock pots…