Learning how to keep raw dog food affordable was essential to me! I really wanted to completely replace kibble with it, but couldn’t afford 100% commercial raw dog food. Well, I found a way of doing it because the benefits of raw are SO worth it!
So since I switched to raw in 2015, I’ve learned a thing or two to keep the cost down.
That being said, here are my top four tips + a no brainer tip AND a bonus tip of how to keep raw dog food affordable:
Tip 1: Make Your Own Raw Dog Food
This is without doubt my number 1 tip for saving on a raw meat diet. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved with this, but it’s totally worth it.
Once you get the hang of things, you only need to set aside a few hours for meal prep per month. That’s it, BAM, you’ll have the freshest meals available for your pup(s)!
Besides saving money, you’ll also know exactly what made it into your raw dog food ingredient-wise.
You can learn more about how to make raw dog food at home here. Or check out my ebook Raw Meal Prep for Dogs: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners.
Tip 2: Order/Buy Commercial Raw Dog Food In Bulk
Here’s my tip #2: Order in bulk whenever you can and you’ll save hundreds of dollars on raw dog food. However, you will need freezer space for this!
I was the proud owner of a 5.1 cubic feet freezer chest I bought on Amazon for $205. Since then, I’ve upgraded to a 7 cubic feet freezer chest I found on Ebay for $340. These freezer chests only hold Wally’s raw dog food!
In the picture above, it holds the vast majority of a 55 lb raw dog food order I had placed with Raw Feeding Miami. They’re one of my favorite online retailers for individual cuts of raw meat for doggie meal prep.
One time, I was browsing Raw Paws Pet Food’s website and came across a bulk offer for their complete raw lamb. That’s a fairly expensive protein, and I got 64 lb of it for $350, which translates into $5.40 per lb.
The lowest price I can find on raw lamb at my local grocery store is between $2.99-$4.99 when it’s on sale. The regular price for 1 lb of ground lamb at said grocery store is $6.99.
You better believe that I stock up on it whenever it IS on sale!!
Tip 3: Sign Up For Newsletters To Get Promotional Deals & Select Autoship for Discounts on Raw Dog Food
Tip number 3 consists of signing up for newsletters from different raw dog food brands to get notified of any promotional deals. Brands whose newsletters I follow are Raw Paws Pet Food, Raw Feeding Miami, The Honest Kitchen, and Boo Boo’s Best.
I also subscribe to twi local pet food retailers here in my neck of the woods in NC, Naturally Unleashed and Moore Equine Feed & Pet Supply. They sell raw dog food and have discounted meat sales on a regular basis.
You can also get 15% off at Raw Paws Pet Food by using my affiliate code K9Savings.
Early 2019 find: New raw dog food company CaliRaw offers 5% savings when selecting their monthly autoship option on CaliRaw.com. They also offer a $30 discount off your first box with discount code NY2020 at checkout.
Tip 4: Check For Discount Programs with Raw Dog Food Providers (Pet Professionals, Affiliates, Referrals)
Tip number 4 can save you $$$ by applying for specific discount programs with raw dog food providers. For example, affiliate or referral programs.
Darwin’s Pet has an affiliate program for anyone who wants to join!
So does Raw Paws Pet Food.
No Brainer: Check Local Grocery Store For Deals On Expiring Raw Meats
This tip is fairly self-explanatory. It pays off to purchase discounted raw meats that will expire soon. Whenever I notice a yellow sticker on meat at the grocery store, I buy it and either use it right away or freeze it until I need it.
This is a great, inexpensive way of getting raw meaty bones like chicken wings, drumsticks & leg quarters, as well as turkey necks & drumsticks.
They make up 10% of raw dog food and make wonderful natural toothbrushes. I also buy duck necks from Darwin’s, Raw Paws Pet Food and Raw Feeding Miami for the sake of rotating meaty bone proteins.
You can also find inexpensive cuts of raw meat at Walmart. I’ve found raw beef tongues, ox tails, chicken feet & turkey necks at the discount giant, and have dedicated an entire blog post to preparing raw meals with ingredients from Walmart.
Check out this post on That Mutt where I contribute raw dog food related blog posts:
Bonus Tips for Saving on Raw Dog Food
Thinking outside the box can help you save a few dollars on raw dog food here & there as well.
It can pay off to look for (raw) pet food campaigns on platforms such as Kickstarter. See what the reward is for pledging a certain dollar amount in support of their campaign and jump on the discount wagon!
Might as well profit a little from a campaign launch, right?!
I did that when I supported Balanced Blends, a raw dog food company who launched their food in 2016, on Kickstarter. I pledged $50 towards their campaign and received 20 lb of their raw beef formula at a fraction of the full price in return. Essentially 20 lb for the $50 I pledged instead of the retail price of $140.
In addition, I will be getting 5 extra lb for free for every 20 lb of raw dog food I order for the next 3 months. On top of it, shipping is free as well.
That’s a really good deal for a complete & balanced meal that has already been put together for me! It follows the 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other organ raw feeding formula.
Another good source for special deals & coupon codes for raw dog food is Instagram. When I browse the hashtag #rawfeeding, I regularly see discount codes for different raw dog food brands.
Sometimes it’s from the brand itself, other times it’s from raw feeders who are affiliated with the brand.
Place orders with another raw feeder
Also see about ordering raw dog food together with a fellow raw feeder. You’ll be able to share shipping costs if you order from an online raw dog food retailer like Raw Feeding Miami.
This particular company also has a loyalty reward program for their customers. You earn points for every order you place, which can be put towards any future raw dog food orders.
Update 2020: I can now offer you 15% off your raw dog food order from Raw Feeding Miami. Simply use this link to apply it to your order!
How To Keep Raw Dog Food Affordable – Bottom Line
Feeding my former two large dogs a healthy, raw diet didn’t break the bank. It stayed affordable because I compared prices and stayed on top of special offers and discounts from a variety of raw dog food providers, including shopping for raw meats on sale at the grocery store.
I continue to do the same for my current pup Wally, my 38 lb Feist mix.
When you do the math, it’s really not any more expensive than purchasing high quality, grain-free kibble brands like Orijen ($119.99 for a 28.6 lb bag), Solid Gold Barking At The Moon ($94.99 for a 24 lb bag), or Annamaet ($106.19 for a 30 lb bag).
…I’m not gonna lie, it’s also exciting and rewarding whenever I find a new deal or make a repeat purchase at a discount!
Speaking of deals – how about a discount for my raw dog food e-book 20 Raw Meals for Dogs?! Use BLOG for $3 off at checkout.
Leave your comments or questions below in the comment section!