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Discussion Starter #1
So right now I'm mostly broke with a bit of money for groceries that have to last at least a few weeks and I only have about a serving or two left of dog food.
So, does anyone have any recommendations of what I can feed my puppy? She's 5 months old and I've been feeding her Natural Balance for about two months.
I was looking at some cheap (like $6 for a little bag) food at the grocery store but it's all full of corn meal and other things that dog food shouldn't have and I really didn't feel comfortable getting that for her. I know a lot of pet owners don't care and buy cheap stuff but I feel I know better not to feed animals bad quality food. And I don't want to make her sick with the runs.
 

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It's never cost-effective to buy a small bag. You're paying twice as much per pound as a big bag---so you'll end up paying just as much for a low-quality food. One thing I can think of is to find a friend who feeds a decent-quality food in a large bag, and ask to buy a few pounds of it. Or have someone lend you the money for dog food and pay them back when you can.

Another thing you can do is feed real meat and oatmeal. You can feed an unbalanced diet for a short while with no ill effects. But if you only have a few dollars for food for the both of you this probably won't work. It works well for people on food stamps, though.

In the future, you might want to buy dog food one bag ahead, so that you always have a full bag in reserve, in case money suddenly gets tight. Some low-income friends of mine do that.

Some shelters have a pet food pantry. You can call around and ask. They get donations of all kinds of food and they might even have Natural Balance. Be sure to donate back to them when you have the means!
 

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Sorry to hear about your situation. I'be been looking at switching my 10 month old pup off of super premium dog foods and started her on 4 health dog food. I also am looking at the Diamond Naturals dog foods. Both are sold in Tractor Supply and the Diamond Naturals are sold in other stores as well. They both sell for about $7 for a 5 lb bag and they don't have corn, soy and wheat in them. There are some varieties that have more meat protein in them than others so you need to read the bags. I started my pup on the 4 health small bites and it has 26% protein.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's never cost-effective to buy a small bag. You're paying twice as much per pound as a big bag---so you'll end up paying just as much for a low-quality food. One thing I can think of is to find a friend who feeds a decent-quality food in a large bag, and ask to buy a few pounds of it. Or have someone lend you the money for dog food and pay them back when you can.

Another thing you can do is feed real meat and oatmeal. You can feed an unbalanced diet for a short while with no ill effects. But if you only have a few dollars for food for the both of you this probably won't work. It works well for people on food stamps, though.

In the future, you might want to buy dog food one bag ahead, so that you always have a full bag in reserve, in case money suddenly gets tight. Some low-income friends of mine do that.

Some shelters have a pet food pantry. You can call around and ask. They get donations of all kinds of food and they might even have Natural Balance. Be sure to donate back to them when you have the means!
Well, I'd only buy a small bag because I should be getting money soon so it'd be just enough to last until I do get some. I also thought about just buying a small bag of Natural Balance but that's like $20.
Also, I don't know anyone else with dogs. =/

I'll have to look into that pet food pantry thing though. Thanks. (=
 

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defiantly check for coupons/sales,, usually I just google and find places that have sales codes and coupons,, sending good thoughts your situation will improve quickly for you.
 

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Honestly, if it's just going to be for a little while...
It doesn't matter much what she's eating, just that she's eating. My default, were I in that situation, would be some chicken livers for 1.25 and a 3-4 dollar bag of chicken drumsticks, thighs, or quarters. So, for about 6.00 that would cover - Okay, any single one of my dogs, even the biggest, but not all of them.
 

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My two bigger dogs (50 pounds) are currently eating Diamond Naturals. I can get a 40 pound bag for less than $30. It lasts them about a month if I don't add any extras in. I keep the big bag in my chest freezer and dump out a week's worth or so into a lidded bucket in the pantry so the bag doesn't go bad before I use it up. I get this kibble at a feedstore, not a petstore or grocery.
I will buy sale/returned/opened/clearance foods too. I got a large bag of EVO Red Meat for $35 because somebody opened it, their dog didn't like it, and returned it. I keep an eye out for coupons and will use those on occasion, and I watch the local ads for deals on decent-quality petfoods even if I don't normally shop at that particular store.
One way I help cut costs is by posting ads on craigslist for unwanted/freezerburnt meats. Free meat, the dog's don't care if it's a bit old or whatever, and if it's a bit too old or odd looking/smelling for me, I just pitch it. Since I didn't spend any money on it I didn't lose anything.
The Shiba Inu gets almost fully raw foods, but his food bill is still pretty small.
 

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Honestly, if it's just going to be for a little while...
It doesn't matter much what she's eating, just that she's eating. My default, were I in that situation, would be some chicken livers for 1.25 and a 3-4 dollar bag of chicken drumsticks, thighs, or quarters.
For a few days, yeah. . .but for 3 weeks (I dunno exactly what's meant by "a few weeks"), that could end up costing more, depending how big the dog is. A fair-sized pup, say she eats 2 pounds a day, cheap chicken at 75 cents a pound or so, 3 weeks would cost $30-ish. If she's small it could be cheaper, though.

If you bulked out the diet with oatmeal, which is pretty cheap, 50/50 meat/oatmeal, that could knock the price down to something reasonable.
 

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For a few days, yeah. . .but for 3 weeks (I dunno exactly what's meant by "a few weeks"), that could end up costing more, depending how big the dog is. A fair-sized pup, say she eats 2 pounds a day, cheap chicken at 75 cents a pound or so, 3 weeks would cost $30-ish. If she's small it could be cheaper, though.

If you bulked out the diet with oatmeal, which is pretty cheap, 50/50 meat/oatmeal, that could knock the price down to something reasonable.
Agreed, but at 3 weeks if you do that - GET THE CHICKEN LIVERS.

Or just buy a bag of pedigree.
 

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Rice or potatoe with a spoonful of gravy and cottage cheese/ yogurt, a spoonful of whatever protein you are eating (chicken, burger, or tuna fish)....Just something to keep your dogs belly full... espec when hungry they will eat ANYTHING>...
 

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Or buy the cheap stuff that has the AAFCO mark so you know it is a good enough feed and doctor it up with meaty stuff? Eggs, ground beef, cook a chicken and/or add a bit of that liver and it would be much better than the cheap stuff, cheaper than cooking all the food and you would know your pup was getting what is needed.

With a cash flow problem coming up with the bucks for the more economical big bag of any dog food is not easy. Corn can be a problem for dogs but mostly we dislike feeding it as it is used so often in dog food of dubious quality.

http://www.dogaware.com/diet/freshfoods.html.
http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/nutritioncomments.html

If you abruptly change food then she is going to have some soft poop most likely. Hasn't anything to do with feeding food that isn't as good. I read one interesting idea about that. Since the dog will have soft poop which means it isn't digesting it well feed less when doing a fast food change. So mix in as best you can but if you see soft poop then cut back by 25% or so to see if the changeover goes faster. Once poop is back on track increase the amount fed if you start to see her getting skinny.
 

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Cheap food for a few weeks with some eggs thrown in wouldn't kill her. I went through some unexpected hard times, too, and did this. At that point, my dog was eating better than me even with the all the corn and other fillers.

Does OR have a lot of hunters? This time of year in PA you can find a lot of deer meat on craigslist.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So, I ended up buying a little bag of Iams Smart Puppy "Proactive Health."
It wasn't quite the cheapest but still reasonable. I bought it because it was one of the only cheap ones that had the AAFCO approval and literally the only one that had plain meat as the first ingredient.

Also, if I do end buying some meat or chicken livers to mix in with it should I cook it first or...?
 

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Sure cook the livers lightly, its sad (?) but I eat them too (just like them...).... and dont be afraid to add extenders like rice potatoe whatever starches you have handy, it will be fine. Your dog doesnt know what you are thinking...or concerned about, just keep something coming for her tummy...
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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I don't know if you have a Wegman's by you but they have begun selling Evolve dog food (at least mine has) it's a decent enough grain inclusive food void of Corn, Wheat and Soy, typically goes for about a $1.00 per lb.. I've used it a time or two when money has gotten tight...
 

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I see there is a petsmart and several feed stores in your area. Petsmart sometimes has great deals on dog food. I can at Petsmart also find food that is discounted because of short sales or discontinued by the store. The Authority brand of dog food is not expensive and for a short while would not be bad. Depending on size of dog, you can feed an adult dog food as long as it meets all stages of a dogs life. I would not suggest this if your dog is a large breed dog. Hopefully your situation is only for a short time. Feedstores are another place to go to buy dog food. Sometimes cheaper there then in a store, especially a grocery store.
 
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