Cost of Premium Puppy Kibble / Food

This is a correction to the previous post.  My tech scrambled and all the info didn’t make it to the blog post.

I did the math on two grain free options in puppy food (dry kibble).  Note that I already have raw fed a puppy before in 2009.  I already knew that I don’t want to put in the work and time this time, so I was on the hunt for a dry kibble.  This works for the Free-Shaping style of training where you reward the puppy all through the day using his normal food ration as the treats.  (My two current favorite trainers on YouTube are Stonnie Dennis and Adimus Dog Services. UPDATE: Also Sophia Yin.)

Per Day cost is not that much different. I say maybe about a 50 cents more per day for the premium food and I feel like it is worth it, because I know what’s in the food and the company.  Both are in the “over $2 per day” category so that extra 50 cents per day is worth it to me.
$2.75 per day* for Orijen Puppy (If you buy the 25 lb bag, the cost goes down to $1.96)
$2.14 per day* for Canidae Grain Free Puppy
You could reduce the cost a little bit and feed the Arcana brand.  It’s the “Value” brand by the same company that makes Orijen.  I like the Orijen (“best brand”) for my puppy while he’s growing.  But, I’ll consider feeding Arcana plus some raw frozen when he’s over 1 year. (A hybrid solution to lower my cost.)
The difference between Orijen and Arcana is described on their FAQ here:  Arcana is simply a little less meat and a little more cooked and therefore a little lower cost.
Note that at 10 months old, I will switch my poodle to adult dog food.  If I remember correctly, this is what the clerk at Urban Tails told me and she is so very knowledgeable that I will follow her recommendation. She feeds her dog a combo of frozen raw dog kibble–she sells several brands–plus offsets it with the Orijen/Arcana brand.
Please note that there are other ways around the home to feed a dog, supplementing with other foods from table scraps (not the best) and raw, nutrient dense foods like egg yolks, raw goats’ milk, plain yogurt, and fresh fruits and veggies.  Maybe I’ll talk about that later, but there is a great source of info:’s raw dog food blog.


Or, Some Dogs Need More Fat Than Others

Or, Tweaking the Kibble Based On Other Dietary Add-ins

There are actually two different formulas of Orijen Puppy dry kibble. One is for smaller breeds and it’s the “regular Puppy” formula and it has a higher fat content than the Large Breed Puppy formula.  The Large Breed Puppy formula has the same protein but lower fat content.  No other major differences.

First, you could buy the lower fat content food for Large Breed puppies even if you have a small breed because if you’re like me you’re going to already be wanting to add on whole, raw foods with a higher fat content such as:  raw egg yolks, coconut oil, and liver once a week.  You do the math.

Or, second, you could play with the amount of extras you are adding such as raw meats, low fat Greek yogurt, plant materials, Olewo carrots, and fats, and see if you want the higher- or lower-fat version of the Orijen Puppy food.

Third, it turns out my puppy is a large breed, so you’d think that he should get the Large Breed Puppy formula.  However, since his Vet thinks that he’s a bit thin right now, we’re going to fill him out by giving him higher calorie for awhile.  So, I’m giving him the “regular Puppy” formula (higher fat).

THE MATH (for the nerd people) 

Here are the details on how I arrived at my price above:
I compared the smallest bag size which is 4.5 pounds for Orijen and 4 pounds for Canidae Grain-Free puppy foods.  I standardized for how much the dog needs to eat when the puppy is 10 months old (his peak consumption).
Orijen at Urban Tails (My local pet food store delivers it for free, usually next day)
$20.99 / 4.5 lbs.
12th bag free (the store tracks my purchases and gives me the 12th for free, but this is an Orijen brand incentive which you should be able to get at your local store or contact the company about the program details)
Cost $230.89= 11 x $10.99
4.5 lbs x 12 = 54 lbs
$230.89 / 54 = $4.27 per pound

SERVINGS: (more important than per pound)

Looking at the PEAK/most amount the puppy will eat during the growth phase, using 66 pound puppy eating the most up to 10 months of age.
Orijen he would get 2.5 cups (285 grams)
2000 g bag (4 lbs.) / 285g = 7 servings.
$19.22 / 7 = $2.75 per day (for that 66 pound puppy 10 month old.)
But, you would bring the cost down by buying the large bag, not this 4 pound bag.
The BIGGER BAG is 11.3kg, so 11,300g / 285g = 39.6 servings
$85 x 11 bags = $935
$935/12 = $78 per bag
$78 / 39.6 = $1.96 per SERVING

Candidae he would get about 3 cups.
I.E. it’s true (as expected) that the Orijen is slighly more nutrient dense than the Canidae.
Canidae Grain Free Puppy
4 lbs is $8.56 online. You could autoship with, cheaper than Amazon
1800 grams in bag
66 pound puppy 10 months old (peak) would get about 450 grams
so there are 4 servings in the bag. (This is where that nutrient density shows up! He has to eat more to get the nutrition.)
$8.56/4=$2.14 per serving.
You would, again, purchase the large bulk bag for a lower per pound cost.
But, the per day (what I called serving size above) cost is not that much different.
$2.75 per day for Orijen (If you buy the 25 lb bag, the cost goes down to $1.96)
$2.14 per day for Canidae.


2 responses to “Cost of Premium Puppy Kibble / Food

  1. Added new top dog trainer Dr. Sophia Yin. Check out her website!

  2. Pingback: Cost of Premium Puppy Food |

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