How Much Does It Cost to Feed Your Dog Around the World?

by Britt
Photo credit: Prostock-studio /

There is no denying the fact that pet ownership can be expensive. From the expected costs of vaccinations and high-quality dog food to the increased fees associated with traveling with your dog by your side, it adds up fast! But exactly how much does it cost to feed your dog? How do these costs stack up compared to dog parents in other areas?

If this question has been on your mind, you’re in luck. A recent study by CashNetUSA compares the cost of feeding a dog in 97 countries, and the findings are surprising.

Let’s start with the most exciting news for American pet parents. While the cost of feeding a dog in the US didn’t make the list of the least expensive countries, it did rank as one of the most affordable countries when assessing the annual cost versus the national net income per capita. Other countries that made this list include Ireland, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, and Denmark.

Of course, this value can vary depending on the quality of dog food you are feeding and the size of your dog (therefore, the amount of food they consume daily).

The study collected data based on the cost of feeding a medium-sized dog 540 grams of kibble daily using the cheapest dry food available in local supermarkets. If a country didn’t have available comparable food, the price was calculated using an international supermarket that would ship to the country.

The least expensive country to feed a dog was Botswana, at a cost of $163.59 USD annually. This was closely followed by Lesotho ($201.29) and Hungary ($246.38). On the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive country was Japan, with dog food costs reaching a staggering $2,056.88 USD annually. The top 3 most costly countries also included Andorra ($1854.71) and Estonia ($1518.98).

What causes such a variation in cost? In addition to the living costs and average income for each country, food quality should also be considered. Countries with exceptionally low annual prices often fed dogs a diet that failed to meet their nutritional needs.

“Most retail brands in Botswana and around Africa use basic formulae often resulting in dogs suffering from inflamed skin and increased scratching caused by (an) imbalance in levels of Omera 3 and 6 along with insufficient levels of essential fatty acids like DHA and FPA,” a local entrepreneur told the National Post.

If you are struggling with pet food's growing cost, you’re not alone. Many pet parents are seeking ways to keep the costs down without sacrificing the quality of their dog’s diet. Here are a few tips to help keep the costs down:

Bake Your Own Dog Treats

Dog treats are one of the bigger costs that many dog parents spend on. After all, there are so many incredible treat options available on the shelves of our local pet stores. How do you not want to spoil your furry best friend? Making your treats is not only budget-friendly but also a great way to control the quality of what your dog is eating.

Buy in Bulk

If your budget allows, purchase a larger bag of dog food or buy your dog’s food in bulk. These products are designed to last surprisingly well on the shelf over time. By buying larger quantities at once, you may spend more in the moment, but the cost per meal drops considerably. If your local pet store doesn’t have a bulk discount, consider asking about purchasing a bulk order and how it could impact the price.

Join Loyalty Programs or Subscriptions

Many pet stores and online pet retailers offer loyalty programs or subscriptions that help reduce your costs if you continue purchasing from one location. This could mean a lower price per bag with a pre-scheduled subscription order or a loyalty points program where you are rewarded with a free bag after buying a certain number of dog food bags.

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Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her “pack” which includes her husband John, their 2 dogs – Indiana and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.

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