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  • Author or Editor: Gabriella R. Kratzer x
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Nutrition plays a fundamental role in the management of canine chronic enteropathies (CCEs). Dog owners may elect to feed home-cooked diets (HCDs) rather than veterinary commercially prepared diets (CPDs) because of perceived lower costs. There is a paucity of data comparing costs of these options. We hypothesize there will be differences in costs between complete and balanced HCDs and nutritionally comparable CPDs.


6 Home-cooked diets.


Six HCD recipes (2 highly digestible, 2 limited antigen, 2 low-fat) were formulated by 2 board-certified veterinary nutritionists to mimic the nutritional and ingredient profiles of veterinary CPDs for management of CCEs. The cost (in US$ on a per 100 kilocalorie [kcal] basis) of each recipe was determined via collection of ingredient prices from 3 grocery stores combined with supplement prices from online retailers. Prices of CPDs were obtained from a national online retailer. Maintenance energy requirements of 1.6 X (70 X BWkg 0.75), where BWkg represents body weight in kilograms, were calculated for 3 dog sizes (5, 20, and 40 kg), and costs of feeding maintenance energy requirements with HCDs versus dry and canned CPDs were compared with a Kruskal–Wallis test and post hoc testing.


The median costs of all dry and canned CPDs and HCDs were $0.29 (range, $0.18 to $0.46), $1.01 (range, $0.77 to $1.20), and $0.55 (range, $0.35 to $1.14), respectively. Feeding complete and balanced HCDs cost more than feeding dry CPDs (P < .001), but not canned CPDs (P > .99).


Dry CPDs cost the least for nutritional management of CCEs. There is a wide range of costs for both CPDs and HCDs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association