How Your Dog's Gut Can Save You Money

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We'd do anything for our beloved furry friends, and when we really get invested, that means paying a lot of attention to what our pets eat. Sometimes this means meticulously researching every ingredient and every study into animal nutrition you can find; sometimes it's closer to giving your best bud a human diet. (Listen, how are you supposed to resist those pleading eyes at the dinner table?)

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have just released a study on which of the most accessible dog diets are best for your pup, and the results may have implications for your supply budget. When comparing four kinds of dog food, from kibble to raw meat to freshly made ingredients, the scientists landed decisively on serving your dog human-grade meals, using "minimally processed ingredients such as beef, chicken, rice, carrots, broccoli, and others in small chunks or a sort of casserole."

If that sounds like a lot of effort, consider this: Dogs with this diet needed to eat far less in order to get proper nutrition, which helped with costs and body weight. These dogs also produced one-third the fecal waste, which cuts down on poop bag costs, if nothing else.

Most pet owners are either dramatically overfeeding or somewhat underfeeding their animal companions, and any of us need to be careful about relying on online recipes for pet food. All pets need certain nutrients that we may not find intuitive, so if you're eager to cook for Fido yourself, consult with a vet to serve up the best meals possible.