Close this search box.

How Much Does Dog Food Cost a Month? (2024 Update)

Last Updated: January 1, 2024

A well-fed dog is a healthy dog, and any dog owner knows better than to compromise their pet’s health and well-being with poor nutrition. But dog food is a significant expense, and you must budget for it. So, how much does dog food cost a month?  

The average dog food cost a month ranges from $65 for small-sized dogs to $389 for large dogs. This cost accounts for food and treats, assuming your dog is healthy and eats dry kibble made for dogs of any breed. Special dog food will, of course, increase the total cost.

In this article, I’ll help you estimate your potential dog food cost per month based on two of the most popular dog food brands and the daily feeding schedule for small, medium, and large dogs.

But first, let’s start with the factors that affect how much dog food costs per month.

A dog sitting next to a bag of kibble.
My dog with her monthly supply of dog food

Factors That Affect Dog Food Cost per Month

Generally, the cost of dog food per month is determined by how much your furry friend eats and how often you replenish your dog’s food stock. These two factors seem intuitive enough.

On the other hand, not-so-intuitive factors can bump your monthly dog food costs up or down. I’ll talk about those factors in more detail below.

Additional Treats

A dog’s daily feeding schedule generally consists of two main meals for adult dogs. The number of feeding times may differ for puppies and senior dogs. Aside from their main meals, dogs also get their sustenance from treats you give during training.

According to the American Kennel Club, treats should only comprise up to 10% of your dog’s diet. In other words, the number of treats you give your dog shouldn’t exceed 10% of its recommended daily calories. 

Therefore, when calculating dog food costs per month, you should account for the cost of treats and the cost of your furry friend’s main meals.

German Shepherd with some Pedigree DENTASTIX Dental Dog Treats.
My dog with her favorite dental treats.

Your Dog’s Age

It might sound counterintuitive, but the younger your dog, the more food they’ll usually need. Puppies grow rapidly and need proper nutrition to ensure healthy bones, joints, and other organs.

That means your puppy will require more food than their adult counterparts – albeit in smaller but more frequent servings. 

By four months of age, you can decrease your puppies’ feeding schedule to 3 times a day before setting it at the standard of 2 times a day for adult dogs.

Note that puppies are in their early training stage and will therefore consume more treats as part of their positive reinforcement training.

Your Dog’s Breed

Your dog’s nutritional needs will vary depending on its breed. Medium and large breeds eat proportionately bigger portions than their smaller counterparts.

Because of their greater size, these dogs require specific nutrients to promote their musculoskeletal health, especially in puppyhood. 

On the other hand, smaller breeds eat less, but they should also be given a balanced diet as they’re prone to nutrition-related health problems like toy breed hypoglycemia.

Malnutrition is one of the causes of hypoglycemia in younger and smaller dogs since their smaller bodies have insufficient glycogen reserves and lower fat and muscle mass. 

Your dog food cost per month may be lower if you have a smaller breed, but it’s essential to ensure your furry friend has all the nutrients they need. 

Various Dogs Sat Around Bowl of Biscuits

Your Dog’s Health

All dogs need a balanced diet. However, relatively unhealthy dogs may require a special diet depending on the nutrients necessary to alleviate their health condition. These nutrients may come in the form of special food or supplements.

Let’s suppose your dog has a sensitive stomach. In that case, you may choose a veterinary diet brand instead of regular dog food. Naturally, you’ll pay a premium for the veterinary diet brand. 

Dog Food Type and Brand

Dog food can be classified into five primary types:

  • Dry kibble (including cold-pressed)
  • Wet or canned food
  • Semi-moist food
  • Home-cooked or human-grade
  • Raw food

Dry kibble is the most common dog food. That’s because it’s more affordable and easier to store without refrigeration. Usually, dry dog food has 90% dry matter, a combination of meat and digestible starch, and 10% water. 

Some owners like to add toppings to dry dog food, especially if their pet is a fussy eater.

There are many brands of dry dog food, each with a different price depending on the manufacturer. The best brand and type for your pet should meet your dog’s dietary needs.

Calculating Dog Food Cost per Month

To give you an idea of the standard or average cost of dog food per month, I’ll assume your dog is healthy and eats dry kibble made for all dog breeds. 

I’ll also assume they eat something like the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula (Chicken and Brown Rice) from Amazon or Purina ONE Chicken & Rice and top it off with a treat like Milk-Bone Maro Snacks

Note: Clicking the above link(s) will take you to Amazon or an online store where we have an affiliate relationship. If you make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Based on breed size (small, medium, and large), brand, and portion plans from the manufacturers, here’s a rough estimate of dog food costs per month.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula (Chicken and Brown Rice)Purina ONE Chicken & RiceAmount per monthPrice for 5lb/8lb bag (25.49 for both brands)Cost per MonthMilk-Bone Maro Snacks 
40 0z (2.5lb/
Small (20/25lb or 9/11 kg)1 3/4 cups
(167 g)
1 3/4 cups (167 g)5 kg (-0.5 kg treats)1 bag for both brandsBlue Buffalo: $25.49
Purina: $25.49
1 bag
Blue Buffalo: $65.39
Purina: $65.39
Medium (60 lb or 27 kg)3 1/4 cups
(311 g)
3 1/4 cups (311 g)30 kg (-3 kg treats)Blue Buffalo: 4 bags 
Purina: 6 bags
Blue Buffalo: $101.96
Purina: $152.94
3 bags
Blue Buffalo: $221.66
Purina: $272.64
(Over 80 lb or 36 kg)
5 cups
(478 g)
5 cups (478 g)45 kg (-4.5kg treats)6 bags/9 bagsBlue Buffalo: $152.94
Purina: $229.41
4 bags ($159.60)Blue Buffalo: $272.64
Purina: $389.01
Monthly cost of dry dog food

Note: A standard 8 oz/250ml cup is used, equivalent to around 95g/cup.

Going by these calculations, this is approximately how much you’ll pay for dog food a month, including treats:

Blue Buffalo & Maro Treats:

  • Small-size dog (20/25lb or 9/11 kg) – $65.39
  • Medium-size dog (60lb or 27 kg) – $221.66
  • Large dog (≥80lb or 36 kg) – $272.64

Purina & Maro Treats:

  • Small-size dog (20/25lb or 9/11 kg) – $65.39
  • Medium-size dog (60lb or 27 kg) – $272.64
  • Large dog (≥80lb or 36 kg) – $389.01

Note that the cost will go down by a few dollars if you subtract the price of 10% of treats from the monthly dog food cost. Buying in bulk could also reduce the cost by a small margin.

Related: If feeding raw is more your thing, check out this article, The Cost To Feed Raw Dog Food (The True Price!)

Puppy Eating Dog Food From Bowl

The Bottom Line

The size of your dog is arguably the most significant factor determining how much you pay for dog food a month.

If you have a small breed, you’ll pay around $65. Medium-size dog food costs can range between $221.66 and $272.64. If you have a large breed dog, expect to pay up to $389.  

Of course, these are approximate costs and can vary significantly depending on your dog’s age, breed, health, type of food, brand, and treats. 

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

Leave a Comment

Image for Newsletter Signup

Rehabilitate. Repeat.

Get the best in dog rescue news, care, and health tips, and be a part of the rescue dog revolution.