Pet Parents Are Fed Up With Rising Dog Food Prices

Pet owners are feeling the pinch of skyrocketing prices. Pet product costs are rising faster than inflation. It's getting harder to spoil our dogs with more than just our love.

Dog food prices are skyrocketing in 2023, and it’s causing serious concern for pet owners everywhere. But why is this happening? What’s behind the sudden increase in prices?

According to recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, pet food prices in America inflated 15.1% year-over-year from January 2022 to January 2023. The inflation in the U.S. pet food market is now higher than that of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This means that pet food prices are rising at a faster rate than most other categories.

Yellow lab holding empty dog food bowl in his mouth
Pet parents are cutting back on purchases to help offset the skyrocketing costs of dog food (and many other items)

With the prices for pet products up 12% and pet food up 15% year-over-year, according to the January consumer-price index, puppy parents are making changes. According to a Jefferies Group analysis of NielsenIQ data, as of February 2023, pet toy purchases are down 16% year-over-year, and sales of pet housing are down 21%. 

“Yeah, I have definitely experienced that,” Isabella, an Austin-based college student, told Fox News. She said if total costs ever became unmanageable, like up to $400 a month, she would “really have to reconsider owning a dog.”

Fox business

So who or what’s to blame?

The first thing to consider is the rising cost of raw ingredients. Many dog food manufacturers use high-quality proteins such as chicken, beef, and fish as the primary ingredients in their products. However, the cost of these ingredients has been increasing due to a variety of factors, including supply chain disruptions, increased demand, and changes in trade policies.

In addition to the rising cost of ingredients, there has been an increased demand for high-quality pet food. As more pet owners become aware of the importance of providing their pets with a balanced and nutritious diet, the demand for premium pet food has increased. This has led to an increase in prices, as manufacturers are able to charge more for their products.

Small Terrier with bib ready to eat dog food
An increase in demand and rising ingredient costs have led to higher dog food costs.

But that’s not the only factor at play here. The pet food industry is also facing increased regulatory scrutiny, which is driving up costs. As more regulations are put in place to ensure the safety and quality of pet food, manufacturers are being forced to invest more in research and development and testing, which is driving up their expenses.

And let’s not forget about the huge impact of inflation. Increased costs for insurance, labor, shipping, and fuel have increased the cost of every ingredient. As the overall cost of living continues to rise, so too do the prices of goods and services, including dog food. This is especially true for high-quality, premium dog food brands, which are often more expensive, to begin with.

What’s a cash-strapped dog owner to do?

english cocker spaniel, dog, puppy
Owners are switching brands to combat rising dog food prices | Photo by Alkhaine

So what does all of this mean for you, the pet owner? Unfortunately, it means that you may need to start budgeting more for your furry friend’s food. You may also need to consider switching to a more affordable brand or looking for ways to save on dog food, such as buying in bulk or using coupons.

But don’t worry; there are still options available to ensure that your dog gets the nutrition they need without breaking the bank. For example, you can try making your own dog food at home using wholesome ingredients or consider a raw food diet which can be more cost-effective in some cases.

Another option is to switch to lower-cost brands or to make your own dog food at home using high-quality ingredients. Additional suggestions are to purchase dog food in bulk or to take advantage of promotions and discounts offered by pet food retailers.

“I feel bad buying them cheaper food, because it’s not like they can go out and get a job and buy it themselves,” says stay-at-home mom Rachel Rolenaitis, 43. “Especially because the quality of their food will affect the quality of their health, but I just can’t stretch it right now.”


The rising cost of dog food is a complex issue with no easy answers. But by staying informed and being proactive, you can make sure that your furry friend stays happy and healthy without breaking the bank. Keep an eye on the latest trends and developments in the pet food industry, and don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate for your pet’s needs. Together, we can ensure that our dogs continue to get the love and care they deserve, no matter the cost.

Jerome Fry

Hello, my name is Jerome. I have a deep passion for animals, as well as all things living. I always saw myself attending medical school since I was very young. I enjoy learning about all things science and nature. My favorite pastime is visiting with my family and friends, and going on walks with my best fur friend - Asher. When I'm not doing volunteer work, or not caring for animals, I enjoy caring for humans as a Certified Nurse Practitioner.

Hello, my name is Jerome. I have a deep passion for animals, as well as all things living. I always saw myself attending medical school since I was very young. I enjoy learning about all things science and nature. My favorite pastime is visiting with my…

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