The Cheapest Dog Food On the Market
Dogs can eat a lot, so it’s not surprising that some people might try to find budget dog food to feed their pets. However, even the components of premium brands might be somewhat different. People may have reservations regarding the quality of low-cost dog food suppliers.
We have chosen ten different types of best cheap dog food to review for you. We will tell you what we liked and didn’t like, and explain every kind of food’s ingredients and health benefits. We’ve also included a little guide to help you understand what distinguishes one brand from another and what to search for when grocery shopping.
We will look at the different sizes of kibble, the ingredients, the health benefits, and the cost of varying dog foods so you can make an educated purchase. This year, here are some excellent cheap dog food options.
The 10 Best Cheap Dog Foods
1. Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food by Rachael Ray
Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food by Rachael Ray is a premium brand of dog food. The number one ingredient is farm-raised chicken from the United States. This food has additional beneficial elements that contribute to a well-balanced diet for your dog. Brown rice and beet pulp are two examples. Beet pulp helps add fiber to the meal and also prebiotics. Prebiotics help feed natural probiotics in your dog’s intestine, which helps keep them healthy.
Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms found in your dog’s digestive tract. They help the dog digest food and keep the digestive system balanced. Rachael Ray’s chicken fat Nutrish supplies your pet with the vital nutrients required for developing healthy eyes and a robust brain, as well as a silkier and more reflective coat due to its naturally high concentration of omega fats. Rachael Ray Nutrish contains no soy, corn, chemical additives, or preservatives. When we think of something negative about this brand, the only thing that comes to mind is that not all dogs love eating it. Some dogs have a natural aversion to meals that are better for them, which is to be expected.
2. Adult Dry Dog Food Purina ONE SmartBlend
Adult Dry Dog Food Purina ONE SmartBlend is high-quality dog food. The first ingredient in this dish is lamb. However, it is also available with chicken or turkey. This food is fortified with omega fats, which will help create a shiny coat. It also has glucosamine, which is a natural source of nutrients.
Glucosamine helps with joints and arthritis. Some older dogs get it from their vets, but it can help younger dogs too. It has a formula that is easy for your pet’s stomach to digest.
Just like many healthy dog foods, the only problem with Purina ONE SmartBlend is that some dogs might not like it.
3. Purina Puppy Chow Dry Dog Food
For puppy owners who are watching their spending, Purina Puppy Chow Complete Dry Dog Food is a solid option. It uses a formula designed for puppies under one year old. The food has plenty of carbohydrates to provide extra energy and up to 27% protein to help keep up with your puppy’s developing body. The formula is also straightforward to digest, so it shouldn’t cause problems for your pet’s sensitive digestive system. Additionally, it contains vitamin C, which can help strengthen your dog’s immune system.
Purina Puppy Chow Complete contains maize, known to cause intestinal problems in certain canines, so we did not love this product.
4. Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food by Gentle Giants
Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food contains only a few ingredients to ensure your dog receives a nutritious. It is a balanced meal free of dangerous chemicals and preservatives. The first ingredient listed is turkey. The food also contains complex carbohydrates like brown rice, oat groats, pearled barley, and millet.
This food also has taurine, which can help with the different nervous systems and brain functions. It contains antioxidants and probiotics, which can help enhance the immune system, and omega fatty acids, which can aid brain and eye development and coat health.
We didn’t like Gentle Giants because the kibble was a bit too big for some of our smaller dogs, and some of the dogs didn’t like it.
5. Adult MiniChunks Iams ProActive Health Dog Food
The Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dry Dog Food is a brand that our dogs like. It contains chicken as its first ingredient. Because the kibble size is smaller than many other brands, it is perfect for little dogs. It’s strong in fiber and probiotics to keep your pet’s digestive tract regulated and fortified with antioxidants to keep your pet healthy. There are no synthetic colors or dyes.
Even though our dogs enjoy this brand, we couldn’t rank it higher due to certain problematic ingredients. This brand contains a lot of maize, which might be challenging for some dogs, and chicken byproduct meals, which we aim to avoid.
6. Adult Dry Dog Food Purina Dog Chow
Purina Dog Chow Comprehensive Adult Dry Dog Food provides your pet with a complete and balanced diet. It has 23 essential vitamins, minerals, and omega fats to help your pet grow into a healthy dog. The food also uses whole American-raised chicken in its ingredients.
The main downside to Purina Dog Chow Complete is that corn is the number one ingredient. Some dogs have difficulty digesting corn, so this food might not suit them. It also contains food dyes, which can cause problems for many dogs. The smell of the food is also quite strong, and we found it to be expensive compared to other brands with corn as the main ingredient.
7. Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food by Pedigree
Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food by Pedigree is good food for adult dogs. It has antioxidants in it and also essential vitamins and minerals. Whole grains give fiber that can help your pet’s digestive system. It also has omega fats for a healthy coat.
Unfortunately, corn is the primary ingredient in Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition. We avoid foods that have corn in them because it makes our pets uncomfortable and gives them gas. This kibble was also hard for our dogs to chew.
8. Original Kibbles’ n Bits Dry Dog Food
Kibbles’ n Bits Original Dry Dog Food has both crunchy kibble and soft bits. This mix of textures will keep your pet entertained and interested in their food. Most dogs enjoy the extra chicken and beef flavor, and the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants help to keep your dog’s immune system robust.
Unfortunately, Kibbles’ n Bits Original contains many low-grade ingredients. The first ingredient is corn instead of meat like chicken, beef, or turkey. There is no whole meat listed in the ingredients. This meal also made a few of our dogs itchy, and their coats appeared dull.
9. Diamond Naturals Adult Dry Dog Beef Meal & Rice
Diamond Naturals Adult Dry Dog Beef Meal & Rice provides a variety of beneficial components such as flaxseed, taurine, and carrots. It also has superfoods like blueberries, spinach, and kale. Vitamins E, A, and B12 are added to the diet. It also contains vital minerals such as copper, zinc, and iron. A distinct probiotic combination aids in digestive system homeostasis. Omega fats provide a healthy coat.
However, the Diamond Naturals blend contains no whole meats, only beef meal as a component. Some of our dogs liked it. However, it caused loose stools and diarrhea on occasion. We believe this is due to the pumpkin component, but you may want to introduce this food to your pet slowly to ensure they don’t get diarrhea. Eggs are another ingredient many dogs are allergic to, so you’ll need to be careful if you don’t already feed them food containing eggs. This food will only be eaten by around half of our dogs. Others would attempt to avoid it.
10. Grain-Free Dry Dog Food from True Acre Foods
The last brand on our list to be reviewed is True Acre Foods Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This low-cost cuisine has some redeeming aspects. This food’s initial ingredient is chicken, and it also contains antioxidants, fiber, and Omega fats. This cuisine includes no maize or artificial colors, and the fruits and vegetables are farm-grown and quality-inspected.
Authentic Acre Foods was not good food for all of our dogs. Some did not like it because they became very gassy and needed to go outside more often. The biggest problem was that the food contained a poultry byproduct, which is unsuitable for dogs. Some dogs may find the kibble too hard to chew and dusty.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Low-Cost Dog Food
Here are some key factors to consider when deciding on budget-friendly dog food.
Store-Bought or Homemade
It is easy to think that you can make a better meal for your pet than what they can get from commercial dog food. However, this is not always true. Pets require various nutrients, and their digestive system is quite sensitive. Therefore it is better to feed them commercial dog food that contains all the nutrients they need to be healthy and happy.
One place we recommend cooking the food yourself is with dog treats. Commercial dog treats often have harmful ingredients, but you can make better treats for your pet at home using online sources or a cookbook.
Wet or Dry Dog Food
Although both wet and dry dog food can provide a nutritious meal, there are some advantages and disadvantages to each that we will explore here.
Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food is the most popular food to give your dog. The main reason is that it cleans its teeth as they chew. It is important because plaque and tartar build-up can cause cavities and gum disease. In addition, dry dog food is less expensive and comes in larger packages than other forms of food.
Dry dog food has some disadvantages. Some dogs don’t like it as much as wet dog food. Keeping the large bags fresh can be challenging, and they might get stale before your pet finishes eating them. It’s also common to find mold or bugs in dry dog food.
Wet Dog Food
There are various advantages to providing wet food to your dog rather than dry food. Wet food provides your dog with the moisture it needs, which is essential for its health. Dogs that are constipated or dehydrated can benefit from eating wet food. Additionally, many dogs prefer wet food to dry food, so mixing the two can help them eat all their food. Finally, if your dog refuses to take medication, hiding it in wet food can be a successful strategy.
Wet food, however, will not clean your pet’s teeth. It may instead stick to the teeth, accelerating tooth decay and causing bad breath. When you’re diligent about physically brushing your dog’s teeth, we recommend providing him moist food. Wet food is more likely to cause diarrhea and is, therefore, more expensive.
When selecting a brand of low-cost dog food, there are many crucial elements to look for and some to avoid. We’ll go over both in this section.
When we say “whole meat,” we mean that chicken, beef, lamb, or turkey is an ingredient in the food. Avoid foods that have this vital ingredient listed further down the list or have it removed entirely. Many low-cost products will replace a meat byproduct or meal with actual meat. Meat byproduct is typically a dried and pulverized product less nutritious than real meat, and many dogs can tell the difference.
If you are looking for a brand of dog food that uses exotic meat, make sure that the meat is something that the dog would eat in the wild. Exotic meats include alligators, venison, kangaroo, and eel. These meats have only been added recently to commercial dog food, and there is not a lot of research on how they will affect your pet’s health over time.
Fruits and Vegetables
Many vegetables are suitable for your dog. They can eat carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, green beans, cucumbers, and more. These vegetables have essential vitamins and minerals for your pet. They also have a lot of fiber which helps keep your pet’s digestive system healthy.
There are many fruits that your pet can eat, including blueberries, bananas, apples, oranges, peaches, pears, and mangoes. These fruits will give your pet important vitamins and minerals while also providing antioxidants to help boost your pet’s immune system. Finding a food brand with good fruits and vegetables is essential among its ingredients.
When choosing a budget dog food, you should look for brands with omega fats and probiotics. Omega fats are essential for developing a puppy’s eyes and brain and maintaining the luster and health of an adult dog’s coat. Probiotics support the immune system by keeping the gut healthy and balanced.
What to Avoid
There are some ingredients you should avoid in your pet’s food. Meat byproducts and meat meals are two things to avoid. Artificial preservatives such as BHA and BHT should also be avoided. Food dyes can cause an allergic reaction in your pet, so try to find brands without them. Our reviews specify which foods have these ingredients.
Best Budget-Friendly Dog Foods
Numerous affordable dog foods contain healthy, nutritional, and high-quality ingredients. Almost all respected dog food brands provide cheap product lines. However, studies show that many “premium” foods are low quality.
Continue reading if you’re seeking low-cost dog food. We’ll give you some pointers on what to look for while buying dog food on a budget. In addition, now that we’ve covered the buying guide, we’ll be providing extensive reviews of the top affordable dog food products.
What Should You Look for in Low-Cost Dog Food?
If you are looking for cheap dog food, that doesn’t mean you have to buy low-quality food. Several factors must be examined to ensure you purchase healthy and economical dog food.
First Three Ingredients
The first three things on the list of ingredients for pet food can say a lot about the quality of the food. One of the first three ingredients must be canine meat.
Source of Protein
Dogs need animal-based protein to help them grow and stay healthy. It means that dog food should have a lot of lean muscle from meat like poultry, beef, lamb, fish, etc.
Fats and Carbs Content
Dogs need carbohydrates and good fats in their diets. These nutrients are essential, but too much can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Fruits and Veggies
Balanced dog food has more than just the core nutrients. It also has fruits and vegetables that give the dog vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
If your dog needs joint supplements, seek diets that include them. The ingredients support gut health and digestion, and animal oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
No Controversial Ingredients
Some ingredients in dog foods, such as unspecified meat by-products, cheap fillers, and allergens (corn, soy), can be hazardous for canines. These ingredients should not be included in dog foods.
Reputable Pet Food Brand
Many well-known and trustworthy manufacturers provide low-cost versions of dog food items to meet the demands of dog owners. If you’re unsure about two options, stick with the brand you’re familiar with.
Top 9 Best Cheap Dog Foods
1. American Journey Puppy Lamb & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food
American Journey offers a choice of low-cost dog meals. This puppy food recipe is both tasty and nutritious. It gives nutrition for your puppy to grow into an intelligent, healthy adult. The meal contains the proper protein and fat balance to assist muscle building and omega fatty acids. These are excellent for dogs with thick coats and promote healthy skin and hair. It is also friendly for sensitive tummies.
2. Freshpet Select Dog Food
Fresh dog foods are more expensive, but they’re worth it because of the incredible health benefits. Freshpet manufactures low-cost alternatives that are as good as fresh foods, using actual deboned pork, carrots, cranberries, and spinach. All Fresh Pet recipes are carefully adjusted to promote muscle growth, high energy levels, a sharp mind, and proper weight.
Unlike dry kibbles, the meal is steam-cooked to preserve nutrients and, when served, bursts with flavor and perfume. Freshpet Select Dog Food can be purchased at significant supermarkets or bought online.
3. Instinct Frozen Raw Bites Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dog Food
Raw diets are popular because they have health benefits. However, they can be expensive. Instinct Frozen Raw Bites provides the same features as a raw diet but at a much more affordable price. They are created with 85% premium-grade boneless chicken and 15% healthy vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, butternut squash, and more.
The ingredients in these raw bites help with a lot of bodily functions. They help with muscle growth, energy, vision, heart support, and more. Plus, the food is minimally processed and free from grains, fillers, corn, wheat, and soy. It makes the raw bites easier to digest and absorb.
4. Inukshuk Professional Dog Food 30/25
Dogs need more food to gain weight. It can be expensive, but Inukshuk’s Professional 30/25 Dry Dog Food is affordable and contains many calories. It is designed for very active dogs with a protein-to-fat ratio of 30% to 25%. This meal is a wonderful choice if you want to assist your dog in gaining weight.
Inukshuk dog food is high in calories and features omega fatty acids to improve your dog’s skin and coat condition. It also has DHA to support brain health. The recipe contains no peas or GMO additives, so it does not induce diarrhea or recurrent stomach upset.
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Dog Food
This Blue Buffalo healthy weight formula is a good choice for dogs prone to gaining weight. It has a lot of L-carnitine and animal proteins to help keep them lean, as well as nutrients and antioxidants for their overall health.
6. Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Dog Food
Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free is kind to your pocketbook and your friend’s tummy. The main ingredient in this grain-free supper is fish. Salmon is one of the protein foods with the highest digestibility. It is an excellent choice for your pet.
This dog chow contains an excellent combination of vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal health. Most pet owners can also afford it. Garbanzo beans, sweet potatoes, peas, and pumpkin are the ingredients in the dish.
7. American Journey LID Duck & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food
We are looking for food that is low in ingredients and won’t cause any allergies. Try the limited-ingredient American Journey Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe. This food is made with a single protein and carb source from duck meat and sweet potatoes. This formula promotes muscle growth/repair and provides enough energy to support the most active breeds.
This recipe includes flaxseed, omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. It also contains sunflower oil and omega-6 fatty acids, which help alleviate inflammation. This recipe has no common allergens like cereals, wheat, corn, or soy. It also lacks artificial preservatives and by-product meals.
8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Grain-Free Dog Food
Blue Wilderness Salmon Recipe is another good-tasting dog food that will make your pet happy. It is an excellent choice for pets who enjoy fish proteins. While it is not a raw recipe, it is close to a dog’s traditional diet. Because there is little processing, most ingredients keep their nutritious worth. Fruits and vegetables, in addition to animal meat, are essential components. Blue Buffalo’s proprietary Lifesource Bits supplement your dog’s immune system with antioxidants.
9. VICTOR Purpose Hero Grain-Free Dog Food
Victor Purpose Hero Dog Food is a fantastic deal. It has a lot of protein from beef, hog, and fish meals. It aids in the growth and repair of tissue in dogs. The food also has 384 calories per cup to help dogs stay energized during physical activity.
Dogs that are always active are more likely to get joint diseases. Victor Purpose Hero helps to prevent this by using glucosamine and chondroitin to build new cartilage and reduce everyday wear. Another significant benefit of choosing Victor Purpose Hero is that it doesn’t contain grains, corn, wheat, or soy. That makes it an ideal choice for dogs with sensitivities and allergies.
Read more: How to Buy the Best Dog Food for Your Dog
Frequently Asked Questions About Cheapest Dog Food
Making homemade meals for your dog can help you save money on food. You will need to add a vitamin/mineral supplement and calcium to the food. However, it will still be cheaper than buying commercial dog food.
There is no scientific evidence that homemade diets are better than commercial foods. Still, diets based on natural ingredients are preferable in the long run. However, even though commercial foods are intended to be complete and well-balanced, consumers may not find them very appealing.
Making kibble is a complex process. It requires many different ingredients and careful planning to ensure the food lasts for weeks or months without rotting. It is not an easy task, and managing multiple supply chains and thousands of ingredients can be expensive.
Yes, a chicken meal is suitable for dogs. It is packed with protein essential for muscle growth and immune functions.
Grain-free canned dog food has protein-based ingredients like natural beef, chicken, eggs, salmon, and other healthy protein sources. These ingredients are much better for your pet’s growth and development than the elements found in dry foods.
Bacon, ham, and fat trimmed from meat or bones can cause indigestion, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs and cats. These foods can also cause pancreatitis, a severe, potentially deadly inflammation of the pancreas.
Suppose you like to feed your dog a mix of kibble and add-ins. In that case, some good options are an egg. You can feed it raw or cooked salmon, mixed vegetables (raw or steamed), a tiny amount of cottage cheese or yogurt, and leafy greens such as kale or spinach.
Maintaining your dog on a daily diet of chicken and rice for an extended period is not a good idea. While this dish is highly nutritious for dogs, it does not provide all the nutrients they require, which they obtain from other sources like red meat and vegetables. You should mix their diet with other things to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.