Best Cheap Dog Food

Top 10 Best Cheap Dog Food


The closer we are to our dogs, the more we consider them as part of the family. Of course, we want to buy what's best for them. Though we want to give them the best, our budget may not be enough. Thus, we need to settle with the best cheap dog food that won't compromise with the quality and nutritional values our pets need daily.

Best Cheap Dog Food Review 2018

There are certainly a lot of cheap dog food out there. The question is: would you want them? Look no further; for the ten products listed here are the cheapest yet still deliver the quality you seek to feed to your dogs. Each of them has detailed reviews so be sure to check them out.

1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dry Dog Food

A growing puppy to an adult dog would be delighted to try this new kind of food. It contains some real roasted meat parts that would induce savoring of your dogs' tongues. The diet of the dogs in the wild inspired the making of this dog food. And so, there's more meat than plant ingredients. Modern dogs may now be omnivores, but it's always nice to get back to their carnivore roots from time to time.

Taste of the Wild dog food contains a high protein count despite its affordable price. At 32%, it's high enough and comparable to more expensive brands like Orijen. Protein sources come from myriad animals like high prairie buffalo, lamb, chicken, roasted venison, roasted beef, and roasted bison.

The dog food also contains fruits and vegetables for a more balanced diet. The grain-free formula of this product ensures wellness to the dogs. All dogs are not equal, and some may have weaker stomachs than others. Carbohydrates instead come from sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes. These contain 4% fiber that produces probiotics - the main reasons that keep the stomach healthy and promotes proper digestion.

Furthermore, the fat content is at 18% - higher than the recommended daily fat intake of 15%. However, this is still a tolerable percentage. The fat in the product helps in keeping a soft and smooth fur.

"Because this dog food is a new type of food (containing real meat parts), the taste would come off as unique to dogs who are initially used to less-flavored dog food."


  • All life stages
  • ​For sensitive stomach
  • Grain-free formula
  • More meat (more protein)


  • Unique taste

2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The first great thing about Blue Buffalo Wilderness is the variety of their recipe or formula. This means that what the front label says is the main meat ingredient used. Blue Buffalo Wilderness can be salmon, duck, and chicken.

Any of the recipe varieties contain 34% of protein. This is very high and could give even the most energetic dog in the neighborhood the unrelenting energy it needs for the day. This percentage is deliberately on par with the likes of Orijen, an expensive dog food. Another great thing in making this dog food is the nonuse of meat by-products. By-products are semi-fillers and contain low protein compared to lean meat.

This dog food has a grain-free formula. This type is getting popular in the dog food industry maybe because the grain-free dog food caters to more dog breeds. They don't contain ingredients that may trigger allergies to breeds that are prone to them. Dogs can get their carbohydrates from sweet potatoes, potatoes, and peas through Blue Buffalo Wilderness. From these vegetables, the fiber can be derived to aid in good digestion.

The fat content is at the recommended 15%. This is enough to give your dog smooth fur. Also, vitamins and minerals that support good bones, joints, and heart are found in this dog food. These are L-carnitine, taurine, iodine, glucosamine, and calcium.

"We found nothing bad to say about this dog food based on the ingredients. However, the odor may be too strong for some dogs which may deter them from a hearty meal."

This dog food contains LifeSource bits. These are real meat pieces that contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Like Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog food, this is inspired by the wolves' diet.


  • ​For sensitive stomach
  • Very high in protein
  • Different recipes
  • Available in puppy formula
  • Good heart and bones


  • ​Limited protein ingredients
  • Strong smell

3. Merrick Grain Free Real Buffalo and Sweet Potato Dog Food

Merrick offers a lot of recipe variants, but we like this one best. This dog food has a grain-free formula that is suitable for dogs who suffer from allergies and sensitivity issues. Merrick can provide a balanced nutrition with real whole foods which support the overall health of your loved pet.

Merrick utilizes the 70:30 ratio. The larger proportion is the meat. Merrick gets their protein from deboned buffalo, chicken, and fish. These help in building and maintaining lean muscles tissues and sustain energy levels.

The remaining 30% comes from their local farms. Their fruits and vegetables mainly sweet potato, peas, potatoes blueberries, and apples are packed with vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, they are known being fiber-rich which, in turn, produce probiotics to avoid upset stomach guts in the future.

Merrick also promotes a healthy heart and shiny coats due to its richness in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It also has leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy bones and joints.

"Merrick causes smelly farts from the dogs."

Merrick offers this dog food that is applicable for all life stages of the dog.


  • ​For sensitive stomach
  • Promotes healthy bones and joints
  • Good heart health
  • Grain-free


  • Stinky gases

4. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets

The limited ingredients used in this dog food ensures proper nutrition without any potential allergens. The ingredients are carefully picked and formulated for breeds like boxers who are prone to having sensitive stomachs.

What Natural Balance means with their L.I.D formula is that there are two main ingredients to make up the dog food. Natural Balance has a variety of recipes to offer. What we like is the salmon and sweet potatoes flavor. Salmon is the main protein source and gives omega-3 and omega-6 oils that are essential in keeping a good heart. Moreover, the sweet potatoes are rich in fiber. And so, these carbohydrates improve the digestive tract and a source of other nutrients.

"However, the Natural Balance L.I.D has a low protein content. At 21%, this might not be enough to sustain high energy levels of some dog breeds that are known to have active lifestyles. Also, the fat content of 10% lacks compared to the recommended daily fat intake of 15%."

Natural Balance L.I.D can feed a growing puppy until adulthood. Serving sizes differ by weight and age, so be sure to check on the packaging. One last great thing about this dog food is it makes sure that the flavoring is natural - no preservatives or coloring used.


  • ​For sensitive stomach
  • Grain-free
  • Rich in fiber
  • Natural flavor
  • All life stages


  • ​Less in protein
  • Less in fat

5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Dog Food

Nutrish Super Premium Dog food is formulated by Rachael Ray and some other dog food experts to deliver a nutritious and balanced meal for all breeds of all ages. This is a dog food uses whole lean meat without using byproducts to deliver a high-quality dog food.

This dog food contains real meat and vegetables. The number one meat ingredient this dog food has is the farm-raised chicken. Its flavor is rich and tasty for the dogs' palate. The protein percentage is found to be at 26% - optimum amount to provide basic energy levels of the dog.

The carbohydrate percentage of Nutrish is estimated to be at 48%. It’s a pretty high number which raises energy levels quickly. The complementing carbs are derived from whole grains and vegetables that are also rich in fiber. Some of them are peas, carrots, and brown rice. It's a must-have food because it uses no grain fillers and contains no preservatives.

"Since this isn't a grain-free dog food, you should check whether any of the ingredients would cause allergic or sensitivity issues."


  • ​Promotes good digestion
  • No meat byproducts
  • All life stages


  • May contain allergens

6. Diamond Naturals Beef and Rice Formula Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs

If your dog doesn't like chicken because they're sensitive to it, then the beef is a good alternative. Beef is also rich in protein and omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and many antioxidants. In fact, Diamond Naturals is considered to be one of the cheapest brands in the market today. Other recipes you can choose are lamb and chicken.

The beef used for the mix is a concentrate wherein the moisture is thoroughly dried to provide many times more protein than the regular lean beef. The protein average is high at 28% and helps in building muscle mass quickly for growing dogs.

"This dog food is a plant-based protein due to the beef meal being the only meat-based protein. We are inclined to say that dogs need more meat because they’re more on meat as omnivores."

Beef is complemented with rice to provide the necessary carbohydrates for energy. This dog food doesn't use fillers like wheat, soy, or corn. Aside from rice and peas, one highlight is the uses of flaxseed which provide not only fiber but also the omega-3 benefits. The omega-3 is known to be good for the heart.

The fat content of this dog food is at 17%. This is ideal for dogs to have shinier and softer fur. They are also inclined to scratch less.


  • ​For sensitive skin
  • For better heart health
  • For picky eaters
  • Improve digestion


  • Limited meat-based ingredient

7. Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Another affordable choice to feed your pet dog is through this Hill's Science Diet dog food. This is promising and claims to give the dog the daily nutrition it needs. In fact, this particular formula can give an overweight dog a quick shedding of pounds without affecting the energy levels. Hill's Science Diet claim an 18% lower in calories than its other formulas.

The main meat ingredient is the chicken meal. This is a more concentrated form of lean chicken by removing all of the moisture. The chicken meal has three times more protein content than regular chicken. Hill's Science Diet has a protein percentage of about 25%.

This formula is more on carbohydrates than protein. Carbs amount to a whopping 47% which is mainly due to the use of grains like corn, sorghum, wheat, plus many others.

On the lighter side, the dogs can get their nutrients from ingredients like flaxseed. Flaxseed has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help promote good cardiac health. The fat content is exceedingly low at 9% and optimal if you want to make your dog shed some pounds.

"Some fillers used are something to worry. These could trigger some allergic reactions or stomach sensitivity to dogs who are prone to having either or both. Before you feed this dog food, be sure that they suitable with all of the ingredients.

Furthermore, the fiber content is very high at 13%. Dogs that eat this dog food may experience diarrhea and flatulence."

Hill's Science Diet Dog Food supports good bone and joint health. Found in this product are the L-carnitine, taurine, and calcium.


  • ​Supports bone and joint health
  • No preservatives or coloring
  • Shed pounds quickly
  • Optimal protein count


  • ​Very high in carbohydrates
  • High fiber
  • Contains fillers

8. CANIDAE All Life Stages Dog Food

CANIDAE offers a cheap price to get the necessary nutrients a regular dog needs. This dog food is marketed as all life stages meaning a puppy to a senior dog can eat this in differing proportions.

CANIDAE uses three main meat-based protein to provide energy levels and build the muscles of a dog. Meat concentrates of chicken, turkey, and lamb constitutes the majority of 21% protein count. CANIDAE also uses plant-based proteins such as peas, flaxseed, alfalfa, etc.

"The protein may be too little if you have a highly energetic dog. Additionally, the carbohydrate percentage further exceed that of protein and amounted to more than 40%. This is because of the grains that are used to make up the carbohydrate part of this meal."

The CANIDAE dog food is a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote a good cardiac health. It's also rich in dietary fiber which provides probiotics for good digestive tract and promotes proper digestion. Other vitamins and minerals that can be found in this product are for healthy bones and joints.


  • ​For sensitive stomach
  • Many recipe varieties
  • Available in puppy formula
  • Promotes good bones and joints


  • ​Lower protein
  • Higher in carbohydrates

9. Premium Edge Dry Food for Adult Dog

Premium Edge joins the list of inexpensive dog food without compromising the quality and nutrients needed by all dogs. In fact, this product is ideal for those dogs that have hypersensitivity issues on the food that they eat.

Premium Edge records a high protein amount of 29%. This dog food features salmon and fish meal as its main protein ingredients. Thus, it's a good alternative option if your dog is especially allergic to the likes of chicken. Fish is not only rich in protein but also in omega fatty acids that promote good cardiac health. Other recipe formulas include the use of chicken and lamb.

Another great thing of Premium Edge is its non-use of fillers like wheat, corn, and soy. Instead, the carbohydrates are derived from potatoes, barley, peas, flaxseed, etc. that are rich in fiber. Fiber is an important constituent of the dog's diet because it helps with the weight control and proper digestion. It also supports better heart health with the taurine included to the mix.

"This dog food is quite smelly. Dogs who have extremely sensitive noses won’t go anywhere near this because of the odor."


  • ​For dogs with hypersensitivity
  • Promote good heart health
  • Rich in fiber
  • No fillers


  • Smelly

10. AvoDerm Natural Dog Food

The good thing about this dog food is it's available in both grain and grain-free varieties. Likewise, there are a lot of recipes to choose from such as red meat, salmon, lamb, etc. If you want to be more specific based on age and size group, you can buy AvoDerm from the puppy, adult, senior, small breed, and large breed options.

The protein percentage of this dog food is kept to an optimum level at 28%. This is high enough to build muscle mass and sustain the depleted energy levels of an active dog. The main ingredient can either be beef, chicken, lamb, or salmon.

The grain-free formula uses different vegetables and fruits as substitutes. Main carb sources are peas, apple, avocado, and flaxseed. They are rich in fiber which is known to help in the proper digestion of the food.

The grain formula uses whole brown rice, whole white rice, rice bran, etc. to make up the ingredient order. These are known to give the dog high energy.

"This is the only dog food that contains avocado. Some found it controversial because it contains persin. This substance is known to be harmful to many animals like horses and rabbits. There’s yet to be an incident to be found on dogs though."


  • ​Different formula varieties
  • check
    No meat byproducts
  • check
    No fillers
  • check
    Rich in fiber
  • check
    With grain or grain-free formula


  • Trust issues directed on avocado

Tips For Finding A Good Yet Affordable Dog Food

Some owners tend to believe that the higher the price, then the better is its quality. This is not always the case though. Some brands that are expensive just use expensive ingredients but can be readily substituted with something cheaper but provide the same nutritional value. There are still a number of good yet affordable dog food products out there, and it's your duty as the owner to scrutinize anything that you see.

Here are some tips to help you narrow down what kind of cheap dog food products would provide the high quality and tasty meal for our pets.

Tip 1: Choose real ingredients versus processed ingredients

Real ingredients are what a dog needs for everyday activities. The cheapest dog food products today are mostly heavily processed and contain small amounts of real meat. These could barely sustain your dog's energy levels. Moreover, the use of meat by-products offer very little protein than regular meat, and also they make the price tag lesser. However, you don't want any less for your dog, right? Thus, pick a dog food that doesn't or has the minimum amount of processed meat if you're strictly on a budget.

Tip 2: Stay away from fillers if you can

Some of the cheap dog foods available on grocery shelves aren't really suitable for dogs. Most of them contain fillers like corn which make your dog become fuller quickly. But, there's not much nutritional benefit from corn, and it's not even fit for human consumption aside from getting calories.

There are still some cheap dog food available that are grain-free and doesn't use corn as the main carbohydrate source. You don't have to pay expensive prices just to get the best ingredients out there. As long as the dog food has the desired supplements, your dog will thank you for it.

Tip 3: Choose a recipe that is suitable for your canine

Dog food nowadays vary with their particular recipe or flavor. This means that what ingredients that are labeled on the packaging are the key sources of protein and carbohydrates. Moreover, there are three factors you need to consider when selecting a specific flavor. First is if your dog likes it. Second is if it's digestible or if it doesn't cause any stomach sensitivity. The last thing you need to look out for are the benefits.

Dogs like chicken. Chicken meal or chicken concentrates contain 300% more protein than the regular chicken meat. It is also a necessary commodity which means that it doesn't have an exorbitant pricing, unlike other meat.

Tip 4: Select dry dog food

All of our reviewed dog food products in this article are classified as dry dog food. They are relatively cheaper than the wet dog food. They can last for several months. They can also be more nutritious and easy to measure or dispense depending on the dog's age. Furthermore, when you buy them in large packages, you save more money.


We are done reviewing with the top ten best cheap dog food in the market today. Some of them may not be on par with the expensive brands, but they could still deliver. Regarding good health and balanced diet, these brands are your go-to when you're on a tight budget.

Top 10 Best Cheap Dog Food
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