Some Of The Best Dog Foods You Can Buy On A Budget
The economy is hitting everyone hard. With the prices of everything going up, sometimes you must cut corners to make it through the month. And sometimes that means cutting your dog food budget, whether you want to or not.
Dog food prices have spiked this past year with no sign of stopping. If you’re feeling the pinch, you’re not alone. According to Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, the Editor and Chief of PetFood Industry, in the United States, pet food inflation is still rising and even outpacing the cost of human food.
These price hikes are due in part to supply chain disruptions, the rising cost of fuel, the economic crisis, and Russia invading Ukraine. For pet owners, that means at the same time your cost of living has increased, and basic pet care expenses have risen, too.
The economy has hit some pet owners very hard. According to Shelter Count, a national organization that collects data on animal shelters, thousands of people are surrendering their pets to animal shelters and rescues.
There are many reasons for this, including people getting rid of their dog/s due to inflation, surrendering pets acquired during the covid lockdowns, rising housing costs, and the sad fact that some people can no longer afford dog food.
All these surrenders are burdening shelters and rescues at a bad time. Many are scrambling to find homes for all the unwanted dogs, but it’s not easy to do. If you’ve reached the point where you can’t afford your favorite dog food, you’re not alone.
Since a fed dog is better than a hungry or surrendered dog, we’ve put together this list of budget-friendly foods. We’ve tried to include various price points but understand, what one person might consider an affordable option, another might think is expensive.
We’ve also tried to include brands that provide some measure of quality control and testing and are free of recent recalls. Some of these brands may not be impressive to you or are not marketed as fancy, however, they are affordable and palatable, and many dogs eat them every day.
So before discounting a food, do your own legit research and consider your source of information so you can choose the best budget for your dog. There is a lot of bad info on social media, which is sometimes designed to make you feel like a bad dog owner and play on your fears.
You can also talk to your vet to get their input on more budget-friendly foods that they trust because the truth is, they want your pet to be well-fed and healthy, too. Just like you, they want you to keep your pet and provide good nutrition.
We didn’t include prices because they are fluctuating daily and vary with different stores, such as those that give you auto-ship discounts, points, etc. Some budget-friendly food for you to explore include:
Adult Dry (may or may not be for all life stages)
• Iams Large Breed Chicken (22/12)
• Iams Lamb and Rice (25/14)
• Iams Proactive Health Active High Protein (30/18)
• Purina One Large Breed Plus (26/12)
• Purina One High Protein Large Breed (28/13)
• Purina Dog Chow, High Protein (27/12)
• American Journey Large Breed Salmon and Vegetables (24/12)
• First Mate Skoki (26/12)
• American Natural Premium explore various formulas
• Diamond Naturals explore various formulas
• Victor explore various formulas
• Nutrisource explore various formula
• Nutru explore various formulas
• Purina Beyond explore various formulas
• Taste of the Wild explore various formulas
• Eagle Pack explore various formulas
• 4Health, various formulas
• Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed (27/14)
• Purina One Plus Natural High Protein Large Breed Puppy (28/13)
• Purina Puppy Chow Large Breed (27/10)
• American Natural Premium Large Breed Puppy (25/14)
• American Journey Large Breed Puppy Salmon, Brown Rice, and Vegetables (25/15)
• Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy (27/15)
• Victor Active Dog and Puppy (33/16)
• Iams Healthy Aging Mature 7+ (24/10)
• Purina One Vibrant Maturity 7+ (28/13)
• American Journey Senior Salmon and Brown Rice (25/11)
• American Journey Senior Chicken and Brown Rice (25/11)
• American Journey Senior Chicken and Sweet Potato (30/11)
• Diamond Naturals Senior (25/11)
• Diamond Care Weight Management Formula Adult Grain-Free (22/6)
Sensitive Digestion Adult Dry
• Iams Advanced Health Healthy Digestion (26/14)
• Purina One Digestive Health (25/16)
• Purina Beyond Salmon, Egg, and Pumpkin (26/16)
• American Natural Premium Sensitive Care (22/11)
• Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach Formula Adult Grain- Free (25/13)
• Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Formula Adult Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry (22/12)
• American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato (25/12)
• American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Duck & Sweet Potato (25/12)
• American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Lamb & Sweet Potato (22/12)
• American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato (25/12)
• American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Venison & Sweet Potato (22/12)
• American Natural Premium Legume-Free Duck Recipe with Butternut Squash (25/15)
• American Natural Premium Lamb Meal & Rice (24/14)
• Blue Buffalo Fish and Brown Rice Recipe (22/14)
• Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Formula Salmon & Potato (20/12)
• Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice (23/14)
• Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula All Life Stages Grain-Free Dry (25/14)
• Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice (25/15)
• Kirkland Signature Adult Formula Lamb, Rice, and Vegetable (23/14)
• Nutrisource, various formulas
• Iams Proactive Health
• Purina Beyond
• Purina One
• Purina Pro Plan
• American Journey
• Eagle Pack
When researching dog food, please be sure to double-check the ingredients, nutrient label, and AAFCO statement. We can’t guarantee each category (such as chicken free) is correct or that all the protein/fat percentages are correct. When feeding a puppy, always verify the AAFCO statement says the food is suitable for the growth of large-breed puppies.
If you feel bad about your budget-friendly food, you can always add 10-15% of the daily calories of homemade meat and vegetable toppers without throwing off the nutrient profile. This list is only intended to be a starting point. There are many more brands and formulas out there that may suit your dog better.
We hope you find these food suggestions helpful. As always, please feel free to share.
You might also like: How To Read Dog Food Labels
- Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
- Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.
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