The 10 Best Cheap Dog Foods

As you know, the only way to keep your pup happy as a clam and fit as a fiddle is to make sure that the bowl’s always filled with delicious food. The trouble is that high-quality dog food can be very expensive, depending on the manufacturer and, of course, on the ingredients. In this article, we will show you how to find cheap and healthy food for your dog.
Mind you that buying the best dog food is no easy endeavor. There are so many things that have to be taken into consideration that dog owners simply give up and buy the first bag of kibble they lay their hands on. Some types of food are better for digestion, others for boosting the dog’s immune response, and others for skin and coat. The types of food we’re going to discuss maintain a balance between benefits.

A Few Considerations on Dog Food

Dry dog food does more than keep your dog healthy and well fed. For instance, because of its texture, dry food, when associated with high-quality dental chews, can keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean. Furthermore, kibble can improve your dog’s breath, deal with tartar buildups, and reduce plaque. So don’t forget to add some dental chews to the bowl from time to time.
However great kibble may be, do remember that they lack water. In fact, a portion of dry food contains around 10 percent water, whereas canned food can provide up to 85 percent. So, it’s essential to remember to keep the water in your dog’s bowl fresh.

Our Choices in Cheap Dog Food

Now, without further ado, here are our 10 choices in cheap dog food. Note that most of them can be found in pet shops, but you can also check with your local supermarkets such as Target or Walmart. Always check the price tags because chances are you can just waltz out of the store with a big discount.

1. Hill’s Ideal Balance Grain-Free with Salmon and Potato

The first item on our list is Hill’s all-natural chicken and potato formula for adult dogs, age 1 to 6 years. This type of dry food contains selected ingredients such as apples, flaxseed right Omega-3 and six fatty acids, gluten-free potatoes, lean chicken, and high-quality proteins.

Depending on the retailer, a 3.5-pound bag could cost $15, while the 11-pound version is $32. Please note that Hill’s dry doggie food contains no flavors, artificial colors, and preservatives. More than that, the formula is packed with veggies, fruits, and meat will strengthen your dog’s immune system and give it an energy boost for playtime.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Food (30 lb)

2. Taste of the Wild: (Hi Prairie Formula) Dry Dog Food

You’re probably very familiar with Taste of the Wild’s varieties for house pets. In this case, the Hi Prairie formula contains everything your adult dog needs to always be filled with energy. With real roasted bison and venison, this type of dry food is great for your dog’s skin and coat, since it contains only natural ingredients with a couple of added minerals and vitamins (of course, extracted from natural sources).
Because Taste of the Wild is known for its passion of creating only natural pet foot, the Hi Prairie Formula contains no preservatives, corn, filler, wheat, grain, or artificial flavors. You can pick up a 30lbs pack for about $50.

3. Blue Life Protection Formula

Blue’s Life Protection Formula is just what your dog needs for a healthy life. With high-quality protein from real deboned lamb, Blue Life Protection Formula contains brown rice, oatmeal, barley, carrots, whole peas, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and cranberries. In other words, the holy trinity of nutrition – meat, garden-grown veggies, and fruits.
This type of dry dog food costs around $200 per 15lbs. Blue’s Life Protection Formula maintains a healthy muscle development, strong bones and teeth, joint health, skin, coat, and also aid the immune system fight off infections.

4. ONE Smart Blend with Lamb and Rice Formula from Purina

Purina’s food is, unfortunately, not among dog owners’ choices, but, as it happens, the company managed to produce a blend of food that is not only superior to most of the stuff on the market but also incredibly nutritious and healthy.
ONE Smart Blend contains a high source of quality proteins from real lamb. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and Omega-6 fatty acids, this dry food will ensure that your dog’s coat and skin will stay healthy for a long time. For joints, ONE Smart Blend contains glucosamine, extracted from natural sources. To top it all off, the food also contains antioxidants, great for helping your dog develop a healthy immune system.

5. Nutro Feed Clean Wholesome Essentials with Rice, Potato, and Chicken

Nutro’s Wholesome Essentials is exactly what your adult dog needs to keep chasing that squirrel around and keep a shiny coat. Made from real farm-raised chicken, this type of brown food packs sweet potato and brown rice. Basically, you have a balanced formula, consisting of meat, veggies, and fruits.
Mind you that Nutro’s Feed Clean contains no chicken by-product meal or artificial flavors, color, preservatives, corn, wheat or soy protein. The formal also contains natural fiber, which helps your dog’s digestion, essential antioxidants for an aging immune system, and Omega 3 and six fatty acids for skin and fur.

6. IAMS Proactive Health with Mini Chunks

IAMS Proactive Health is addressed to adult dogs over the age of one year. The mini chunks are made from real boneless chicken breast, wholesome grains for that extra energy kick, and beet pulp for healthy digestion. IAMS’ dog food contains no wheat, soy or artificial preservatives, only real and nutritious ingredients collected from US-based farms, which really says a thing or two about the food’s nutritional values.
Because IAMS Proactive Health is packed with high-quality proteins, it’s an excellent choice for those puppers who just can’t get enough play time. For the best results, we encourage you to mix dry food with canned food. That way, you can add some extra moisture to your dog’s food.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free - Salmon Recipe for Dogs - 24 lbs

7. Blue Wilderness High Protein with Salmon

Because your little wolf deserves only the best, we give you Blue Wilderness’ Nature’s Evolutionary diet. With a high protein content, this type of dry food is made from real salmon, and grain free. For a balanced diet, Blue Wilderness’ High Protein formula has been enriched with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins extracted from garden vegetables and whole grains.
The High Protein formula is ideal for those dogs that like to run around and play all day long. Careful with the portions though, because you don’t want to end up with an obese dog.

8. Merrick Grain-Free With Sweet Potato and Buffalo

Made from all-natural buffalo and enriched with vegetables such as sweet potatoes and peas, Merrick’s Grain-free home-made recipe is just what your dog needs to be healthy and full of energy.
Entirely made in the United States, this type of dog food is packed with Omega 3 and six fatty acids for the coat and skin and also chondroitin and glucosamine for healthy joints and hips. A 25-pound bag costs around $90, depending on the retailer.

9. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets

Natural Balance LID is great for strong muscle tone, energy, and a luxurious coat. Made from real fish and sweet potatoes, Natural Balances’ formula offers your dog a balance between tasty and nutritious. Of course, it contains no fillers, no artificial preservatives or color, and it’s recommended for healthy digestion. A 12-pound bag costs around $60 depending on the shop.
Yes, we know that compared to most kibble bags, products like Natural Balance’s LID are pricier. However, you should still consider the fact that these products have been cooked using natural ingredients only.

10. Applaws Dry Dog Food adult with Chicken

The last item on our list comes from Applaws, a company very popular among vets and dog owners because of their ingredients’ selection. As the product’s description suggests, the mini chunks are from deboned chicken or fish and enriched with vitamins and minerals. More than that, Applaws’ formula is beneficial for obese dogs because it has a low carbohydrate content. The extra high-quality protein ensures that your dog’s muscles have a healthy growth.

Wrap Up

As you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot of money just to keep your borking friend’s belly filled with goodies. Remember not to overfeed your dog. There’s also a thing called meal balancing – try to feed him dry and wet food. If your dog is desperately in love with dry food, it would be a good idea to put a little wet food in his bowl.

Another advice before we go – try to buy big. Just because a small bag saves you some money, it doesn’t mean that it will last forever. Always remember to use a clip to seal the bag after feeding your dog. You don’t want moisture seeping into the bag.


About the Author 

Sybella Montgomery is currently studying veterinarian medicine at a well-respected school. Working part-time for a website that specializes in animal toys for different types of animals.

4 replies
  1. Roy Liedtke
    Roy Liedtke says:

    I appreciate learning about the best inexpensive dog foods. However, I recently learned that the “buffalo” listed as the first ingredient in Taste of the Wild’s High Prairie formula is actually water buffalo. The same goes for Merrick’s Real Buffalo and Sweet Potato Recipe. It’s time to tighten the pet food regulations to require that water buffalo be fully identified, and not just listed as buffalo. If people think they are buying “bison”, let’s be sure it is bison.

    • EntirelyPets
      EntirelyPets says:

      Wow Roy. That does sound deceptive. Really glad you brought that to our attention. AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) is a group of veterinarians who put out standards for farm and companion animals. It would be good to send them a note.


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