In an ideal world, we would all eat gourmet meals and our dogs would eat the finest food available. Unfortunately, this isn’t an ideal world and sometimes we have to settle for frozen meals and budget dog food.
If you are like me and have been spoiled by being able to feed your dog the best dog food for them, then it may come as a considerable shock when you are forced to make concessions.
This weekend, I sat down and took a look at some of the budget dog food options available out there.
I kept a few quality checkpoints in mind and picked a small selection of budget dog foods that stand above the rest.
What Makes a “Good” Budget Dog Food?
As I sat down to survey the budget dog food options, I kept a few criteria in mind.
- Price: The price points on these foods had to be lower than their competing brands
- Ingredients: No corn gluten or any of that other junk
- Availability: Cost vs cost plus shipping and overall availability
5 Budget Dog Food Choices When You’re in a Pinch
1. Best Large Breed Budget Dog Food Option: Earthborn Holistic Grain Free (Rated 4/5 at Dog Food Advisor)
This is a moderately limited sodium content food (.2%) and it’s also grain free which is a plus. The phosphorus level in this one is also reasonable at .8% so it’s a good choice for dogs prone to struvite crystals.
The price of this food is around $50 for a 28lb bag, but you may have to order online which means having to pay shipping – unless you have a coupon!
If you use the Shop Your Way rewards program you can save your reward points and get this food for just the cost of shipping ($13)
2. Best Allergy Prone Dog Budget Food Option (Fish Based): Wellness Complete Health Grain Free Adult Whitefish and Menhaden Fish Meal Recipe (Rated 4/5 at Dog Food Advisor)
Wellness is a good solid brand which makes this food a good option. This is a good choice for allergy prone dogs who can tolerate fish since it is grain free and poultry free.
The price of this food is around $46 for a 24lb bag. This food is available from big name pet stores like PetCo and Petsmart.
3. Best Unique Protein Budget Food Option (Bison): Solid Gold Wolf King with Bison (Rated 4/5 at Dog Food Advisor)
I like Solid Gold brand. They’re solid in their name and reputation and they have a decent range of protein options for their food line. This food is a bison based option which makes it good for dogs in need of a unique protein. Just note that this is not a completely grain free formula, but it is free of corn and wheat. (If you need completely grain free, go for Canidae Pure Land. It costs a few dollars more and includes lamb and bison, but it eliminates all grains.)
This kibble is a relatively affordable option if you need a unique protein. It runs at around $53 for a 24lb bag and you can pick up Solid Gold brand from PetCo.
4. Best Low Budget Red Meat Dog Food Option: Victor Beef Meal and Brown Rice (Rated 4/5 at Dog Food Advisor)
Not a lot of people are familiar with Victor brand dog food. Their advertising is unheard of and they don’t stock their brand in the traditional pet stores. That said, they are a great option when you are on a half a shoestring budget.
Victor Beef Meal and Brown Rice uses beef, pork, and chicken as proteins and contains no wheat, corn, or soy. This kibble also contains an optimal ratio of omega fatty acids which is great for those senior pups. You can grab a 40lb bag of Victor Beef Meal and Brown Rice for around $39 online. You may also find Victor brand foods in your local feed store.
5. Best Low Budget Dog Food Option: Nature’s Recipe (Rated 3/5 at Dog Food Advisor)
If you’re looking for the most affordable dog food option without going to the bottom of the barrel you could do much worse than Nature’s Recipe.
Nature’s Recipe formulas are corn and wheat free and are carried in PetCo and Petsmart.
There are a few different options to choose from when it comes to Nature’s Recipe choices and a handful of them offer 30lbs of food for around $34. Could you find Victor for a better price? Possibly, but I decided on Nature’s Recipe for the final selection in this category because of its availability. Where you would have to track down and possibly ship Victor, you can grab Nature’s Recipe off the shelf and go.
So, there you have it.
Sure, we’d all like to brag that our dogs eat fillet mignon for dinner every night, but sometimes we have to cut corners. The foods above are a decent option if you are faced with that situation and there are quite a few others if you just do a little legwork!