Affordable Wet & Dry Dog Food Brands Reviewed: Which is Best?

Affordable Wet & Dry Dog Food Brands Reviewed: Which is Best?

Without providing your dog with the best food, you won't be able to enjoy his company for long. Putting your dog on the right diet is important to ensure that he stays playful and continues to be an active addition to your family. However, with so many brands cropping up daily, it may be a bit confusing to find the best affordable dog food for your pooch.  Failing to make the right decision would leave you with a dog with compromised immunity. Their coat won't be sleek and shiny and their digestive system would take a big hit too. 

To avoid all those health related problems, here are some of the best dog food options for you to consider.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Food

BEST Dry Dog Food

  • Probiotics for better digestion
  • Improved nutrition absorption

Rated by: Amber

Instinct Original Grain-Free Dog Food

Best overall

  • Large percentage of animal ingredients
  • Grain-Free Dog Food

Rated by: Amber

Hill's Science Diet Advanced Fitness

Best in price

  • Made in USA
  • Affordable
  • Good for digestion

Rated by: Amber

The Best Affordable Dog Food: Our Top Picks

1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Food

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

When you want the best affordable dry dog food for your dog, Taste of the Wild has the right solution. What makes it a popular choice is the fact that it's made using meats like buffalo, wild boar, turkey, and smoked salmon. You'll also find lamb, roasted bison, duck, venison, and quail too. Interestingly, the formula they use is grain-free, so you don't have to worry about any allergy reactions in your dog.

Because of the ingredients like sweet potatoe and legumes, this dry dog food is likely to increase the overall energy your dog has. Sweet potatoes serve as a great source of complex carbs, which is why your dog will feel energized and stay playful throughout the day.

Another thing going in the favor of this dry dog food is the presence of species-specific probiotics. With these healthy bacteria, your dog won't experience digestive issues, which in turn will directly improve his immune system.

In terms of nutrition, this dry dog food is one of the very best with plenty of vitamins minerals. But, it works better than many others because it improves nutrient absorption by using chelated minerals, which attach to proteins with ease. Another benefit of choosing the Taste of the Wild comes from the balanced omega3 and omega6 fatty acids. The formula provides your dog with marine-sourced-omega-3 from ocean fish and smoked salmon.

Overall, this dry dog food is one great choice for your dog, but it's worth pointing out that some users have complained about the package not having the same quality as a year or so ago. Well, you can still give it a shot and see how it works for your furry friend.


  • It contains omega3s and omega6
  • It contain probiotics for better digestion
  • It improves nutrient absorption


  • The product quality may not be the same as before

2. Instinct Original Grain-Free Dog Food

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

To keep your dog healthy, you can always put your money on this dog food from Nature's Variety, a company that is all about the dog food. It contains natural ingredients, so your dog is likely to benefit a lot from this organic product.

This dog food serves your dog well in terms of providing all-important nutrients, but it won't be hard on your wallet as well, as the company aims to produce affordable and cheap dog food options for dog parents.

This grain-free dog food is available in two bags – you can opt for a 4lb pack or go for a 20lb pack depending on your unique requirements. Going for the larger pack may be a better option, as it will help you save a bit more in terms of cost.  In terms of taste, your dog won't have any complains because its main flavor is wild-caught salmon. It also means your dog will get a good dose of protein from each serving of this dog food. About 72% of this dog food is real animal ingredients, whereas the remaining 28% consists of veggies, fruits, and other vitamin-based ingredients.

The good thing is that it doesn't rely on any filler or grain. The company has taken special steps to ensure that the product is free of any preservatives or artificial colors, as well as any wheat, corn, or sweet potatoes. Therefore, your dog will be getting all his nutrients from real quality ingredients.

Overall, you can trust this grain-free dog food to provide your furry friend with naturally good food packed with great nutritional value. Your dog's energy levels will skyrocket after incorporating it in their diet.  The only thing many buyers don't really appreciate is that the food has a weird smell that lingers around your home for many hours even after serving. If you can deal with that, there's nothing really wrong with going for this grain-free dog food.


  • It contains a large percentage of animal ingredients
  • It's available in two bag sizes
  • It doesn't contain any grain or corn


  • The smell may stay even after your dog has finished it

3. Hill's Science Diet Advanced Fitness

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

If you're looking for one dog food that would help improve your dog's skin, muscles, immune system, coat, and other vital organs, this product is just what your dog needs. The dog food packs a solid punch in terms of quality but is quite affordable, even when you're looking for a product for large, adult dogs.

Digestion won't be an issue with this dog food, as it's made using real chicken. You may actually find it to be the best option in case your dog is struggling with digestive or skin problems.  Similarly, it provides your dog with high quality protein, which combines with omega6 fatty acids to improve your dog's coat, skin, and overall health.

Another reason many people opt for this dog food is that it's entirely made in the US, so it meets the highest quality standards. But, it's worth mentioning that some people believe that the use of this dog food is the reason why their dogs have a doggy odor and bad breath. It's not the case with every dog owner though.


  • It is made in the USA
  • It is quite affordable
  • It is easy on your dog's digestive system


  • It may cause bad breath in some dogs

4. Ollie Human Grade Dog Food

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

If you're concerned about dog foods with fillers, you can try this product with confidence. It doesn't contain any fillers and is free of any preservatives too. It provides nutritious food to your dog without making you shell out a lot of money.

The packaging is quite impressive, as it comes in airtight sealed packages, so it's easier for you to store it in your freezer or refrigerator to keep it usable for weeks.  It's easy to serve food because the package features an easy tear film.  Quite interestingly, you can choose from different flavor, such as chicken goodness, with spinach, peas, and blueberries; hearty beef eats with sunflower oil and sweet potatoe; tasty lamb fare with kale, butternut squash, and strawberries; and healthy turkey feast with lentils, pumpkins and carrots.

Even if your dog is fussy about his food, you can still hope to find a right flavor for him. Not only is it quite delicious for your dog, it's nutritious too. It contains antioxidants, so it works great to improve your dog's coat and skin. 

Overall, you can surely opt for this dog food to keep Fido happy and healthy, but keep in mind that the dog food may get slightly expensive in case you're buying for larger breeds.


  • It contains no filler ingredients
  • It contains protein and is quite digestible
  • It comes with free monthly delivery


  • It may be a bit expensive than other cheaper dog foods

FAQ - A Buyer's Guide

The best dog food will provide your furry friend with the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, and other nutrients. But, it's not going to be easy to choose the best brand, especially considering they all claim to be the best and provide your dog with the optimum amount of vitamins and minerals and other healthy ingredients. Choosing between premium and cheap dog food will also be a big decision to make. Here's all about dogs food that will help you find the best affordable dog food brand.

What is the Best Dog Food that is Inexpensive?

When it comes to dog food, you don't always need to go for the most expensive option available. Ultimately, it depends on what your dog needs and then you can start looking for the best food option to keep him healthy and happy.

Here, you need to understand that every dog is different and have different nutritional needs as well.  Some dogs would love dry dog food, while others would have to switch to grain-free dog food. When you have puppies at home, know that they're going to need much more protein as compared to adult dogs. Therefore, cheap dog food may not be a suitable option if it cuts on the amount of protein per serving.  Similarly, cheap dog food with not enough nutritional value may not be suitable for senior dogs. If you know how to read the labels and in a position to check the nutritional value of whatever dog food you're buying, it's okay to opt for a cheaper option too.

Another great idea to save some money on dog food is to try some alternatives at home. For instance, you can try many simple homemade dog food options.  Here's one.

Add 3 cups of water to a large saucepan and cook 1 ½ cups of rice in it. Set it aside and then heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Now, add 3oz of ground turkey to it and cook again for 5 minutes – be sure to crumble the turkey well. Now, stir in 3 cups of spinach, 2 shredded carrots, 1 shredded zucchini, and ½ cup of peas in brown rice. Add to turkey and heat for another 5 minutes. Let it cool before giving it to your beloved dog. This simple looking recipe provides your dog with 36.1g of protein along with a good dose of fiber and fat.

Remember, the right food for your dog depends on his specific needs. You'd need something different if you want your dog to lose his weight. Similarly, the diet requirements might change if you're working to improve your dog's immune system. You'd need different nutrients to ensure that your dog's coat and skin stay healthy. Moreover, not all dog food options are going to work if your furry friend is allergic to certain foods, has food sensitivities, or is currently dealing with arthritis or weak joints. Therefore, it's always a good idea to consult with your vet before switching from one type of dog food to another.

Is It Worth Buying Expensive Dog Food?

It's hard to say anything for sure because so many factors go into determining which dog food is suitable for your dog's life stage. Reading the label is always going to be important. If it says "complete and balanced nutrition", you may want to buy it, irrespective of its price tag.  Generally, the higher the quality of a product, the more expensive it's going to be. The same holds true for dog foods as well, especially when there are better ingredients and higher percentages of fatty acids and other important nutrients.

However, you need to keep in mind that even the most expensive dog food brands have had safety recalls, so nothing is safe these days.  The premium dog food brands sprang up after pet food safety failure back in 2007, but studies show that even these brands often fail to live up to their promises.  It implies that fur-parents are still concerned about finding the best product for their pets, even when they don't really care about the price tag. Therefore, many pet owners are of the view that there's no point in spending top dollar in buying the best dog food because you often get the same out of other relatively cheaper bags of kibble.

The better idea is to study your pet instead of focusing more on the packages and ingredient lists. You ought to consider the quality of the coat and skin to decide which dog food to buy. You can surely try a cheaper dog food package but be sure to change if you notice your dog's coat becoming dull and greasy. Similarly, you may need to change his diet if the coat shows signs of dandruff. But, you may not have to change anything in case your dog's active and his behaviors are good. In this situation, even lower-quality, rather affordable dog foods would do fine. Just ensure that those dog foods you buy don't contain artificial colors or fillers.

The fact of the matter is that you can find many dog foods with a lower price tag but still good enough to keep your pet healthy. There's nothing wrong in buying the dog food that you can afford – that's best for you and your furry friend.

What is the Best Quality Dog Food?

So many factors go into determining the best dog food for your beloved dog. Without paying attention to those factors, you can't hope to find the best quality dog food. Here's what to consider:

Know Your Dog Better

It means you should pay some serious attention to your dog's activity, age, and reproductive status. His physical characteristics will tell you a lot about the right type of dog food. Understand that the best dog food for lactating mothers and puppies is the one that provides them with enough calories because their calorie needs are going to be high as compared to senior dogs. Similarly, the best dog food for highly active breeds contains higher calories as compared to cough potato breeds. Remember, you can't just rely on brands dividing foods as per breeds because they'd only offer products for small breeds and large breeds with no specific attention to the other characteristics of your dog.

Learn to Understand Labels

It actually means you need to educate yourself about the buzz words mentioned on the labels or food packaging. For instance, those words would determine the amount of protein you find in those products. As per the FDA, sometimes the words like Chicken Dog Food or Beef for Dogs would only mean there's 95% of protein in the package and that's excluding the water content. Now, know that the protein content would drop down to 70% if you include the water content as well.

Similarly, the word "dinner" often suggests that the product contains 25% of the protein only. That's especially true for foods with labels such as "Salmon Dinner for Dogs" or "Chicken Stew Dinner".  Therefore, it's important that you educate yourself about these words and what they indicate to decide which dog food would work fine for your beloved dog.

Check the Ingredient List

It's important to check the ingredient list and consider which ingredient occupies the top place.  The reason is that most brands list ingredients as per their weight in the formula. Therefore, you'd be much better off going for a product with meat meal or meat at the very top. It will be good for your dog because dogs are omnivores and it's not good to keep them on a vegetarian diet.

Another important consideration is that meat may include tissue from the diaphragm, heart, and esophagus. Sometimes, it includes skeletal muscle of another animal, but keep in mind that some products may use meat by-product, which will be non-rendered parts of another animal, which usually include the kidneys, lungs, blood, brain, and bone.

Similarly, it's a good idea to ensure that the product you choose doesn't have grain, vegetable, or tuber as the first ingredient on the list. Many dog foods are affordable but they offer a high percentage of ground corn. While it's true that corn is easy to digest, it's not the optimum source of nutrition for your dog. In fact, corn doesn't have enough protein and is never a great source of carbs. Moreover, you may have to put your dog on a grain-free diet if he's struggling with a severe food allergy.

 Pay Attention to Nutritional Adequacy Statement

While checking the rest of the nutritional info, you should consider the adequacy statement as well. It may be a good idea to opt for a product that says "complete and balanced nutrition". It should also say , "suitable for all life stages". You can find the info on the back. You may be able to find a better product if you look for the AAFCO statement on the package. So, be sure to check for these signs and statements to be able to buy the best dog food for Fido.

Be Prepared to Do Some Homework

These days, you can find many dog food brands, both expensive and inexpensive. You don't necessarily need to put your money on expensive dog foods, but it's equally important to ensure the cheap food you're buying is still nutritious.  Therefore, it makes sense to do some research about different dog food brands and what they offer. Read reviews and consider what other dog owners are saying about that particular brand.  The more you research the easier it will be to find the best dog food for your furry friend.

Puppy Tearing Up Paper

The Best Affordable Dog Food to Buy for Your Pet

In order to keep your dog healthy, you just can't afford to make any compromises over the quality of dog food. Whether you for the dry food or the best affordable wet dog food, but it's not necessary to break the bank to find the most expensive dog food products. Sometimes, cheap and affordable dog foods can work too, and if you're confused, you've put your money on Instinct Original Grain Free from Nature's Variety, as it's affordable, available in different sizes, and provides your dog with real animal ingredients for better taste and nutrition.

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