Best Cheap Dog Food: Dry, Wet & Grain-Free Brands Reviewed

Best Cheap Dog Food: Dry, Wet & Grain-Free Brands Reviewed

Are you under the impression that buying the most expensive package of dog food is a way of showing how much you love your dog? You should leave this notion right now and know that it's possible to find the best cheap dog food if you're willing to do your research. The best quality dog food will have the right ingredients, enjoy positive dog food review, and be free of artificial colors. There's more to it though, but here are some of the best dog foods to provide your dog with the optimum amount of vitamins and minerals.

Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

BEST overall

  • Animal ingredients
  • High quality protein

Rated by: Amber

Harrington Dog Food Complete Lamb and Rice

BEST finger brush

  • Omega oils for better health
  • Improved digestion
  • Good for coat and skin

Rated by: Amber

sentry dental kit

Best bristly brush

  • Good protein content
  • Antioxidants
  • Suitable for overall health

Rated by: Amber

The Best Cheap Dog Food: Our Top Picks

1. Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

This dog's food is one of the very best options for anyone looking for the best cheap dry dog food for medium and large breeds.  It provides all the nutrition adult dogs need. The formula seems quite balanced with 30% of protein along with 16% of fat, and there's fiber in the mix along with 10% of moisture.

The ingredients make it a delicious treat for your dog, as the main ingredients are chicken meal, chicken, lamb meal, split peas, and dried sweet potatoes. The company is all about the dog food and knows what will help keep your pup healthy. Considering the needs of many dogs, they have also paid attention to making it a grain-free quality food. Moreover, it's among the best dog food brands offering high quality fatty acids to keep your dog healthy.

Overall, it's a really good choice for someone looking for quality dog food at a reasonable price, but keep in mind that it may become a bit expensive when you talk about large dog breeds.


  • It contains animal ingredients
  • It is a high protein dog food
  • It's is free of any grain


  • It may a bit expensive for larger breeds

2. Harrington Dog Food Complete Lamb and Rice

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

You're going to like this quality food, especially if you're looking for something special for your "windy" friend, as it won't cause any digestive distress. It relies heavily on omega oils as well as essential amino acids, so you're going to notice your dog's health getting better over time.

Thanks to the natural antioxidants it contains, you will notice that it reduces flatulence odors and directly helps to improve coat and skin condition of your furry friend. It may also be a great choice if you're looking for the best cheap dog food for small to medium breeds.

This natural dog food is available in a paper bag of 2kg, so you won't have to look for another one for some time, especially if you have a small dog breed. It's worth pointing out though that you should source it from the right supplier because many people have complained about receiving substandard package or food that wasn't fresh.


  • It contains omega oils for overall health
  • It promotes better digestion
  • It's good for the coat and skin health


  • Not all suppliers deliver it fresh

3. Taste of the Wild Dog Food

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

When you talk about finding the best cheap dog food, you can't keep Taste of the Wild out of the picture. It's one of the best dog food brands still managing to deliver high quality food treats for your beloved dog.

The ingredient list is quite impressive and making Taste of the Wild a great way to provide your dog with all-important nutrition. For instance, it contains peas, sweet potatoes, chicken meal, lamb meal, blueberries, dried chicory root, and lots of vitamins, minerals, and of course, protein. Your dogs are going to love it for sure.

It provides your dog with 18% fat and 32% protein, which is better than what you get from most dry dog foods these days.  It seems that the company knows all about dogs food and that's why they have a solution for dogs in different life stages.  Overall, it won't disappoint you, but just bear in mind that price can go up when you opt for it for large, adult dogs.


  • It contains 32% protein
  • It contains antioxidants
  • It promotes overall health


  • It can be a bit expensive for some

FAQ - A Buyer's Guide

What is the best dog food that is inexpensive?

You can choose the best cheap dog food considering your budget and the requirements/needs of your furry friend. Today, you can find a huge range of dog foods in the market, but the one that is best yet inexpensive will take some time to find. The quality of dog food depends on its ingredients. Many dog food brands are now offering a great products, but it comes down to what you like for your Fido. Here are some ingredients found in dog foods that help improve their quality.

  • Meat. Meat is the most essential of the top ten dog food ingredients. The nutrition supply for most commercial dog food comes from actual meat, such as ham, beef, pork, deer, venison, and a variety of other meat sources. You may see egg protein on some packaging, which is fine, but be sure that there is plenty of actual meat that goes along with the egg.
  • Meat Meal. This is also a really strong source of protein in pet food. When a number of people read dog food ingredients on a box, the term "meal" scares them away. The meal is produced from the meat that it represents. For instance, chicken meal is ground chicken meat, which has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content in chicken meal is 65 percent, and the amount of fat is 12 percent. This ensures the chicken meal also has a higher protein quality and provides the dog with much more valuable nutrition than whole poultry. Therefore, going for a product with chicken meal is a great idea.
  • Carbohydrates and Grains. As long as your dog has no diseases or sensitivities to food, this can be a really useful product. Grains and carbohydrates are one of the items people don't want on a dog food list, but they're not as poor as other people think they are. In addition, wild dogs and wolves sometimes consume the stomach contents of their victims first, which typically includes plant matter. Carbs give nutritional energy to your puppy, and healthy grains will support digestion. Grain, soy, and whole wheat are known to be poorer quality foods, but rice, oats, barley, and peas are stronger. These will be lower in the list of ingredients after the origins of the beef.
  • Vegetables. While it's not an item that your dog has to eat, vegetables in her diet may be really helpful as they contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes, for instance, are a perfect source of potassium, vitamin B and beta-carotene, and antioxidants that directly help combat cancer-causing agents.
  • Fruits. Again, not a bad component of a dog's diet, in fact, fruits like apples serve as a great source of vitamin C as well as antioxidants, whereas cranberries may aid with urinary tract infections and assist with dental health through destroying some bacteria.
  • Fats. We all know about the risks of fats, but they really are important for proper cell function and digestion. They have nutrition and allow your dog to consume some vitamins. And, they help retain the coat clean and bright. Check for high-quality fats such as Omega-3 and omega-6 as well.
  • Vitamins. They assist with metabolic, digestive, and immune system processes and help maintain nerves and blood cells healthy.B-vitamins are extremely important in the form of thiamine, pyridoxine, and beta-carotene.   Vitamin A is essential for the skin and coat of your dog. Vitamin E improves the digestive system of your dog.
  • Minerals and Nutrients. Many minerals that are essential to your dog's wellbeing include zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and manganese. Also important are L-Carnitine, a nutrient that serves as a transport agent for fatty acids and aids in cellular energy development, and DL-Methionine, one of the 10-plus critical amino acids needed by dogs.

Overall, there are many ingredients to check in the best dog foods, but sometimes, you need something specific, like your dog may only be interested in the best cheap grain free dog food or he may only be able to digest dry dog food. Similarly, sweet potato is generally beneficial, but it may not work for some dogs. Therefore, be prepared to check the ingredients and then make a choice.

Is It Worth Buying Expensive Dog Food?

You may be thinking that you always need to buy the most expensive dog food for your beloved pet, but that is not true. However, it's also true that some dog foods may work better when it comes to treating certain dog conditions, and only premium dog food brands may help in this regard. Here are some reasons why you may want to shell out some extra money to buy expensive dog food.

More energy

Over-processed foods (such as kibble, frozen wet food, freeze-dried) can be tough for a dog's digestive tract to actually break down and extract nutrients from, which ensures a lot of food heads to one end and to the other. Fresh foods are easily digestible, enabling the dog's body to consume nutrients easily from the food they eat. This will offer your dog more readily accessible resources to use as needed. You'll find a perkier dog with more stamina for longer runs, drives, and playtime in the yard! Expensive foods can use even expensive ingredients that not all other cheaper foods can.

Shinier coats

Healthy oils are an important aspect of every fresh dog food diet, and these fats easily transform a dark coat into shiny. Clean dog food diets include a combination of oils that have several health advantages, so a smooth, fluffy coat is just a good side result! Not all cheap dog foods have this oil, but expensive most foods do have it.

Healthier skin

Whether your dog has allergies or some sort of skin problem, you've also learned new food is a natural cure. Nutrients such as calcium, B vitamins, and fatty acids found in fresh dog diets tend to soothe and cure certain skin disorders in dogs and are much more effective when extracted from entire foods than merely provided as generic additives applied to some form of food. This gain will typically be achieved in as little as a month on a new dog food diet! These diets have components that can provide a shinier and healthier coat.

Brighter, healthier eyes

Vitamin A is available in new dog food diets and convenient for our pups to use. Silly as it seems, clearer eyes are a widely recorded advantage of fresh dog food and refer to improved eye safety beneath the skin. Vitamin A is found  in sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach. Going for veggies like sweet potato would help but there should be other healthier ingredients too.

Less waste and firmer stools

Many packaged products contain an unhealthy amount of fiber because fiber suppliers are always cheaper ingredients (mainly any non-protein supply that supplies fiber). Although fiber is essential, the fact is, you may get so much of a good thing at some stage, so much fiber ensures that your dog's body is too busy breaking it down to consume other nutrients from the diet. In the long run, this will contribute to cancer of the colon or other digestive tract-related diseases. For a healthy fresh diet, fiber only comes from natural sources and rarely exceeds the hazardous 10% crude fiber level in refined foods. This ensures that the dog will really consume some of what they're eating; less food only passes in. You usually found this amount of fiber in only expensive dog foods.

Fewer trips to the vet

Rich foods from new vegetables (vitamin A, C) and freshly grilled meats (zinc) keep your dog's immune system strong. Maintenance of the immune system helps your dog feel better every day, but it also means fewer trips to the vet. Dogs with medical problems such as asthma, skin inflammation, or allergic tumors can often derive comfort from a fresh dog diet (free of chemical ingredients that worsen such disorders) and make fewer expensive visits to vets.

Quality of life

You're enjoying your meals, so why shouldn't you be your best friend? Of all the rewards of new dog food, maybe the best is the happiness that we get every time we place real food in the bow and see their delight in devouring it! Feeding someone you value is one of the best obligations we have, so there's no happier feeling than seeing our dogs dive into food that we realize is good (so delicious) for them.

Longer life

When pets are no longer at risk for tumors, allergies, among many other risks to refined dog food foods, a healthy lifestyle is converted into more years. Much as human diets, we recognize that healthy nutrition is the clearest road to a healthier existence! Expensive dog foods are very healthy.

While these expensive dog foods are great you can usually find all these features in affordable dog foods as well. Of course, not all dog food brands would offer a package with maximum nutritional value and a low price tag, but some affordable dog brands may have some options too. It's just about looking in the right place.

What are the Worst Dog Foods?

You need to consider many things when looking for the best quality dog food. It's not always about deciding between dry dog food and wet dog food. For some dogs, you need to keep the moisture content between 3% and 12%, and that will make dry dog food. But, on other occasions, the best food would be the one that keeps the moisture content up to 84%.  So, what’s the worst or the best quality dog food will vary from dog to dog.

Even when you're going for expensive dog food, you should not automatically assume that it's of the highest quality. Always have a look at the ingredients. Similarly, you should not assume that anything you eat can be given to your furry friend as well. You must ensure that these ingredients are not in your dogfood:


These chemical additives are used to retain fats in human and pet milk. Banned in several nations, BHA and BHT are authorized for food usage in limited amounts in Canada, the United States, and Europe, but an overdose can surely be harmful.

2. White Flour

White flour is a common starch with much (if not all) of its nutrients stripped away. The trouble with white flour is that it induces a rise and then a decrease in blood sugar, allowing you (or your dog) to suffer again shortly after you have eaten it. Over-consumption of white flour will contribute to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

3. Meat and Meat Meal

Meat is healthy for your animals. It's expected to comprise part of the dog's food. However, whether you see unidentified "egg," "egg meal," or "meat and bone meal," you realize that your pet has the lowest potential source of nutrition in prepared food. Meat is another of the non-described food products that will start to expand on this list of great dog food ingredients.

When producers provide "anything goes," non-described words, such as "meat," it's often a guess as to what's in them. These products are often leftovers, so the only assurance is that there is no assurance of any consistency level. Ingredients can be diseased, from deceased cattle, from discarded meat parts in grocery stores (complete with plastic packaging), or may have tumors–you name them.

When this Frankenstein concoction has been assembled, it is heated thoroughly to eliminate any bacteria that might be present (they sure are). This method often extracts much of the nutrients that might be found in these dubious ingredients. The effect is a difficult-to-digest, nutritionally-free filler that raises the amount of protein in your dog's food container, but provides no functional protein to your cat.

4. Artificial Colors

Artificial colors make items appear more physically appealing. However, artificial colors have been related to hyperactivity and other physiological processes within the body. The only explanation why chemical colors are used with some food is to make the product appear nicer for you. Completely needless for both humans and dogs. So there is no need to use artificial coloring in the milk. Many naturally-derived colors are accessible to manufacturers. Artificial colors can be contained in everything, including fruit–but particularly refined foods.

6. Gluten

There's not a ton of foods in the news that generate as much attention as gluten does these days. Although other humans are avoiding gluten in order to boost their metabolism and even lose weight, the dog's motivations for avoiding gluten could be much more convincing.

Gluten, contained in wheat, is not a good option for dogs or cats to feed. For dog food, gluten can be contained in some gluten-containing plants, such as wheat, maize, or oats. Corn gluten and wheat gluten may also be used as an element of its own, used as binders to create kibble shapes and textures.

Dogs are far more responsive to food grains than cats are, but others often experience allergies and suffer from intestinal problems owing to an overkill of grains in the typical refined kibble diet. Gummy ears and recurrent ear infections, scratching, and hot spots are also typical symptoms of gluten or allergy in your animals.

The Best Cheap Dog Food to Buy

Whether you want a food product free of corn wheat or you're looking for the power of brown rice, you can always find many dog food brands giving you what you want. If you're confused, you may benefit by trying Harrington's Dog Food for your beloved pet. Not only is it affordable, it's nutrient- rich and suitable for most dog breeds. Try now!

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