Best Cheap Dog Food: Top Options in 2020

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Our pets make up part of our close families and as such, they are entitled to every basic need such as shelter, medical care, and food.

Due to the economic factors, one has to settle for the best inexpensive dog food on the market, as we look to bolster the health of our dog pets.

Luckily, the market is thriving with quality dog food options that are nutritious yet affordable.

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Our top pick is the Purina One SmartBlend Dry Dog Food. This inexpensive dog food is nutritionally complete and balanced for all dog breeds. It contains essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from healthy and high-quality ingredients.

The Best Cheap Dog Foods Are:

ProductDetails
1. Purina One SmartBlend Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breed Sizes
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: High-protein, a novel protein
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2. Wellness Natural Complete Health Small Breed Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: Small Breed
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free
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3. Purina Moist and Meaty Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free
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4. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breed Sizes
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free, grain-free
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5. Purina Pro Plan Blend Formula Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breed Sizes
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free
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6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free, grain-free, high-protein, no corn, no soy, no wheat
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7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Grain-Free, limited ingredient diet, sensitive digestion, pea-free
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8. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Chicken and Sweet Potato Recipe

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breeds
  • Life Stage: Puppies
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free, grain-free, high-protein, no corn, no soy, no wheat
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9. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free, grain-free, high-protein, no corn, no soy, no wheat
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1. Purina One SmartBlend Dry Dog Food — Best Inexpensive Dog Food

The Purina SmartBlend has a lamb and rice formula although the lamb is its main ingredient, which is actually real lamb meat. Lamb is a great source of proteins and it blends well with grains — hence the reason for combining it with rice to enrich the dog food.

Purina, who manufactures the SmartBlend lamb and rice formula, decided to integrate the two food types together because, on their own, each of these foods may not give your dog all the nutrients it deserves.

According to Purina, the SmartBlend dog food is intended to provide your dog with a complete body health every day.

They created a 28-day challenge so that pet owners could monitor and appreciate the positive impact that this dog food has on their dog’s health, and eventually realize that it’s the best cheap dry dog food they could get.

A rice and lamb formula, which are the main ingredients of the dog food, provides carbohydrates as well as proteins.

Carbohydrates provide your dog with energy while the proteins support the buildup and strengthening of your pup’s muscles.

The SmartBlend dog food also features Omega 6. This is ideal for maintaining a radiant as well as healthy skin for your dog. Your dog may have improved joint health after consuming the Purina One SmartBlend dog food.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breed Sizes
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: High-protein, a novel protein

Pros

  • Real lamb with omega 6
  • Natural sources of glucosamine
  • Great for fussy eaters
  • Rich in proteins and energy
  • Enhances strong dog muscles

Cons

  • Not grain-free
  • Contains by-product meals

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2. Wellness Natural Complete Health Small Breed Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health is an ideal meal prepared for your small dog. The size of the meal is kibble size to enable any dogs with small mouths to have an easy time when eating.

This is a product of dog food that comprises many nutrients to boost the health of your small dog.

Wellness promises to ensure your dog gets a balanced nutritional diet, vitality, bone, and joint health boosted as well as promoting your dog’s digestion.

The brand offers six different flavors of dog food in four different bag sizes in the hope it will enhance your dog’s appetite.

It is ideal for small dogs with small mouths. And even if your dog is blind, with the aroma of this food, they’ll easily find their way to their meal.

Wellness Complete Health has several features, which should hopefully encourage you to give it a try. The dog food provides your dog with complete health.

This ensures you do not have to complement the dog food with another type of food. Every nutrient your dog needs is included in the Wellness small breed dog food.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: Small Breed
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free

Pros

  • Provides complete health
  • Natural ingredients for small breeds
  • Rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Enhances the bone health
  • Guarantees a balanced meal

Cons

  • Made for only small breed dogs

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3. Purina Moist and Meaty Dog Food

The Purina moist and meaty is a dog food that is made with real meat and no artificial components. It can be offered to the dog as either a dry or a moist meal.

The dog food is intended as either a main meal or a top-up. It comes in various choices so you can have several options to choose from. This dog food can be offered to any dog whether small or big, young or old.

The cheddar cheese adds flavor to the Purina dog food, making sure your dog does not miss the sweetness of the meal. If your dog is fussy, you can rely on the cheddar cheese flavor to boost its appetite for a meal.

This dog food is not only great in terms of choices but is also a whole meal full of all the healthy nutrients your dog might be craving.

The product is served with meaty pieces. The pieces are real meat to ensure your dog also gets a real taste of meat.

You can choose to serve the Purina moist meal to your pet as a main meal, a top-up, or as a snack in between the dog’s main meals.

The ‘stay fresh pouches’ enhances the enjoyment of the meal as your dog will not experience any mess. There is an enhanced convenience when you feed the Purina moist and meaty dog food to your dog.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free

Pros

  • Made with real meat
  • Balanced, complete nutrition
  • Contains a blend of vitamins
  • Multipurpose

Cons

  • Not ideal for picky dogs
  • Only last two days after being opened

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4. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This natural dog food is a product manufactured by Wellness. It contains chicken, turkey, fruits, vegetables, and salmon oil for the optimal health of your dog.

The Wellness Core claims to fortify the health of your dog due to the strengthening it receives from anti-oxidants, vitamins, probiotics, and flax blend of omega.

According to the manufacturer of this dog food, there are no meat by-products, your dog will only feed on natural ingredients.

Ideally, the nutritional value of this dog food is based on the knowledge that your dog should nourish on meat-enriched diets.

Each formula is intended for adult dogs and, therefore, if you have puppies you may have to look for a better alternative. But if your dog is one year or older, it should find this food digestible and nutritious.

The Wellness Core natural grain-free dry dog food is an ideal meal due to the many features such as the high-quality ingredients as well as the nutritional value.

However, it is not just enough for dog food to have stocks of ingredients that do not add value to the health of your dog.

The food is enriched with proteins because of the value of proteins as bodybuilding nutrients. The vitamins and minerals add necessary health components to your dog.

All the components of this dog food are natural. This ensures that your dog has an easy time digesting the ingredients to maximize on the nutrients.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breed Sizes
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free, grain-free

Pros

  • Grain-free formula
  • Rich in proteins and entirely natural
  • Loaded with beneficial ingredients
  • A blend of nutrients
  • Rich in vitamins

Cons

  • An issue with quality control

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5. Purina Pro Plan Blend Formula Dry Dog Food

The Purina Pro Plan dog food is a product that is intended to offer your dog the best wholesome meal at an affordable price. Savor dog food claims to make your dog feel exceptional.

It is enriched with antioxidants so as to improve your dog’s immune system. The dog food also boosts your dog’s brain, as well as vision, primarily due to the DHA contained in its ingredients.

This dog food from Purina is made with different choices for your dog’s age. For the puppies, you are required to feed them on either dry or moistened dog food.

This should be done as soon as the puppies begin to nibble at the solid foods fed to them. This dog food may also provide your reproducing bitches with the necessary nutrients to support their condition.

The high protein content, which includes the chicken, provides your dog with nutrients and bodybuilding properties; therefore, if you want your dog to have strong muscles and to heal quickly, you may have to consider feeding it this particular dog food.

A healthy skin coat is also supported by the Omega 6 fatty acids and the Linoleic acid as well as Vitamin A.

A proper and efficient digestion process can be boosted by the prebiotic fiber, which is provided from wheat bran. These features add some reasonable value to the Purina Pro Plan savor dog food.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breed Sizes
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free

Pros

  • Chicken and rice formula
  • High protein content
  • Tender shredded pieces and hard kibble
  • Supports the mobility of joints
  • Vitamin A and omega 6

Cons

  • Contains poultry by-product meal

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6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is one of the most inexpensive dog foods on the market.

This dry dog food is ideal for adult dogs of all breeds. It is completely grain-free and it does not contain corn, soy, or wheat. This is a great tasting dog food and it is ideal for a fussy eater.

If your dog prefers fish protein, then this is a great option to consider. This food is not exactly a raw recipe, but it is still close to the ancestral diet of dogs.

The processing of the food is minimal, and this means most of the ingredients still retain their nutritional value. The top ingredients of this diet are deboned salmon, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, and menhaden fish meal.

It contains a natural source of glucosamine, and this helps to enhance the joint health of your dog. This food also contains some veggies and fruits that are very rich in vitamins and minerals.

The patented LifeSource Bits of Blue, which is a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, also helps to boost the immune system and provide a healthy oxidative balance.

It is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to provide your dog with healthy skin and a shiny coat. This food is free from artificial colorings, flavorings, and preservatives.

The protein content is pretty high, with an impressive 34 percent. The minimum crude fat content is 15 percent while the maximum fiber content is 6 percent.

It is also a great option for very active dogs, as it contains a whopping 415 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free, grain-free, high-protein, no corn, no soy, no wheat

Pros

  • Made with delicious real salmon
  • Ideal for all dog breeds
  • Tasty enough for fussy eaters
  • Blue’s LifeSource Bits

Cons

  • Still contains chicken as a top main ingredient

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7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food

Next up is the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food. This food is made with only a few ingredients, making it safe for dogs with sensitive stomachs to consume.

This sweet potato and fish formula is 100 percent grain-free and it is great for sensitive dogs. The Natural Balance LID is fish-based with a minimal amount of carbs.

It is also completely free from fillers and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

The top ingredients of this diet are dried sweet potatoes, salmon, fish meal, potato protein, and canola oil. It contains sufficient amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids from sources such as canola oil, salmon oil, and flaxseed.

The sweet potato is a great source of dietary fiber and carbohydrate. It is also highly digestible.

If your dog has digestion issues or is susceptible to allergies, we highly recommend this dog food. It is free of pea protein, peas, legumes, and lentils, corn, soy, and wheat.

It also tastes really good and it was crafted to provide your dog with all the nutrition it needs. You can feed this dog food to all adult dogs, regardless of the breed.

This food is relatively low in protein, with a protein count of 21 percent (minimum). The minimum crude fat content is 10 percent while the maximum crude fiber content is 4.5 percent.

The caloric content of this food is 350 kilocalories per cup. It also contains sufficient amounts of DHA to boost the cognitive function of your dog.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Grain-Free, limited ingredient diet, sensitive digestion, pea-free

Pros

  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Nutritionally balanced and complete
  • Ideal for dogs with sensitive stomach and skins
  • Free from fillers and artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Some dog parents might not find the smell pleasant

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8. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Chicken and Sweet Potato Recipe

Our list of the best inexpensive dog foods will not be complete without a product from Merrick. This is another cheap dog food with a good overall balance of protein and other vital nutrients that your dog needs.

If your dog is not allergic to chicken, then this is one of the best dog foods to consider. The chicken and sweet potato formula is pretty tempting, even for the fussiest eaters.

The top five ingredients of this dog food are deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. It is completely grain-free and it contains potatoes as a great substitute.

This grain-free dog food from Merrick is a puppy formula, and it contains everything your puppy needs to remain healthy, strong, and active.

This food contains plenty of fruits and veggies such as apples and blueberries, and these are super-rich in vitamins and minerals.

Other protein sources in this diet include deboned salmon, dried egg product, pea protein, and salmon meal.

To keep the skin and coat of your puppy healthy and shiny, this food contains enough omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids from salmon oil, chicken fat, and sunflower oil.

This food is nutritionally balanced and complete, and it contains essential nutrients for the mental and physical development of puppies. It is also free from other allergens such as soy and gluten.

It contains phosphorus, calcium, and DHA to enhance the brain and eye development of your puppy. The protein count of this dog food is considerably high, at 30 percent, and it is great for growing dogs.

The minimum crude fat content is also great for puppies, at 16 percent. It contains a maximum crude fat of 4.5 percent with a caloric content of 400 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breeds
  • Life Stage: Puppies
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free, grain-free, high-protein, no corn, no soy, no wheat

Pros

  • Supports brain and eye development
  • Best inexpensive dog food for puppies
  • Supports a healthy digestion
  • Free from grains and other allergens

Cons

  • Some picky dogs may still reject it

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9. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The last but not the least is the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. If you are looking for an inexpensive dog food that your dog can hardly say no to, we highly recommend the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.

This food is super tasty and even the fussiest dogs love it. This food is made with high-quality ingredients, and it does not contain any ingredient that will upset the tummy of your dog.

The top five ingredients of this diet are buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, and peas. It is 100 percent free from grains, with sweet potatoes as a substitute. Sweet potato is a great carb source and it is highly digestible.

This food also contains other great protein sources such as roasted venison, roasted bison, beef, and ocean fish meal. These are novel protein sources and your pup is going to thank you for it.

This food is very delicious and highly digestible. It also comes with a blend of antioxidants and Taste of the Wild’s proprietary K9 strain probiotic, which helps to boost the digestive health of your dog.

This formula is completely free from wheat, corn, filler, grain, gluten, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

It contains fruits and veggies such as raspberries, blueberries, and tomatoes, and these are great sources of antioxidants.

This dry dog food contains sufficient amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and these promote the skin health of your dog. They also help to make the coat of your dog shinier.

The protein content of this diet is 32 percent while the crude fat content is 18 percent. The fat content is pretty high, making it a great option for active dogs.

It contains a maximum crude fiber of 4 percent with a caloric content of 370 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Breed: All Breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free, grain-free, high-protein, no corn, no soy, no wheat

Pros

  • Grain-free, gluten-free
  • Loaded with fruits and veggies
  • Supports healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Antioxidants for a healthy digestive system

Cons

  • Some dog parents said it made their dogs sick

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Important Things To Consider When Buying Inexpensive Dog Food

A healthy pet is worth admiring. What if your pet is a dog who is malnourished and has no appetite for the locally available food? It is always recommended to consult your veterinary doctor whenever you have concerns about your pet.

Most dogs need to feed at least twice on a daily basis. If you cannot figure out the appropriate dietary formula, you can also opt for cheap dog food supplied by a company specialized in manufacturing dog food.

The dog food can be purchased by any dog owner. When you have figured out what dog food to buy, you also need to know how to properly store the food.

The majority of these dog foods are appropriate for dogs of all ages but where exceptions exist, alternatives should be sought.

Breed

One of the first things you need to consider when looking for cheap dog food for your dog is the breed size the food is meant for.

We have small, medium, and large breed dogs, and they all have food specifically formulated for them.

However, there are many dog foods that are ideal for all breed sizes. When buying dog food, you need to make sure the food is ideal for your dog breed.

Allergies

If your dog is allergic to certain ingredients or it has a sensitive stomach or skin, it is very important that you look for a dog food that will not trigger some allergic reactions. Most dogs are allergic to grains. Grains offer a wide range of nutritional benefits.

However, many dog foods contain grains as fillers, because they are a very cheap ingredient. Whole grains are a high-quality carb source, you should stay away from them if your dog is allergic to them.

You should take note of other ingredients that your dog is allergic to and avoid those ingredients when shopping for food for your dog.

Omega 3 and Omega 6

Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are very important in the diet of a dog. These fatty acids are found mostly in fish oil, salmon oil, chicken fat, sunflower oil, and flaxseed.

They help to provide your dog with healthy skin and a shiny coat. Omega 3 fatty acids also contain DHAs that help with brain development. Hence, you should make sure the dog food you want to choose contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. 

Ingredients

Another vital thing you need to consider is the ingredients used to make the dog food. Cheap is not low-quality, and there are many high-quality dog food on the market at reasonable prices.

You should make sure the food contains high-quality ingredients. It should contain animal-based protein or other novel protein sources.

There should be lots of veggies and fruits to provide your dog with natural vitamins and minerals. It should also contain antioxidant-rich ingredients with healthy fat sources such as canola oil, fish oil, flaxseed, and more.

The Final Verdict

A strong healthy dog needs to be fed constantly on high-quality dog food. However, price is also something of a restraint hence the need to consider the best inexpensive dog food the market has to offer.

Failure to feed your dog might leave it emaciated and malnourished. Your dog might even run away from home to look for food. It is necessary to keep your dog fed and nourished.

Our top recommendation for the best cheap dog food is the Purina One SmartBlend because it contains a novel protein and it is great for dogs of all breeds. It contains essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.

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