Top 10 Best Cheap Dry Dog Foods 2017: Compare, Buy & Save

122

Download Video Links


cheap dog food, best dry dog food, dog food brands, dog food delivery, pet food online

As I’ve mentioned before, I have three dogs. They’re all around 60 pounds and two of them are under the age of three. They’re fully able-bodied and active, enjoying sprints around our back yard as much as challenging hikes. Dogs fitting this general description get hungry and, it seems to me, my three are working together to render my household penniless.

Feeding three good-sized dogs is no easy feat. I offer my condolences to those of you with more or bigger dogs. My youngest, a monster husky mix, tends to lose weight even when he’s eating four cups a day. Between their kibble, teeth-cleaning dental treats, and training treats, we’re well into three digits per month. I’m familiar with the economics of dog ownership, to say the least.

The reality of paying for our pets sometimes falls well short of our willingness and capacity to love them. No question that it was my choice to adopt three dogs and therefore it’s my responsibility to pay for their care, with food the fundamental unit thereof. Still, there are plenty of circumstances outside of our control that can negatively affect our ability to provide for the canine members of our families — job loss, injury, sudden spike in food costs, and so on.

To that end, we’ve put together this list of relatively inexpensive options when it comes to dry dog food. For one thing, dry food itself is economical, packing more calories into a smaller volume. For another, these are made by the big companies that specialize in large-volume production to keep costs low.

Download Video Links

That being said, the question of whether these are objectively the best dog foods remains open. We try to represent a variety of use cases and priorities in the breadth of our posts, but dog owners tend to be savvy label readers of late. By and large these days, veterinarians are more likely to suggest grain-free foods, responding to a growing obesity problem among pets and to skin allergies that can occasionally accompany feeding more traditional foods. Unfortunately, the very best foods tend to be expensive, so there is always a balance to be struck. Better to be able to feed your dog at all than hold out for an unsustainable diet. The purpose of this list is finding value in nutritionally complete dry dog food, not declaring a winner in the world’s best dog food debate. On that note, these are not ranked, merely numbered for ease of reading.

Further, we advise discussing with your vet and consulting Dog Food Advisor for a clear picture of what to feed your pup. Our best dry dog food brands post features the best of the best according to Dog Food Advisor, while our best grain-free dog food brands post offers a wider variety of selections with above-average ratings.

To be fully transparent, we’ve listed the first six ingredients of each of our picks so you can evaluate what will make up the greatest proportion of these foods. If there’s something truly objectionable to you, you’ll know straight away and can move onto another option. We’ve also prioritized options that are available via Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program to further augment your cost savings. Prices tend to be a little bit cheaper as it is, but taking five or even 15 percent more off makes a big difference, while ordering pet food online means the heavy bags are delivered right to your door.

A note about recalls: To some extent, recalls on pet foods are inevitable. The scale at which these companies operate make them prone to mistakes, though typically these aren’t of the life-threatening variety. Short of making all your dog’s food by hand at home, we’re at the mercy of the industry to some extent.

The most common recalls are issued for things like elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone, which may only have a short term effect that is reversed once the dog stops eating that product. Recalls on the whole tend to be rare, but if you’re concerned, keep an eye on the Food & Drug Administration’s Animal & Veterinary Recall page or sign up for Dog Food Advisor’s Recall Alert emails.

For the budget-conscious dog owner, here are the top ten best cheap dry dog food brands.


1. Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food

Download Video Links

Pedigree

Almost certainly an obvious and ubiquitous choice. One of the staple so-called “supermarket brands”, Pedigree offers one of the least expensive options out there. Their foods contain no high fructose corn syrup nor artificial flavors and offer complete nutrition, though fillers are relatively abundant. Made by Mars, you can read more about their supply chain here, if that’s a concern. All their foods are made in the U.S. using ingredients sourced around the world. You can save a little bit more on these with the bonus bag packs.

Price: $28.39 for 30 pounds (16 percent off MSRP)
Price per pound: $0.94 — eligible for Subscribe & Save via Amazon

Buy the Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Roasted Chicken, Rice, and Vegetable variety):

  • Ground whole grain corn
  • Meat and bone meal
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Animal fat
  • Soybean meal
  • Natural flavor

Flavors Available:

  • Roasted Chicken, Rice, and Vegetable
  • Grilled Steak & Vegetable
  • Roasted Lamb, Rice & Vegetable

Find more Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food information and reviews here.


Download Video Links

2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food

Rachael Ray

Even considering the celebrity endorsement angle, this Rachael Ray branded food is actually a solid contender. Real, U.S.-grown meat is the first ingredient, which is more than can be said for other brands in this arena. Again, there are no artificial flavors, and this food goes the extra step of adding prebiotics and is nutritionally complete with the inclusion of chelated minerals. Corn and soybeans are used as fillers here, but otherwise there are no meat by-products or wheat.

If you wanted to be even pickier about ingredients, the Nutrish line also offers Just 6 limited ingredient feed and a Zero Grain formulation. Nutrish is made by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, which is a maker of private label retail foods, too.

Price: $38.99 for 40 pounds (5 percent off MSRP)
Price per pound: $0.97 — eligible for Subscribe & Save via Amazon

Download Video Links

Buy the Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Real Chicken & Veggies variety):

  • Chicken
  • Chicken meal
  • Soybean meal
  • Whole grain corn
  • Dried peas
  • Dried plain beet pulp

Flavors Available:

  • Real Chicken & Veggies
  • Turkey, Brown Rice & Venison
  • Real Beef & Brown Rice

Find more Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food information and reviews here.



3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Dog Food

Blue Buffalo

To be fair, Blue Buffalo has become something of a lightning rod for controversy in the last few years. Partly this is down to their aggressive attacks on the larger brands and their penchant for (perhaps unearned) elitism when it comes to their products. They’ve had a few setbacks in the form of recalls, too. All that aside, since the company’s ethos is focus on competing against supermarket brands, the price point is relatively affordable for the ingredients list. The Life Protection Formula is their entry-level dry food and isn’t grain-free, but still has real meat as the first ingredient. Also, all their ingredients are U.S.-sourced, which explains the price difference to some degree. They’re pretty good about dutifully reporting their recalls on their news page and are also part of the California Transparency Act. Blue Buffalo is owned by Blue Pet Products, Inc. out of Connecticut.

Download Video Links

Price: $43.19 for 30 pounds (18 percent off MSRP)
Price per pound: $1.43 — eligible for Subscribe & Save via Amazon

Buy the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Lamb & Brown Rice variety):

  • Deboned lamb
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole ground barley
  • Turkey meal
  • Whole ground brown rice
  • Peas

Flavors Available:

  • Chicken & Brown Rice
  • Fish & Brown Rice
  • Lamb & Brown Rice

Find more Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Dog Food information and reviews here.



4. Purina One SmartBlend Dry Dog Food

Purina

Purina has roots dating back to 1894, so they’re old-hand at the pet food game. They have many formulations to choose from, but the ONE line strikes the balance between natural nutrition and accessible pricing. At one time, I lived with a roommate who fed this to her dog and the dog had a beautiful coat, stayed trim, and had plenty of energy. The ingredient formulation means your dog gets a full dose of glucosamine and omega-6, and the formula on the whole is very digestible. You could also consider the True Instinct variation, which increases the minimum protein to 30 percent of calories. Another route would be the Purina Beyond Simply 9 food, which is made up of only nine ingredients. Purina is owned by Nestle; go here to learn more.

Price: $26.99 for 31.1 pounds (29 percent off MSRP)
Price per pound: $0.86 — eligible for Subscribe & Save via Amazon

Buy the Purina One SmartBlend Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Lamb & Rice Formula variety):

Download Video Links
  • Lamb
  • Brewers rice
  • Whole grain corn
  • Whole grain wheat
  • Poultry by-product meal
  • Corn gluten meal

Flavors Available:

Find more Purina One SmartBlend Dry Dog Food information and reviews here.



5. Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Dog Food

Iams

Growing up, we had cats. One spring, we noticed that they were shedding much more than usual even though nothing had changed. On a hunch, my mother decided to change their food and chose Iams as the replacement. Pretty quickly thereafter, the shedding declined considerably and never returned. True, this is merely anecdotal and about cats, but it goes to show that a change in their diet can improve your dog’s health, even if it isn’t to one of the more expensive varieties. I’ve seen Iams work on a few dogs I know personally, so it could be a good option for you. Chicken is the first ingredient (lamb comes a bit later down the list, but still in the top five), and probiotics are added to aid digestion. Iams is owned by Mars, like Pedigree and a couple of others on our list.

Price: $35.22 for 34.5 pounds (30 percent off MSRP)
Price per pound: $1.02 — eligible for Subscribe & Save via Amazon

Buy the Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Lamb & Rice variety):

  • Chicken
  • Whole grain corn
  • Whole grain sorghum
  • Chicken by-product meal
  • Lamb
  • Brewers rice

Flavors Available:

Find more Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Dog Food information and reviews here.



6. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin

Another Mars product, Royal Canin is among the pricier options at this level — though most are almost $1.50 cheaper per pound than some of the options on our best dry dog food brands post. What sets Royal Canin apart is their wide variety of size- and breed-specific formulations. First, there are the standard size options, including Mini, Medium (featured above), Maxi, and Giant. For each of those, there are Puppy, Adult, Adult 7+, and Aging formulas, each with subtle tweaks to the nutrients and calorie content. You can also buy Weight Care and Sensitive Digestion versions for each weight class.

All that is fairly standard, so in addition, the brand also offers breed-specific foods. There is some variation again in terms of nutrients and calories, but the kibble shape and size are also varied to suit the tendency of each breed. You can read more about their approach here. A sampling of breeds covered in this line include:

There are even more, and all appear to be available for Subscribe & Save. If you have a several dogs of different breeds, you could unlock the higher savings level just in setting up subscriptions for each of them. The prices do vary considerably from breed-to-breed, so unless you feel strongly about it, we find that the weight class versions are better value for money.

Price: $47.59 for 30 pounds (5 percent off MSRP)
Price per pound: $1.58 — eligible for Subscribe & Save via Amazon

Buy the Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Medium Adult variety):

  • Brewers rice
  • Chicken by-product meal
  • Wheat
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Oat groats
  • Chicken fat

Flavors Available:

Find more Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food information and reviews here.



7. Nature’s Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

Nature’s Recipe

Not to be confused with the vastly more expensive Nature’s Variety (which rings in at $2.96 per pound — two dollars per pound more), this is a very straightforward, traditional dry dog food on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, this food is made without corn and wheat, which other brands on this list rely on for volume. Grains are still present here, but the oatmeal and rice are usually well-tolerated by most dogs. That said, if you have a few more dollars to spend, there is a grain-free variety, too. There are no by-products nor artificial flavors, making this a solidly mid-tier food in the grand scheme of things. The packaging doesn’t make this clear, but Nature’s Recipe is owned by Big Heart Pet Brands, Inc., which itself was acquired by The J.M. Smucker Company in 2015 and was previously held by Del Monte Foods.

Price: $27.92 for 30 pounds (30 percent off MSRP)
Price per pound: $0.93 — eligible for Subscribe & Save via Amazon

Buy the Nature’s Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Lamb Meal & Rice variety):

  • Lamb meal
  • Barley
  • Oatmeal
  • Ground rice
  • Poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
  • Natural flavor

Flavors Available:

  • Lamb Meal & Rice
  • Chicken Meal & Rice

Find more Nature’s Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food information and reviews here.



8. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro

The last of the Mars products on this list, Nutro is closer to Royal Canin than Iams or Pedigree in the family tree. The ingredients lists on these are a touch cleaner, as well. Indeed, that’s the brand’s motto: “Feed Clean.” Pasture-fed lamb is the first ingredient, and there’s no corn nor wheat included. Even better, the grain-free variety is comparably priced, so if you’re already prepared to spend just a touch more, these are solid options that are still below nosebleed territory.

Price: $47.69 for 30 pounds (10 percent off MSRP)
Price per pound: $1.59 — eligible for Subscribe & Save via Amazon

Buy the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Lamb variety):

  • Deboned lamb
  • Lamb meal
  • Brewers rice
  • Rice bran
  • Split peas
  • Chickpeas

Flavors Available:

  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Venison
  • Salmon

Find more Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food information and reviews here.



9. Whole Earth Farms Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food

Whole Earth Farms

Whole Earth Farms is the value line from Merrick, whose Grain Free Dry Food ranks as one of Dog Food Advisor’s Top Ten Best. That line comes in over $50 for 25 pounds, which is pretty steep. By switching to meat meal and dialing down the protein content, they’ve brought to market this relatively-affordable option which is made in the U.S.A. and contains no ingredients from China. The cheapest version is this, the Adult Recipe, which isn’t grain free and also isn’t available via Subscribe & Save. However, for a little under $0.30 more per pound more, the grain free versions can be added to a subscription. All in all, a reasonably priced option from a reputable food maker that happens to operate as a subsidiary of Nestle.

Price: $39.98 for 30 pounds
Price per pound: $1.33

Buy the Whole Earth Farms Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Adult Recipe variety):

  • Chicken meal
  • Turkey meal
  • Oatmeal
  • Pearled barley
  • Brown rice
  • Whole barley

Flavors Available:

Find more Whole Earth Farms Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food information and reviews here.



10. Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food

Eagle Pack

We included Eagle Pack on our best dry cat food brands post and it deserves consideration here. Despite being reasonably priced, there is no corn, wheat, by-products, or artificial ingredients. Several probiotics are included, antioxidants are provided by green tea extract, and protein-heavy meat meals make up the first two ingredients. Eagle Pack is made by Wellpet, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berwind Corporation. They make their food in Indiana.

Price: $39.99 for 30 pounds
Price per pound: $1.33 — eligible for Subscribe & Save via Amazon

Buy the Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients:

  • Chicken meal
  • Pork meal
  • Ground brown rice
  • Dehulled barley
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice

Flavors Available:

  • Chicken Meal & Pork Meal
  • Lamb Meal & Brown Rice

Find more Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food information and reviews here.


Dry dog food tends to be better for dog teeth because the hard kibble has an abrasive quality that cleans teeth. Support that action with dog toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental chews.


Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Like and share this Post yours friends