Having a dog is no less than a blessing. If you are a pet owner, you are always excited to come back home to see your furry friend wag his tail in delight and jump on you to play with him/her. Dogs today are no more pets – they are equally part of a family and are loved by all. If you are a dog owner, you will put in all the efforts to take care of your companion. You will look after providing your dog with the best services, salon, and most importantly – best quality food.
If you are a dog enthusiast, buying the best budget dog food can be one of the most difficult and complicated tasks you have come across. You will spend days and months to understand, and pick the perfect dog food for your furry companion. Sometimes, when you are researching, it may seem impossible to find a quality food product that is genuinely good for your dog’s health and is also easy on your pockets.
With the number of food options available, the search has become tougher. What seemed like a straightforward task, has now turned complicated and a dog owner can feel overwhelmed rather quickly. The struggle is real. A good dog food brand does not upset the dog’s digestive system, give him/her ample amount of energy, keeps his coat shiny and smooth and improves his immunity. Trying and experimenting each food product available in the market does not sound like a valid choice. As such, our experts have put in hours of research to prepare this guide for your convenience. Read on to understand and choose the best budget dog food to let your furry companion lead a better and healthier life.
Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Budget Dog Food
Finding the best budget dog food that keeps your dog happy, healthy and enthusiastic is a complicated affair. As a pet owner, you want your dog to grow well and lead a well-nourished life. But with the growing market and the number of options available, you’re almost always baffled as to what will suit your pet the best. Though it is no hard science that applies to it the same way, a few considerations will definitely help you choose the best budget dog food. Below are key factors that you should keep in mind when conducting dog food comparisons:
Consider Your Dog’s Age and Breed
A dog’s physical characteristics, behavior, attitude and overall health are immensely imperative when you’re deciding on the most suitable or appropriate food for your dog. A small pup, as well as a lactating mother, usually need a high intake of protein and calorie giving foodstuffs in order to boost growth and acquire energy. But it is advisable that you reduce consumption of a high-protein diet in an adult dog. This is because an adult dog needs a much healthier diet that include plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Food choices according to breed imply the size of your dog and not typically the type, as it does not really have any significant effect on the food choices – so keep that in mind before you go shopping for your dog. If you have a dog that is grows to be big, then his/her diet must necessarily have a heavy nutrient value. Whereas, a small breed dog needs more calorie giving foodstuffs. Furthermore, a highly active breed requires more calories as compared to lazy and sloppy ones. If you feed your dog the appropriate type and amount of food, it will only keep your dog away from health problems resulting from obesity.
Know Your Dog
Before you step out to buy the best budget dog food, it is required that you understand and know your dog the best. It is of utmost importance that you know your dog in and out in regards of his likes, dislikes, health history and body condition.
It is very crucial that you are aware of your dog’s medical and health history. As such it is imperative that you take your dog for a health check-up to the veterinarian on a regular basis. For example, if your dog is allergic to some food ingredients or a particular brand, that you should keep in mind that you do not purchase a food item that may cause harm and lead to huge medical expenses. Additionally, if your dog has any predetermined medical ailment, then it is possible that the veterinary doctor might provide a special diet plan.
Many a time, we feed our dogs in large quantities, thinking that more is better. But it is advisable that you refrain from free feeding your dog. It simply implies that you must certainly avoid leaving lots of food out for your dog to pounce on. Feeding is required but extra feeding is a big no. Re-fill the food bowls only when it runs out and it is most required. If you do this, you will ensure that your dog won’t become obese.
If your dog is on the heavier side, then he might require a special diet with a different nutrition amount as compared to a pet that is underweight. However, if your dog is in good shape, it is your duty to maintain their good health and condition. Additionally, it is important to take into consideration their preferences. Your furry friend might like dry food, or wet food, or a combination of both.
Know The Best Food
It is imperative that you know the best food available in the market. To look after your pets’ health, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has set some guidelines that for regulators to follow. It looks after the claims a pet food company can make on its label.
If it is written on the food cover that the dog food contains a single ingredient, then according to the provisions, it must contain at least 95% of that ingredient, excluding water. On the other hand, if a mixture of ingredients is being talked about, then the mixture has to be at least 95% of the food. For example, if the dog food product claims to be made only of one ingredient i.e. is beef, and then the beef should make up 95% of the food product.
Understand The Ingredients
You must keep a close eye on the ingredients used to make the food before you decide to buy the best budget dog food. For example, if you have a small pup, you will need to buy food that has high protein value, and also an appropriate amount of amino acids and fatty acids. Additionally, it must contain the right combination of minerals and vitamins.
It is better to be aware that the ingredients are listed by weight. The Ingredients that have large amounts of moisture (such as beef, poultry, chicken, or fish) most probably top the contents chart, solely because of moisture content in them. On the other hand, the ingredients listed down on the packet may offer even more essential nutrients such as proteins, but it may weigh less as the water inside has already been strained for a dry pet food.
As such you should closely focus on the first five ingredients. Find the ingredients that you are already aware of and avoid artificial sounding names. A specially catered dog food brand will always contain a vegetable of some sort listed in at the top.
Check the food packet carefully. Good quality dog food must have a statement on the label from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). It reads, “provides complete and balanced nutrition,” or that the product “is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.”
Check for By-products or Grains
The dog food ingredients that are labeled as by-products essentially include highly digestible and nutritious organs, like liver and lungs. It is time to move away from advertising malpractices that make you believe otherwise. Remember, it does NOT include things like hair, horns or hooves. There exists a big myth among people that by-products are “unfit” for consumption. However, it cannot be denied that they are less popular ingredients in the U.S.
Chicken and other meat byproducts get a bad reputation, all thanks to companies that without any knowledge that claim “real chicken” or “real meat” ingredients are better. The terms “by-product” and “by-product meal” are referred to ground-up parts of the animal carcass, including bones and organs. But they can be very nutritious, more than muscle meat that we love to eat. A good reputable dog food company will choose quality by-products to include in their food products that they offer. As such, pick a company that you can trust.
Consider Glutens and Grains
A number of controversies and dilemmas that surround pet foods is the usage of grains, glutens, and by-products. Many dog foods essentially contain grains as their main element and it provides an amazing source of carbohydrates. Dogs have the capability to easily metabolize the carbohydrates acquired from grains and utilize it as a source of energy.
However, many people like to keep away grains in their dog’s food. Grains are not bad for dogs unless they have any severe allergy or are intolerant towards it. Not considering the use of grains for dogs that are allergic/ intolerant to it is a considerate option. But, it is often seen that dogs are mostly allergic to other ingredients, including meats. Grain allergies are not a common phenomenon in a dog. In fact, it is very rare in dogs.
Many people are allergic to gluten products, and as such if they have a pet, they choose products that are gluten-free for them too. They have a common notion that their dog may also be allergic to such products and thus keep the canine species at a distance from them.
If you at any point think that you need to change or switch to a grain-free diet, under suspicion that your furry friend may have such a food allergy, then hang on.
Instead of making irrelevant assumptions, it is best that you consult a veterinary doctor. Also, if you want to be a little sure on your assumptions, then before visiting the doctor ensure that you check your dog’s behavior for symptoms. Excessive licking of the paws, scratching, vomiting, or diarrhea is some of the signs that will give you an idea about the condition.
Completely Analyze the Company
There are a number of companies that manufacture dog food. But, there are certain companies who work solely for profit and thus neglect the health factor. Not every company you hear of produces a high-quality or reputable product. As such, it is always recommended that you make a purchase from a company that you already know about, and have complete faith in. If you’re making the purchase for the very first time, make sure you have done your homework well.
Also, ensure that the company is not involved in a large number of dog food recalls. If this is the case, then you certainly have to doubt their quality control practices. Additionally, it might also raise concerns that the food ingredients are not of consumable quality.
Furthermore, ensure that the company you choose to buy from has duly taken care of and performed some American Association of Feed Company Organizations (AAFCO) dog food feeding trials.
However, ultimately whether or not a dog food is good completely dependent on your dog’s taste buds. On your part, you may do everything to get the best, healthiest and the most nutritious dog food, but if your furry friend is reluctant to eat it, then it automatically holds no value.
Reviews can help you better understand the product you’re looking to buy, and also the company and its policies. From the vast and complicated market, it is necessary that you streamline some particular options. It is better to make a list of some handful of brands for further process. After doing that, use the internet and search for reviews. You will come across a number of sites that provide an update and useful reviews and rankings. They cover almost all the factors of dog food.
You can source information about quality control and manufacturing techniques undertaken by the company online, as such information will not be available on the dog food labels.
Also, you can ask people from your friends or family who own dogs for food suggestions. They will also be able to suggest foods to avoid. If nothing works out, or you are still confused, just go online to a pet owner’s forum and shoot your questions there. The users will help you with their dog food experiences to guide you further.
Consult your Vet for suggestions
The genes, age, lifestyle and reproductive system, all these factors play a very important role in deciding how much your dog should consume and also the type of food he/she should eat. You may know your dog well, but not better than a medical practitioner. As such, it is imperative to consult your veterinarian to perform a body condition evaluation for your dog, before you make any choices for his/her welfare.
It is also one of the best methods to know that your dog is leading a healthy life. Check the weight and the skin from time to time to know everything is running perfectly. Your vet may give you feedback after checking up and you might understand clearly how much more care is required. Several dogs need special foods to keep them fit and energetic. It would be wiser if you ask your veterinarian for a monthly diet plan for your dog’s good health and care.
Price of the product
Most of us are always under the impression that if it is costly, it is better. It is a long-going myth that the most expensive foodstuffs are of high-quality and are the best. However, it is not always true. Several manufacturers consider only the retail value and thus eliminate valuable proteins for more interesting sounding ingredients merely to attract customers. So, do not fall prey to such marketing tactics by the companies. Analyze and compare the company, the brand and also the store carefully, before buying the best budget dog food. And if you find a trustworthy brand to spend your hard-earned money on, then consider buying in bulk to save some money.
If you are short of money, or rather more concerned about your dog’s health, you can prepare the dog food at home also. All you need to do is ask your veterinarian for help about the perfect ingredients and cook it yourself. You will save a significant amount, as the brand cost will be avoided and also provide some extra nutritional food to your beloved companion.
Each dog has its own choices and they will react to every material differently. So do not compare between them, instead choose the food that suits your furry friend’s tastes and health. Therefore before you buy the best budget dog food, be wise and keep the above-mentioned points in your mind.
After understanding the factors that you must consider before you buy the best budget dog food, you might be searching for high-quality food for your furry friend. Now, you don’t have to look elsewhere, our experts have invested days of research and reviewed a number of dog food products to suit your doggies’ stomach. Here is a list of the best budget dog foods 2018.
Top 10 Best Budget Dog Food 2020
1. Taste Of The Wild Grain-Free
If your dog is craving from something wild, then fulfill his wish with every meal now. All you need to do is buy the new Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.
This dog food is made up of high-quality ingredients and consists of a unique flavor of Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. It is precisely made to mimic a particular area where your dog’s ancestors might have thrived upon. It majorly contains ingredients with high proteins such as real roasted and smoked meat, poultry, and fish. Your dog is going to relish each and every bite of it. Not only this, each and every formula is then supplemented with nutrient dense fruits & veggies. This helps to provide the antioxidants and various other vitamins as well as minerals that support your dog’s health.
The Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is completely grain-free, gluten-free, and also contains no corn or soy. Additionally, the naturally formulated foodstuff provides immense support for healthy digestion. It also has chelated minerals and sweet potatoes that offer a healthy coat with their individualistic Omega fatty acid mixture. Regardless to mention, the roasted and smoked meat offers an unmatched palatability. It features no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and keeps your dog hale and hearty. It undoubtedly is the best budget dog food under $50.
2. Wellness Core Natural
If you prefer buying good food that contains a large chunk of meat to suffice your furry friend’s hunger, then your search is over. Out of most of the products available, the Wellness Core Natural Dry Dog Food original has a decent amount of animal-sourced proteins and vitamins. This product has 34% proteins, 16% crude fat and 4% fiber, that complies with the recommendations of the AFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.
The Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Original Turkey & Chicken is a decently healthy recipe that runs around real meat ingredients. It is made from 100% natural grain and is one of the best options to satisfy the hunger of adult dogs. It is made with a combination of turkey, chicken, salmon oil and fruits and vegetables that look after your dog’s health. Additionally, it is also fortified with antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins and minerals. It includes a good amount of fish and flax Omega mixture for your dog’s healthy skin and coat. It is the best grain free dry dog food under $20. It is an all natural product that contains only premium quality ingredients. It does not have any wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products, or artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
3. BLUE Wilderness High Protein
The BLUE Wilderness Dog Food is essentially inspired by the diet of wolves. It is amazingly nutritious and delicious and will help your dog grow healthy and fluffy. It is usually meant to serve Small Type dogs as it is formulated with high protein and carbohydrates to suffice the increasing energy requirements. As mentioned, it is a protein-rich food that contains plenty of delicious chicken that your companion usually loves to savor.
Along with this, it is duly supplemented with a decent blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This helps to improve the dog’s immunity, health, oxidative balance, and keeps him healthy through every life stage. The grain-free recipes are made with the finest natural ingredients. It strictly contains no chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, no corn, wheat or soy and also no artificial flavors or preservatives. However, it contains a perfect mixture of chicken, fish, veggies, and fruits to provide a wholesome meal for your dog.
4. Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog
It is time to give your adult dog the superior quality nutrition he/she deserves with Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food. The dry formula is specially strengthened with superfoods and probiotics to assist your dog’s development and health. It contains real beef protein, fish protein, real fruits and vegetables (such as peas, kale, blueberries, and coconut).
It offers your dog protein and minerals, along with Omega fatty acids that promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. Additionally, it has antioxidants for your dog’s complete overall nose-to-tail health. The recipe is made precisely to help your dog’s digestion and growth. It is 100% natural with no corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. It is made with the most scientifically advanced food safety protocols.
5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food
The celebrity made Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies is perfectly formulated to help your furry friend shine always. The recipe is made with simple, natural ingredients, majorly consists of real chicken and is combined with wholesome veggies. It offers a complete and balanced meal to help your dog grow better and bigger. It is made with natural ingredients – without any poultry by-product meal, fillers, wheat or wheat gluten, artificial colors, or preservatives. It is a healthy meal made of wholesome fiber (from brown rice and beet pulp) and also provides probiotics. It will help your furry friend digest the food easily and be enthusiastic every day.
6. Purina ONE SmartBlend
Nutrition and health should be your priority if you want your canine companion to lead a good life. With Purina ONE SmartBlend Premium Dry Dog Food, you can provide your dog with the goodness of health and enthusiasm. This dry dog food is specially made with real salmon as the primary ingredient and also contains tuna, to offer lots of protein. It helps your dog to build strong muscles.
The Omega-3 fatty acids promote a healthy skin and coat. Each bite provides a light, tender, meaty surprise that your furry friend will enjoy. It offers a complete and balanced meal and contains a good amount vitamins, minerals, and immune-boosting antioxidants. If you’re keen to help your furry pal lead a healthy lifestyle, then this is one of the best budget dog food available in the market.
7. Purina ONE SmartBlend Adult Dry Dog Food
This dog food product from Purina ONE’s SmartBlend contains real lamb as the primary ingredient. It is perfectly mixed with other high-quality protein sources that help your furry friend to build strong muscles and a healthy heart. The lamb present in the recipe is rich in protein and mixes marvelously with grains and other ingredients to provide a complete protein rich meal. The antioxidants along with a mixture of vitamins E and A, support a healthy immune system and a healthy radiant coat. SmartBlend provides a 100% complete and balanced diet and supports your pal’s overall health and growth. The ingredients used are selected precisely to provide the best dog food that your canine companion can count on.
8. Purina Pro Plan SAVOR
The Purina Pro Plan Savor dog one of the best Nestle products in the market. Along with brand value, it offers immense health and nutrition. It contains 26% of protein, 12% of fat and quite high (4.5%) levels of crude fiber that duly comply with the AAFCO dog feeding requirements. Also, it provides 355 calories per cup, an amount that balances your furry friend’s potential weight and avoids heart problems. It is precisely formulated with high-quality protein and includes real chicken as the primary ingredient. It also guarantees live probiotics that help your dog’s digestive health. Furthermore, it has rice, which is easily digested and provides a source of carbohydrates. It offers immense energy, which keeps your dog enthusiastic and playful all day long.
9. Pedigree Complete Nutrition
The Pedigree Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food is specially made to provide dogs loads of energy and nourishment to help them lead enriched life. It is undeniable that dogs love chicken and this chicken-flavored dog food will make your dog relish each bite. It is packed with Vitamin B, zinc and Omega-6 fatty acid, that enhances the canine skin and helps them maintain a shiny healthy coat throughout. It also promotes healthy digestion that keeps your dog in control and avoids medical issues. The adult dog food comes with a mixture of whole grains, proteins, and vegetables. The unique crunchy kibbles will keep your dog’s teeth strong, clean and healthy.
10. Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food
The Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food provides your furry friend with a protein-rich diet containing real deboned chicken. If your dog is grain allergic or intolerant, then this dog food product is a perfect option. It contains absolutely no grains. Additionally, it also has no wheat, corn, gluten or soy ingredients. This meal is easy to digest and promotes gastrointestinal health. This dog food is processed with Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids to help nourish and enhance your dog’s healthy skin and coat. All in all, Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog food is one of the best budget dog foods of 2018 under $60 and the ideal organic food option.
Don’t wait, choose the best budget dog food for your furball and let him/her grow healthily. You don’t have to search the web now, our list of best budget dog food of 2018 is made with precision keeping in mind the responsibilities of a pet parent.