Best Budget Dog Food 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Expert Contributor

Mia Davis

Dogs are man’s best friend so we better make sure we’re feeding our furry companions well. When it comes to looking for affordable healthy dog food, you may feel a challenge ahead of you. However, we have compiled a guide of the best cheap dog food out there to help you make the right decision. You shouldn’t have to compromise on the quality of dogs food that you’re choosing even if you have limited funds, and the picks below prove exactly that.

We’ve included everything that you need to know about the best dog food for the money including the ingredients, nutritional values, and so much more. Our pooches certainly deserve the best and it’s about time we give them the what they deserve with quality food that they are guaranteed to love. Let’s dive in so that you can stop asking yourself which dog food is the best?

10 Best Budget Dog Food

Asking yourself which dog food is the right choice for your canine friend? We’ve got you covered with the top choices and the great news is that they’re all excellent quality and budget friendly. Cheap dog foods should still contain all the good stuff so that your dog can live a healthy and positive life. If you’re seeking inspiration or require some guidance with making a decision on quality dog feed, read…

1. Instinct Original Grain Free Recipe Cheap Dog Food

Instinct Original Grain

Best Features: Grain free recipe while being packed full of essential fatty acids/vitamins and minerals. A great quality food free from artificial colors.

First up on our list of best cheap dog foods is this supreme food mix by Instinct. Designed for active dogs, the formula is designed for all stages of your dog’s life and is grain free with USA quality beef. A dry dog food, it uses 70% real animal ingredients to ensure that your pet friend is getting all the nutrients needed even in the cheapest dog foods. For those that are looking to add varied fruits and vegetables to their pet’s diet, this pet food contains 30% which is a very high percentage and also boasts other wholesome ingredients for plenty of vitamins and minerals.

This is amongst the top affordable free formula choices packed with lots of natural ingredients. With added probiotics, you can feed your pet confidently knowing that their food is supporting digestion and omega 3 fatty acids are present for healthy skin and fur. What’s more, is that this grain free food is free from nasty preservatives and artificial colors.

Overall this high quality dog food made in the usa is one of the cheapest dog’s brands and provides great levels of protein . Dog owners can rest assured that their pet will be healthy and nourished with Instinct Original’s recipe.


Weight: 20lb. | Flavor: Beef | Pet Life Stage: All Stages, Puppy, Young Adult, Adult, Senior | Allergens: grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives

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2. Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Nature'S Recipe Grain Free

Best Features: Lots of protein for your breed and their activity level. Features a natural ingredient list with pumpkin for added goodness.

As one of the best budget dry food choices, Nature’s recipe is full of lovely sweet potato, brown rice, and real chicken. The packaging of this branded food is highly attractive and will pull you in as soon as you see the multiple benefits stated across the front. With a protection formula boasting plenty of protein and being free from artificial flavors, it is certainly up there as a high quality option. Great for supporting muscle health and suitable for all life stages, you won’t have to worry about whether its adult or puppy compatible.

The addition of pumpkin in this best cheap dog food makes it stand out from other similar products and adds extra flavor. Made in the usa for healthy pooches, your pet is guaranteed to enjoy their daily feed with this cheapest dog food. If you’re concerned about the level of nutrients in a dry dog food, your dog will certainly be supported with fatty acids to boost their immune system, and grain free while containing all the essential vitamins.

This affordable dog food is certainly one of our top picks as not only does it support all types of dog ages from puppies to seniors, it’s also lovingly made with garden veggies too.


Weight: 4 Pounds | Flavor: Chicken | Pet Life Stage: Senior, Puppy | Allergens: Beef Free, Chicken Meat

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3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness

Best Features: One of the most quality foods enriched with fatty acids. A good puppy food choice due to added nutrients and natural nourishment.

If you want a grain free dog food that is renowned for quality, this Blue Buffalo Wilderness food could be the one for your dog! With lost of real chicken this recipe has been specially formulated to make your pooch drool and boost his or her health at the same time. Helping to build lean muscle mass, the chicken protein included is of the highest quality and will bring out your canine’s love for meat.

Made using healthy carbs such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, peas, and other fruits and vegetables, your dog is guaranteed all the minerals and vitamins they need during every meal time. As a best budget dry dog food, you can ensure that this recipe is made with high quality in mind in all ways. Helping to fuel your pet’s active lifestyle, the added omega fatty acids, and omega 3 support both fur and skin health. Blue Buffalo also has added in extra exclusive Lifesoure bits to this food which is a refined blend of antioxidants, vitamin minerals selected by vets.

Overall, this is a great choice as one of the best cheap food options for dogs out there that contain quality products. Dog owners can rest assured that their pets will be provided quality protein thanks to the addition of real chicken for healthy digestion.


Weight: 24 Pounds | Flavor: Chicken | Pet Life Stage: Adult | Allergens: Wheat Free, Soy Free, Chicken Meat

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4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection

Best Features: Packed full of vitamins to ensure a healthy immune system. A high quality product for dogs that is made in the usa.

If ensuring that your dog gets the right levels of nutrients from real meat at an affordable price, this could be the right option for you. The Blue Buffalo brand places emphasis on ensuring that all of its products are fantastic for dog’s health and suitable for multiple breeds. As one of the best pet food on the market choices, this dry food is a fantastic alternative to canned dog food. With the Life protection natural food you will provide everything that your dog needs for complete nutrition.

Some of the best cheapest dog food contain natural vitamin e due to the added vegetables and this product is no exception. The grain free formula will contribute positively to your pet’s immune system and meet the energy needs of your adult pet. With all the essential proteins and added nutrients from sweet potato, peas, apple, and more, not only will your dog feel great, he or she will look great too!

There are few dog food brands that focus on producing products that are cheap and quality, but Blue Buffalo is one that you can trust. Free from artificial preservatives and with added meat, this is one of the cheapest dog food options that ensures good joint health and a healthy weight.


Weight: 30 Pounds | Flavor: Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe | Pet Life Stage: Adult | Allergens: Wheat Free, Soy Free

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5. IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Minichunks Dry Dog Food


Best Features: Free from corn wheat and has adde potatoes peas and more for natural goodness. Offers a grain free diet for dogs with an emphasis on complete nutrition.

IAMS is one of the leading trusted grain free dog food brands worldwide and has various products to ensure the health of all types of dogs. You may be surprised therefore to find that the mini chunks dry dog feed is one of the cheapest dog feed options available and is enriched with so many beneficial ingredients. If you’re asking yourself which best dog food at a budget price contains real chicken, IAMS contains top chicken meal ingredients for extra filling.

Promoting healthy digestion and full of 6 fatty acids, your dog will benefit from better health all round and good skin and fur. As a high quality food fr dogs, this budget option helps to build strong muscles amongst dogs of all ages (inclusive of puppies) thanks to the additional antioxidants. A popular choice for dog owners, this is solid grain free dog food that won’t compromise on taste or nutrition.

We love the 6 fatty additives that keep your dog in tip top shape and that this feed is complete and balanced in all ways. The addition of farm raised chicken means you won’t be left questioning whether your dog is getting a good protein intake too.


Weight: 30lb | Flavor: Chicken | Pet Life Stage: Adult | Allergens: Chicken Meat, Apple

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6. Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food

PEDIGREE Complete Nutrition

Best Features: Natural dog food from a brand that you can trust for dubious pet owners. Enriched with vitamin a, vitamin b, and beneficial amino acids.

The Pedigree brand has built a strong rep as one of the best dog food brands out there. Therefore, it may be pleasant news to see this dog product in our review as a budget choice. The complete nutrition adult dry dog food contains everything that a dog needs for a balanced diet enriched with the 6 fatty acids needed. An extremely high quality dog food, there is lots to admire about this special lend developed for adult dogs. Offering a taste of the wild, it contains ingredients such as rice and chicken with the addition of vegetables such as sweet potatoes too.

The presence of high protein offers life protection and protection against health issues for your pet. Your dog will benefit from a soft and shiny coat due to the omega 3 fatty acids which have been optimized throughout the mix. Featuring whole grains for a natural balance and suitable for all types of dog breeds, this is one o f the best inexpensive dog feed options we’ve come across.

For a pet owner looking for the most affordable dog foods that guarantee a life protection formula and high quality protein. With the finest ingredients and a brand that you can trust, this is a strong budget option in the category of best cheap dog food.


Weight: 36lb | Flavor: Chicken | Pet Life Stage: Adult | Allergens: no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors, and no added sugar

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7. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Advanced

Hill's Science Diet

Best Features: The added chicken meal is a great natural dog ingredient and provides plenty of high quality protein. Great for both a large breed and pup alike thanks to its hi.

Another quality product when it comes to best affordable dog foods, this option is enriched with lots of animal proteins and is one of our top dog food picks. Offering an excellent protein source, Hill’s advanced feed comes with countless dog health benefits and high meat content. Providing complete nutrition for dogs ages 1-6 years, it is fantastic for a pup or senior dog.

The dog product includes lots of omega 6, vitamin e, and other nutrients that are provided via real chicken and fish proteins. The added grains are filler ingredients intended to maintain your dog’s energy levels throughout the day as per your dog’s weight chart. You won’t have to think about a dog food supplement with this choice as it is fully rounded and has been clinically proven to provide necessary antioxidants. The combination of the meat ingredients, add potatoes, and rice, make it extremely filling and it’s kind to your pet’s stomach too.

Easy digestible for a pup and equally tasty due to its meat ingredient there is lots to love about this dog food formula that provides complete dog nutrition. And, the most impressive part is that is within a cheaper price range too!


Weight: 12kg | Flavor: Chicken | Pet Life Stage: adult dogs 1 to 6 years | Allergens: Chicken Meat

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8. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Auto Complete

Purina ONE SmartBlend

Best Features: Enhanced with all fo the natural vitamins including vitamin e and vitamin c. Contains little to no by product meals.

This tasty Purina lamb and rice dog food has plenty of protein ingredients to ensure that your dog ha a balanced and healthy diet. AIding your pet’s digestive system, the added dual defense antioxidant blend will support a strong immune system and ensure no upsets. With little to no animal by products, this is essentially an all natural food using lamb as the primary meat source alongside rice. Many dog feeds contain essential vitamins, however, this recipe is enhanced with omega 6 fatty acids for more benefits.

If you seek a dog feed that provides a taste of the wild and has natural sources of glucosamine for healthy joints, this is an ideal choice. Dog owners can relax knowing that their pet is being provided with all of the essential ingredients they need for optimum health and much more. This is a great option for senior dogs and is one of the best cheap dog foods that we have found. The feed is made from ingredients that you recognize and are used in human food too for complete peace of mind.

For a fantastic dog food from pet food brands that are reputable, Purina ONE smartblend is up there. With little to no meat by products and lots of meat proteins, you and your dog will be thoroughly impressed!


Weight: 16.5 lb | Flavor: Lamb & Rice Formula | Pet Life Stage: Puppy

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9. Nutro Wholesome Essentials


Best Features: Enhanced with all fo the natural vitamins including vitamin e and vitamin c. Contains little to no by product meals.

Specially developed for larger dog breeds, this Nutro dog food is quality through and through. With a delicious lamb and rice recipe , pet owners can rest assured that this is a quality product for their dog. This option of food would also be a great choice for senior dogs too thanks to the added antioxidants including glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints. The range of nutrients in this blend make it a good quality and affordable pet feed option for dog owners.

For a complete and balanced diet, your pet will receive all the protein they need plus additional vitamins and nutrients including vitamin e, vitamin c, and omega fatty acids. While Nutro may be a lesser-known pet food brands, their dog food recipes contain no by product meals and offer a life protection formula. Their pet products are recommended for a high protein ingredient diet and provide optimum dog care.

Though you may never have heard of Nuro, it is an excellent united states dog food brand that provides all the essentials in their recipes such as omega 3 and other lifesource bits. The food is tasty, wholesome, and adheres to all of the safety standards you’d expect.


Weight: 22 Pounds | Flavor: Lamb | Pet Life Stage: Adult dogs who may have food sensitivities | Allergens: Wheat Free

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10. Dogswell Happy Hips Dog Feed

Dogswell Happy Hips

Best Features: Superb natural dog food with from one of the lesser known dog food brands. Has all the necessary vitamin supplements and is a great source of protein.

Our final tasty dog food on a budget option is the Dogswell Happy Hips wet food recipe that comes to super cheap price given how great it is! Every ingredient in the recipe has been developed to give your dog an all rounded diet packed with lamb, sweet potato, fruit, and vegetables. Unlike a kibble option, t his choice is a great source fo direct protein and also includes the necessary antioxidants for a healthy lifestyle.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin support strong joints, especially or hips, hence the name of this food. When seeking information about dog food, it’s good to know the difference between the many types. One of the benefits of wet dog food is that it ensures good hydration levels and will contribute positively to the health of your dog’s coat.

This special blend is developed for breeds of all types and sizes. From great danes to chihuahua, this food is guaranteed to be a hit. With the right amount of glucosamine and flavors that will go down a treat, your dog is going to be happy!


Weight: 368.5grams | Flavor: Lamb & Sweet Potato Stew | Pet Life Stage: All | Allergens: Wheat Free

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Budget Dog Food Buyers Guide

When selecting the best cheap dog food there are a few different aspects that you should look out for to ensure that you’re getting a quality dog food. There are multiple quality pet food brands out there that produce products that are free from artificial colors, artificial preservatives, and other nasty ingredients that you would not want to feed your pet. In general, you should aim for a pet feed that provides the right nutrition for good digestion and vitamins minerals.

Your dog should benefit from a healthy immune system from the food they consume which will help to prevent diseases in the long-term too. As pooches move through various ages, it is essential to switch up their food to ensure that they are supported as much as possible. You can certainly find quality pet products on a budget and there are plenty of free dog food samples if you shop about sensibly too.

Various factors need to be thought about when choosing a nutritionally balanced feed for your dog. We always advise seeking recommendations from your vet who will know specifically what is the right choice for your pet’s breed too. Some canines are on an all meat diet while other dog owners are told to feed their dog only dry food. Weighing up the different aspects will always help when choosing a good inexpensive dog food. Be sure to cater for your dog’s exact needs!

These days there are many different flavors of dog food, so that you can make sure that your pet has a really yummy meal time, every time. Many owners do not even realize that their beloved pets enjoy fruits and vegetables which is a great way to switch out the artificial flavors for more natural alternatives. Usually, you will have to pay more for a taste of the wild when it comes to pet food, however, there are ways around this with many startups offering half price or discounted options.

What to look for when buying dog food on a budget?

There are few different things that you should be looking for when you buy cheap dog food. Sadly, more often than not, a lot of dog’s food that boasts a cheaper price tag does not include quality ingredients. Below we have compiled a list of the different factors that play a part when you make a decision about which brand is the healthiest budget dog food for your pooch!


The way that food is made is especially crucial when it comes to feeding our pets. More and more pet food brands are becoming conscious of including probiotics as part of the protection formula. Cheap dog foods usually do not include good probiotics, but this isn’t to say it’s impossible to find one that does.

Probiotics are important as they help to improve digestion and will contribute to the regulation of your pooch’s colon as well as reduce the harmful bacteria that may be present in their digestive tract. Quality dog food will use excellent probiotic ingredients such as dog-friendly yogurt.

You should go for a dry dog food that includes probiotics especially if you own a breed that is known to suffer digestive issues. Breed sin this list includes German Shepherds (or Alsations) and Daschunds to name just a couple. However, they can be useful for any breed and it is always recommended to choose cheap dog food with this ingredient.

If you cannot find a best cheap food for your canine that has added probiotics, talk to your vet about how best to ensure their diet isn’t compromised. There are ways around it!

Meat Meals and Byproducts

It is usually advised to avoid any type of meat meals and meat byproducts for ethical reasons. More often than not, however, these ingredients are used in both dry dog food and wet counterparts. While it may seem offputting to read out the ingredient list and see such byproducts, they are good ways to up the high quality protein intake for our pets.

Affordable dog food will often contain higher percentages of such ingredients but even expensive food should have these ingredients too. You should consider finding a brand that uses less byproducts but still has the essentials such as omega fatty acids, fruits and vegetables, vitamins minerals, and quality protein sources too.

A great example of this is the difference between chicken meal and meat meal. Thought the two may appear to be the same thing on the surface level, they are indeed very different. Chicken meal is made up of chicken muscle that has been dehydrated while meat meal is a vague term used to cover just about any meat source. Meat meal will also not exclude unethical sources inclusive of roadkill.

The term byproducts are used to describe the various body parts that form part of an animal and are not fit for human consumption. This includes things such as feet, beaks, and innards. While we certainly would not want to eat any of these types of foods, even in cheap dog food non real meat provides our furry friends with a good source of protein.

Micronutrients & Supplementation

A good balanced pet food should contain all the essentials inclusive of omega fatty acids, what soy, and other high quality ingredients that contribute positively to overall wellbeing. However, it is easy to go for cheap options that may end up compromising your pet’s well being. Because of this, we recommend paying close attention to the micronutrients and supplementation ingredients present.

It is not only adult dog food but puppy feed too that must be enriched with helpful pet nutrition. If you’re not sure what to specifically look out for, here is the low down:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • B-complex vitamins
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus

The vitamins and supplements listed above will help ensure that your pooch has a natural balance in his or her diet for best overall health. Simple ingredients such as salmon oil, sweet potatoes, and whole grains can be used to provide all of these additions for happier pets all around and improved dog’s lifestyle. Be sure to carefully review the ingredients list and enlist the help of a specialist where needed.


In an ever-growing green society, more and more pet owners are becoming conscious of environmentally and biodegradable food packaging. Quality dog food doesn’t stop at the dog ingredients rather it extends to the entire brand. When asking which cheap dog food is est, packaging will say a lot.

First of all, you may notice buying points displayed on the front of the packaging may quote things such as ‘Great for healthy digestion’ or’ Packed full of natural ingredients that your pet will love!’. A cheaper dog food brand should still aim to include all the good things such as whole grains, vitamins for joint health, fruits and vegetables, and immune system boosting vitamins and minerals too.

If you take a glance at the packaging and there’s little to no description of how your dog’s health will benefit from the food, steer clear! Keep your eyes open for an inexpensive dog food that is actually going to work wonders for the things that matter health-wise.

About This Expert

Mia Davis
With a passion for interior design and health & Fitness; Mia is our all-round superstar here at Best Budget