Best Cheap Dog Foods 2021 – Reviews and Buying Guides

1. Hill’s Science Diet 2. Purina Pro Small Plan 3. Ziwi Peak
Hill's Science Diet Best Cheap Dog FoodPurina Pro Small PlanZiwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food

You have been in the market looking for some cheap food for your furry best friend and you can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to what you want to get for your dog. Well, you won’t have to worry any further, because we have found the best cheap dog food for your pet!

Buying groceries for just yourself makes a huge hole in your wallet and if you add in your dog’s necessities, that hole becomes a pit.

That is why we have gone thoroughly through all the articles and products/brands of dog food that will not only give your dog the energy to go through the day but also give you some extra cash to order in food or buy the clothing item you’d been eyeing for a while.


However, before you dig in the list of the budget-friendly products that we have curated, you should take a look at the factors that you need to keep in mind while buying food for your dog.

Factors To Keep In Mind While Buying Best Cheap Dog Food

1. Nutrition

Probably the most important factor to consider when you’re looking for the best cheap dog food is if the food that you’re going to give to your dog is nutritious. Much like human beings, dogs also have nutritional needs like fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

You should always go for meat-based food because they fulfill whatever protein requirement your dog might have. When looking for meat-based dog food, you have to be very careful while choosing the type of meat-base. Opting for a meat meal over the whole meat is the right way to go because the latter contains a ton of water in it by weight which decreases the meat content.

Fats are additionally a significant healthful factor for dogs, particularly in winters, as the layer of fat helps them stay warm. Be that as it may, remember not to overload with any particular nutrient and end up overfeeding your dog.

2. Quantity

We’re going to take up discussing two types of quantities under this factor: the quantity of food that you should buy and the quantity you should feed your dog and how both impact each other.

If the dog food that you’re buying for a cheap price comes in a small package that weighs 6 pounds, you don’t have to worry much about it getting over in under a week. Truth is that dog’s stomachs are the size of their brain which is quite small.

The organ is situated between the lungs and spleen and if you give them twice the amount of food–like they do in commercials–they won’t be able to digest well, they can get gas, or they can bloat, which is deadly.

You have to remember that dry kibble swells up when it gets wet and the stomach of a dog is obviously wet. This is also why it is recommended that you switch up between dry and wet food.

Different quantities of food also come at different prices and the best dog food for the price is one that delivers on its weight and can sustain over a period of at least two to three months.

3. Age

The day-by-day necessities of calorie consumption for each dog relies greatly upon its age. Little puppies require a higher number of calories when contrasted with grown-up adult dogs as the former are in their developing stage and require way more energy to get through a whole day. They need higher measures of proteins and sugars to coordinate their everyday body needs.

As your dog ages, its day-by-day calorie prerequisite decreases. Not lessening its carbohydrate content at this stage would make it overweight. In addition, lower measures of protein and more measures of nutrients, minerals, unsaturated fats, and calcium-rich food ought to be taken care of to keep up their bone thickness and coat quality.

4. Ingredients

Looking for the best budget dog food online might be a bit of a headache, especially when you have to constantly keep track of what kind of food you will be feeding your dog and what impact it can have on your pet. This is why it is advised that you check the label of the product for a more detailed list of the ingredients that have been used in the specific packet of dog food.

You should check for the types and kinds of fixings that the maker has utilized for making the item. The utilization of additives has expanded manifolds nowadays. The inclusion of synthetic substances in dog food affects the dogs quite harshly.

You should try to substitute other additives with natural preservatives such as vitamin E and its subordinates like vitamin C which are more regular than the former ones. These natural preservatives not only taste better but also positively affect the immune system of the little creature.

You should give preference to dehydrated and kibble forms of food more than the water the meat comes doused in.

Dog food can also come with omega fatty acids that boost the growth of muscles in your dog along with a new, shiny coat of hair. Veterinarians also recommend these substances that are much better and help your dog grow significantly healthier.

5. Wet Or Dry Texture

While this is a subjective choice that the dog should make itself, you can switch up the texture from time to time. Each dog has an alternate inclination, some like wet food while others like dry. In any case, it is constantly prescribed to continue exchanging and not adhere to one sort of food, since both have their own favorable characteristics.

Wet food keeps your dog hydrated if its water admission is low while dry nourishments are known to have higher supplement substance than wet food. So the best decision is to continue rearranging as per your dog’s state of mind and taste. It is suggested that you stick with dry food on a daily basis and save the wet food to easily mix in the medicines if ever required.

Almost all the products that have been mentioned in the list are the dry type so you can use the dry kibbles on wet homemade food as toppings because that will be very highly appreciated by your pet and will only boost its health.

6. Breed Style

The sizes of the canines are shifted for various breeds, which likewise make their food necessities not quite the same as one another. Small-sized breeds are found to have a superior metabolic framework when contrasted with bigger-sized breeds.

This implies that the little breeds can process or digest their food quicker and along these lines require an increasing number of meals wealthy in a wide range of supplements.

On the contrary, bigger breeds require heavier meals and more protein consumption. The weight of your dog must be checked and maintained regularly in order to keep a strategic distance from clinical issues like diabetes and joint inflammation.

7. Food Allergy

Before looking for the best prices on dog food that you might get, you should get a veterinarian’s recommendation on what exactly your dog requires and if it has any allergies. The most well-known food allergy found in dogs is related to specific carbohydrates.

In such cases, corn, wheat, soy, rice, beans, and grain perhaps better substitutes to the grain your canine is hypersensitive to. You may likewise check some grain-free dog food accessible in the market nowadays.

8. Specific Requirements

While it is good to buy dog food that takes care of all the nutritional requirements that your pet might have, you can also take a look at other dog foods that come with supplementary vitamins.

If your dog has any specific and special requirements, then there are a lot of dog foods that have been included in the list below that come infused with vitamins E and C along with omega fatty acids that help put on some healthy weight on your puppy along with a new, shiny coat of hair.

If your dog is a particularly active or sporty one, the best cheap dog food for your dog would be one that has about 30% of protein content that normal dog foods with only 22%-25% protein content can’t match up to.

9. Protein Levels

While we understand that you would like to save some money and space, you should be really careful when it comes to buying cheap dog food. Some brands/products claim the protein level in the food before processing the meat into kibble bite-sized portions.

After processing, most of the water in the meat is removed and the meat tends to lose significant amounts of protein. This is why it is highly recommended and advised that you read the ingredients of the dog food, brush through the reviews on the product, and rely on the advice of your local veterinarian.

Top 18 Best Cheap Dog Foods 2021

1. Hill’s Science Diet

Hill's Science Diet Best Cheap Dog FoodRecommended by veterinarians, this dry dog food comes in two quantities of 4.5 and 15.5 pounds and suits adult dogs aged 1 to 6. With a flavor of chicken meal and rice, this food is made of highly digestible ingredients that are easy on your small dog’s stomach. If your dog doesn’t enjoy the chicken flavor, then you can check out the lamb meal and brown rice flavor too.

The nourishing omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat of hair. The food also provides your dog with high-quality protein to maintain lean muscle. With a calorie content of 3741 kcal/kg, there is a full guarantee that your dog will remain full of energy throughout the whole day.

This brand uses an antioxidant blend specifically for lifelong immune support and is the top rated dog food on the platform. Made with natural and global ingredients in the USA, you can put your trust in this brand and dry food for guaranteed positive results.


2. Purina Pro Small Plan

Purina Pro Small PlanThis dog food comes in one bag that weighs 6 pounds and is the best affordable dog food for small breed dogs. This dry dog food is of a savory flavor that your dog will definitely appreciate. With the blend of shredded chicken and rice formula, every single bite of this food will provide your dog with supplementary energy to play with you more.

Made for adult dogs, under 20 pounds, of high-quality protein, this dry food includes real chicken as the #1 ingredient and probiotics for outstanding nutrition and taste. The live probiotics have been added to the food to fortify and support digestive and immune health of your dog. This dog food has been made specifically for toy breeds and comes in three other flavors.

This dog food looks like a small bite-sized kibble so your dog won’t have any problems with chewing the food. Each bite has a high nutrient density to suit the higher metabolic rates found in small dogs. The integrated vitamin A and linoleic acid, an omega 6 fatty acid help promote healthy skin and coat.


3. Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog FoodThis dog food has been carefully preserved with a centuries-old slow and gentle air-drying method without any artificial fillers. The food retains the nutrients and maximum flavor after the preservation process has completed. This is a great choice for your dog if it is a picky eater!

The food is made up of 96% fresh meat, organs, and bones, as well as powerhouse superfoods including green mussels, organic kelp, and green tripe. No peas, legumes, or potatoes included have been included so you know that this is the best cheap dog food for your picky friend.

The meats and kinds of seafood that have been used in the recipe of this product are 100% ethical and sustainable. Brought over from New Zealand’s free-range farms and crystal clear blue waters, there are no integrated hormones, antibiotics, or growth promoters.

This completely healthy meal is guaranteed to give your dog a reduced stool volume. 3 portions of the raw ingredients make 1 portion of the finished product which means that your dog’s tummy will fill up much faster.

This food can also be used as a meal topper and it would still have the same impact so you know that this is a quality product. The food also may help promote allergy relief, healthy skin and coat, improved digestion, joint health and mobility, weight maintenance. It also provides higher Taurine levels than nutritionally required to promote heart health.


4. Royal Canin

Royal CaninThe best low cost dog food for a Yorkshire Terrier adult, this dry dog food has been designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Terriers aged 10 months or older. The exclusive kibble shape of the food has been shaped specifically for their small muzzle and bite capability so they can have the food without any problems.

This food helps the Yorkie maintain its glossy, long hair with a combination of omega 3 fatty acids, omega 6 fatty acids, and biotin. The food has been formulated for healthy aging with specific nutrients to help support long life expectancies of your dog.

The high palatability of this food along with exceptional aromas and flavors are more than enough to satisfy picky appetites such as those of your Yorkshires.


5. Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro PlanMade for small breeds in salmon flavor, this dog food weighs 5 pounds. This food focuses primarily on your dog’s skin and stomach so while your pet eats to their heart’s content, they also get a super glossy coat of hair.

This dog food is a favorite of those dogs that prefer fish-meat over chicken or other base meats. It uses salmon as its #1 ingredient and is also the bestseller in the Dry Dog Food category. No corn, wheat, or soy has been integrated into the food so that the food retains the mouth-watering after-taste of the fish and can also lessen the allergy that your dog has.

Purina Pro also consists purely of easily digestible oatmeal that gives your pet the protein with which they can fight back diseases. It is also high in protein to meet the needs of the highly active small breed dogs. This dog food also comes in two other flavors, one with rice, and four other sizes for different breeds.


6. Hill’s Science Diet

Hill’s Science DietThis dry dog food is available for three different sizes that come at different prices and is quite worth the deal. The one that we’re going to be looking at today is one that comes for 5 pounds for under $15.

This dry food has been formulated for specific aging needs of your toy or small breed dog. Made up of easy-to-digest ingredients to help support energy levels, and keep a healthy immune system, this dog food proves itself to be the best cheap dog food on this list. The balanced minerals in this food have been made especially for the dog’s heart and kidney health.

Made with natural and global ingredients that you can trust, like its predecessor, you can trust wholeheartedly in this brand and product. The small kibble particles of this dry food are made up of high-quality protein for lean muscle. Recommended by veterinarians, get this chicken-meal, barley and brown rice food as soon as you can.


7. Wellness Core

Wellness CoreThis dry dog food contains optimal protein levels and calorie content to help support the higher energy needs of small breed dogs. The high-quality proteins and wholesome grains are expertly balanced in this product to deliver a complete diet packed with the nutrients which a small breed dog needs to thrive.

With no included meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives, your dog’s whole body will be well-tended to and will be supported by omega fatty acids, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine. Especially good for a healthy heart, you can check out the other sizes and types that are offered by Wellness CORE.

With grained and grain-free options, high protein recipes, and limited ingredient diets for dogs with food sensitivities, this product is quite a steal. Made in the USA using only the finest globally-sourced ingredients, this dog food has been crafted with delicious natural recipes with wholesome, non-genetically modified ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits.


8. Natural Balance Limited Ingredients

Natural Balance Limited IngredientsThis food is made of grain-free formula with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives so it is 100% secure for your dog to intake. One bag of this food pack weighs 4.5 pounds and is specifically made for small breeds.

The limited ingredient in the name is there because this dog food utilizes a single animal protein source, no matter what flavor you’re buying. For this one, real chicken has been used as the #1 ingredient which helps maintain strong muscles. The fiber content in this dry food blends easily into the flavor and helps support healthy digestion.

If your dog is a picky eater and has been having problems with digestion, then this product is surely one of the best that you can get for it. Their digestion system improves because of the presence of only one ingredient in the food as they only have to break down that one ingredient.


9. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog FoodAnother Hill’s Science product, this one pays specific attention to and promotes your dog’s digestive health while nourishing its skin. While this product comes in two flavors, the one we recommend you buy is the chicken flavor. Not only the cheapest out of all other flavors, this one weighs 4 pounds and has been made in the USA using natural ingredients.

Recommended by every veterinarian, this food is a source of prebiotic fiber to support a balanced gut microbiome in your grown dog.

This dog food is formulated to be highly digestible for optimal nutrient absorption & easier stool pick up. Packed with vitamin E & omega 6 fatty acids to help your grown dog get a lustrous coat and healthy skin.


10. Purina One SmartBlend

Purina One SmartBlendA stunning 8-pound bag of small bites of beef and rice, this dog food is a special favorite of all dog owners. The formula used in the dog food is one specifically curated for adult dogs and uses beef as the #1 ingredient.

An antioxidant blend to help support your dog’s immune system, the calorie content of this dog food is 4046 kcal/kg.

The natural sources of glucosamine in this product promote joint health and omega 6 fatty acids help nourish and help support healthy skin and coat growth on your dog’s body. Get this Smartblend for your pet now!


11. Rachel Ray Nutrish Dish

Rachel Ray Nutrish DishMade up of beef and brown rice with the former being the main ingredient, this product comes in 5 other sizes. The best out of all those is the one that comes in an 11.5-pound bag. The beef is a US farm-raised one so you can be assured about the quality of this product.

The novel feature of this product is that you can get it home-delivered to you every month! By taking up a monthly subscription, you will not only get a continuous supply but will also get discounts up to 10% on repeat deliveries.

No corn, wheat, soy or gluten ingredients have been used in the making of this dish so there is no way that your dog won’t appreciate this dish.

Natural dog food, this nutritional dish comes with added vitamins and minerals. No poultry by-product meal, filler, artificial preservative, color, or flavor has been added into the food. Securely made in the USA with the world’s best ingredients, you can get this bag for under $20.


12. Hill’s Science Diet

Hill’s Science DietAnother Hill’s Science product, this dog food focuses on your adult dog’s oral health and keeps their tongue free of germs and teeth strengthened. Overall, it improves the dental health of your dog by reducing plaque and tartar build-up with clinically proven kibble technology.

The interlocking fiber technology cleans your dog’s teeth and supports fresh breath with every bite. A dog food with omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin, this is the food that you should give to your dog for a perfect outer appearance and inner immunity strength with a healthy skin and coat.

If you have an older dog that has trouble chewing the food that you’re giving it, then this dog food will prove useful to you. Made with natural and global ingredients in the USA, this product is highly recommended by veterinarians for the dogs that need specific attention to their dental care.


13. Purina Beneful Healthy Weight

Purina Beneful Healthy WeightAvailable for just under $10, this dry dog food comes with real pieces of chicken in a 6.3 pound bag. The chicken is USA produced and is the #1 ingredient in this dog food. With no added artificial flavors, this dog food retains its original flavor.

With only supplementary accents of real apples, carrots and green beans, this dog food will be a great addition to your dog’s diet. The calorie-smart nutrition will also help your pet maintain a healthy weight without overfeeding.

Don’t get this product wrong though. It lets your dog eat till its stomach is full but it prevents their weight from exceeding their healthy weight range.


14. Nutro Wholesome Essentials

Nutro Wholesome EssentialsAvailable in the flavors of Chicken and Lamb and in the weight options of 5 pounds and 30 pounds, this dog food is quite the package of essential nutrients that your dog needs.

Made specifically for adult small breed dogs, this dog food contains portions of a farm-bred and raised chicken which is high in all nutrients that will strengthen your dog’s immune system.

Along with the chicken, your dog also gets the nutrition from the brown rice and sweet potato mixture. Natural dog food with vitamins, minerals and other fibers, this dog food helps support growth of strong and lean muscles.

Tailored for providing nutrition to your small breed dog’s unique weight management and healthy weight needs.

Wholesome Essentials gives significance to integration of natural fibres for healthy digestion and is made with non-genetically modified material. You should be careful with this dog food as it is a unique blend of whole grains, vegetables and fruits and may set-off an allergic reaction in your dog.


15. Blue Buffalo

Blue BuffaloThis dog food’s recipe starts with real chicken as the #1 ingredient and features great quality materials without the grains that consist of gluten. Both you and your dog will really appreciate this dog food as it has been explicitly defined to meet the one of a kind vitality prerequisites of littler breeds. Also, it contains omega 3 and 6 unsaturated fats to help skin and coat wellbeing.

This recipe contains Blue’s elite LifeSource Bits – an exact mix of cell reinforcements, nutrients and minerals deliberately chosen by all encompassing veterinarians and animal nutritionists to help immune system wellbeing, life stage necessities, and a sound oxidative parity.

Blue dry food is detailed for the wellbeing and prosperity of your canine and highlights the best natural ingredients improved with nutrients and minerals. It doesn’t contain chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, wheat, corn, soy, additives or preservatives of any kind.


16. Halo Vegan

Halo VeganThe first and only vegan dry dog food on this list, this product comes in three different sizes and their respective prices. The vegan recipe used to make this food is nourished with protein-rich, plant-based ingredients.

This dry food is an incredible and novel option in contrast to a meat-based diet that provides similar rudimentary nutrients and is adjusted for adult dogs. No corn, dairy, meat or wheat were used in this dog food so if your dog has any allergies, it can eat this dog food without any hesitations.

A wholesome meal with non-genetically modified material, no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, this plant-based diet is great for dogs who are sensitive to animal proteins.


17. Wellness Core Natural

Wellness Core Natural100% natural, grain-free dry dog food, this product supports the strengthening of the health of your dog’s whole body. This dry food features 70% turkey, chicken and nutrient rich greens including spinach, broccoli and kale.

You won’t have to refrigerate this protein-rich, grain free dog food as it will retain the taste and ease of kibble in room temperature.

This dry dog food can be added as a topping and served as a complete, balanced meal for an extra boost of protein to your dog which will help in the development of lean muscles. This healthy dry dog food with no wheat, corn, soy or additional artificial flavors, colors or preservatives can be bought here.


18. Taste Of The Wild

Taste Of The WildThis dog food comes with roasted bison and real venison meat which is the #1 ingredient. This is the best cheap dog food if you’re looking for dog food that can help your dog gain more lean muscles. With optimal amino acid profile and high levels of rich protein, this dog food will make your dog active in no time.

The high protein ingredients with added vitamins, minerals, fruits and vegetables as superfoods produce antioxidants and provide a fatty acid blend for healthy skin and coat. Ingredients used in this food have come from trusted and sustainable sources around the world.

The food has been made without grain, corn, wheat, filler with no added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Nutrient rich and highly digestible with species-specific proprietary probiotics, this dog food can survive and thrive in the gastrointestinal tract.

The company makes all its products in the USA and is a family owned business. The food is also made keeping in mind the most scientifically advanced safety protocols.


FAQs on Cheap Dog Food

1. What Is Something That I Should Avoid While Buying Dog Food?

You should try to avoid foods with soy and corn byproducts or meal, wheat byproducts or meal, “chicken byproduct meal”. It is so because all these byproducts or meals mean that the beaks, feet, heads, bones, feathers have been ground up and dried out, then pulverized along other unidentifiable ingredients which are certainly not healthy for your pet.

2. What Should I Check For In The Ingredients?

The best cheap dog food for your dog would be one that has a type of meat–chicken, beef or lamb–as the main and first ingredient. As mentioned earlier, meat is a canine’s primary diet so it needs to be given the appropriate priority. But because meats have a lot of water in them, you should see to it that all the meat has been processed to kibble.

The amount of protein from that source will be much less and they will be compensated by the several other meat-based ingredients which should be next in line after the primary meat ingredient. It’s good to have organ meats, which in most foods will be liver, although heart, lung, tripe, etc., are all very good.

3. What Are Some Other Supplements That I Can Give My Dog If The Food Is Not Sufficient?

If you feel that the protein content in the dog food that your dog is taking in is not enough and it is not fulfilling the needs of your pet, then you can add stuff like a raw egg in their food once or twice a week.

A nice dollop of plain yogurt once a week, with maybe a few pieces of lightly cooked chicken livers or beef once a while is a great addition to their diet. Not only will that be a great routine changer, but it will also make their food intake much more healthier. Plus, they love this sort of thing which will end up with you earning brownie points.

4. How Can I Determine The Best Dog Food For My Pet?

If after feeding your dog the dog food, it is in good condition, is active and muscular then you are doing it right. The best dog food for pets differs with different circumstances that they might be going through. For example, if your dog is currently nursing then she needs a nutrient-dense food that is high in animal-sourced protein and fat.

In addition to all the meat that you will give to your dog, you should also be on the lookout for several other supplementary products that do not necessarily harm your pet. For example, if you feed supplementary taurine to your dog, there are less chances of it contracting cardiomyopathy.

5. Should I Keep On Feeding My Dog From Only One Brand?

There is no reason for your dog to be eating only one thing its whole life. If you’re quite bent on a particular brand then you should look for other flavours that that brand also offers.

It is quite understandable that most people are not in a position to buy heavy-duty food packs of four different brands simultaneously and then combine or mix them up but there are quite a lot of other brands and flavors that you can look into over time. That would also help with cardiomyopathy and other diseases.

6. How Do I Get My Dog To Exercise After Eating The Food So It’s Digested Properly?

If digestion is one of the problems that your dog faces and he/she is quite old to be doing exercises, we’d suggest going for a food that would not only satiate its hunger but also maintain a safe weight.

If your dog is, however, overweight and you want him/her to shed it, you can look up social exercise with you or free-play with other dogs. Dogs mostly do not exercise by themselves. If your dog is being fed an appropriate meat-based diet, he should be able to attain and maintain good physical condition.


We hope that this article helped you in finding the best cheap dog food for your furry best friend and that whichever food bag you end up buying is one that benefits both your dog and you. Happy Shopping!

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