Best Budget-Friendly Dog Foods

Shopper Looking for Affordable Budget-Friendly Dog Food

What’s the Best Affordable Dog Food on the Market?

Looking for a good, cheap dog food?

Although the best budget-friendly dog foods listed below are not typically the cheapest

Many top-rated brands can still be found selling for as much as 40% below the cost of similar premium products.

To help you find these money-saving gems

The Dog Food Advisor scanned its database of over 5700 recipes… and uncovered the following 4 and 5-star budget-friendly brands.

Each offers exceptional quality at an affordable price.

Since our research team is always discovering new budget-friendly brands, be sure to bookmark this page so you can return for future savings.

The following dog foods are listed in random order. Each was chosen because it meets or exceeds our selection criteria. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a referral fee. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

Best Budget-Friendly Dog Foods
for October 2021

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s best affordable dog foods for October 2021…



Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice Adult Dry Kibble

Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Diamond Naturals Adult Lamb Meal and Rice is one of 13 recipes included in our review of the Diamond Naturals dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb meal, ground white rice, cracked pearled barley, sorghum, egg product
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (ground white rice, cracked pearled barley, sorghum, rice bran, millet)
  • Price: About 0.93 per pound
  • Best for: Adults dogs
  • Other recipes: Adult, senior, puppy, small breed, large breed
  • See all 13 available recipes

Diamond Naturals Adult derives the bulk of its meat protein from lamb meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 26% protein, 16% fat and 51% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

Typical buyer review… “I’ve never seen my dogs so excited to eat. They fight over who gets the first bowl. It’s also cheaper than what we were buying before for the same size bag! And with 3 big dogs we were struggling between price and quality. This is the best of both worlds.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A quality brand at an affordable price. Highly recommended.

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Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream dog food

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is one of 9 recipes included in our review of the Taste of the Wild dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Price: About 1.75 per pound
  • Best For: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Small breed, puppy, adult
  • See all 9 available recipes

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream attributes the bulk of its meat protein to salmon and ocean fish meal. Our dry matter label study reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 17% fat and 48% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Typical buyer review… “My dog has a sensitive stomach and had issues with keeping previous food down. I made the switch to Taste of the Wild and all his problems disappeared! Great option for dogs with stomach issues. I will always buy this brand!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A quality, low-cost product line with lots of recipe options. Highly recommended.

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American Journey Grain Free Chicken and Turkey Loaf kibble

American Journey Canned Dog Food

Rating:

American Journey Grain-Free Chicken and Turkey Recipe is one of 4 recipes included in our review of the American Journey wet product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, turkey, chicken liver, potatoes
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Price: About 1.67 per can
  • Best For: Adults + small or medium breed puppies
  • Other recipes: Adult, limited ingredient diet, stews
  • See all 4 available recipes

This American Journey formula derives most of its animal protein from chicken. Our dry matter label evaluation reveals the recipe contains 41% protein, 27% fat and 24% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

Typical buyer review… “I am a label reader and I found good, common ingredients in the food. I use the food as a topper for their dry kibble. My four rescues: 3 terrier mixes, and 1 Labrador Retriever, readily eat this food. Coats are shiny, no allergic reactions, no bloating or stomach upsets and they are thriving.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A great price for a solid wet option. Makes a nice “topper” to enhance the flavor of any kibble. Easy to recommend.

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Dr Tims Active Pursuit Formula dry dog food

Dr. Tim’s Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Dr. Tim’s Pursuit Active Dog is one of 8 recipes included in our review of the Dr. Tim’s dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, whole oat groats, dried beet pulp
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, whole oat groats, rice bran)
  • Price: About 1.85 per pound
  • Best For: Adults + small or medium breed puppies
  • Other recipes: Weight management, all life stages, athletic
  • See all 8 available recipes

Dr. Tim’s Pursuit gains the majority of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label study reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 22% fat and 36% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

Typical buyer review… “I poured some in her bowl and she ate it IMMEDIATELY! This is a dog that I believed just wasn’t into food. I have given her raw foods, very expensive foods, bougie brand dry foods and she expressed little to no interest. Dr. Tim’s food is quality at a fair price! Great, thoughtful ingredients that my dog can’t get enough of!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A reasonably priced, quality dog food. Enthusiastically recommended.

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Victor Purpose Grain Free Hero Canine kibble

Victor Purpose Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Victor Hero Canine is one of 6 recipes included in our review of the Victor Purpose dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef meal, peas, sweet potato, chicken fat, menhaden fish meal
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Price: About 1.80 per pound
  • Best For: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Senior, healthy weight, puppy
  • See all 6 available recipes

Victor Hero Canine credits the bulk of its animal protein to beef meal. Our dry matter label evaluation reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 18% fat and 38% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.

Typical buyer review… “This is a great food, and has helped my one picky eater look and feel great. He loves the food and eats both meals right away, which is something he rarely did with foods the whole three years I’ve had him.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Added chondroitin and glucosamine make this a joint-health option for adult dogs. Highly recommended.

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Eagle Pack Original Dog Food

Eagle Pack Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Eagle Pack Original is one of 7 recipes included in our review of the Eagle Pack dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, pork meal, ground brown rice, dehulled barley, oatmeal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (ground brown rice, dehulled barley, oatmeal, rice)
  • Price: About 1.33 per pound
  • Best For: Adults + small or medium breed puppies
  • Other recipes: Reduced fat, small breed, large/giant breed, puppy
  • See all 7 available recipes

Eagle Pack Original gets most of its meat protein from chicken and pork meals. Our dry matter label report reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 16% fat and 48% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Typical buyer review… “My golden retriever is very sensitive. I’m so glad I found this one right away. It’s great food, made in the USA, has healthy grains, and a great price. I think this brand is underrated because people don’t know about it!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Highly recommended.

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Horizon Complete All Life Stages dog food

Horizon Complete Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Horizon Complete All Life Stages is one of 4 recipes included in our review of the Horizon Complete dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, whole grain barley, whole grain rye, chicken, whole grain oats
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (whole grain barley, whole grain rye, whole grain oats)
  • Price: About 1.68 per pound
  • Best For: All adults + puppies
  • Other recipes: Large breed, senior, puppy, weight management
  • See all 4 available recipes

This Horizon Complete product sources most of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 16% fat and 48% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Typical buyer review… “My 2 Retrievers are doing very well on this food. It’s excellent quality and reasonably priced. They love the food and nothing is wasted. We will stay with Horizon Complete.”

A low-cost, all life stages option ideal for both adults and puppies. Plus it’s also free of genetically modified grains. Highly recommended.

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Eukanuba Small Bites dog food

Eukanuba Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Eukanuba Small Bites is one of 13 recipes included in our review of the Eukanuba dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (wheat, ground grain sorghum)
  • Price: About 1.25 per pound
  • Best For: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Puppy, large breed, small breed, medium breed, senior
  • See all 13 available recipes

Eukanuba Small Bites takes the majority of its animal protein portion from chicken. Our dry matter label study reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 18% fat and 46% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.

Typical buyer review… “My dogs are super picky, but love all the eukanuba foods. It’s cheaper than what we were purchasing before and the dogs don’t mind at all.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A low-cost dog food with a wide range of recipe options. Highly recommended.

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Whole Earth Farms Red Meat Recipe canned dog food

Whole Earth Farms Wet Dog Food

Rating:

Whole Earth Farms Red Meat Recipe is one of 15 recipes included in our review of the Whole Earth Farms wet product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, beef broth, beef liver, salmon, peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Price: About 2.50 per can
  • Best For: All adults + puppies
  • Other recipes: Small breed, healthy weight, puppy
  • See all 15 available recipes

Whole Earth Farms Red Meat obtains most of its animal protein from beef. Our dry matter label report reveals the recipe contains 46% protein, 14% fat and 33% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 30%.

Typical buyer review… “This food is less expensive than other brands with the same ingredients and nutrition. My dog seems to like it better, too.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A budget-friendly, wet food option produced by Merrick, a company known for its high-quality recipes. Confidently recommended.

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American Journey Grain-Free Salmon and Sweet Potato Dry Kibble

American Journey Grain-Free

Rating:

Salmon and Sweet Potato is one of 14 recipes included in our review of the American Journey dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned salmon, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, sweet potatoes
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Price: About 1.79 per pound
  • Best For: Adults + small or medium breed puppies
  • Other recipes: Chicken, Beef, Lamb and 10 More
  • See all 14 available recipes

American Journey Grain-Free gets most of its animal protein from fresh salmon as well as chicken and turkey meals. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 16% fat and 41% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

Typical buyer review… “For dogs with sensitivities, especially to grain and chicken, this is hands down the best and most affordable option on the market. We’ve shopped around and tried other limited ingredient foods, including pro plan, and this has been the only food we can trust for our dog. Wouldn’t know what to do without american journey!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

We note the inclusion of salmon oil, which is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. Compared to plant based oils, these two top-quality fats provide the highest bio-availability to dogs.

Reasonably priced and recommended with confidence.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection dog food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken and Brown Rice is one of 23 recipes included in our review of the Blue Buffalo Life Protection dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, barley, oatmeal)
  • Price: About 1.63 per pound
  • Best For: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Healthy weight, small breed, large breed, puppy
  • See all 23 available recipes

This particular Blue Buffalo Life Protection gets the bulk of its meat protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label study reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 16% fat and 50% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Typical buyer review… “Bertie was losing weight and lots of loose stools. The vet put him on Rx diet which worked but was a bit expensive. We ordered the Life Protection and it appears to work fine at a lesser cost! I tried a few different foods with him but this seemed to give me the best results with him.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A quality product at an affordable price. Easily recommended.

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Canidae All Life Stages Chicken and Rice

Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Canidae All Life Stages Chicken and Rice is one of 5 recipes included in our review of the Canidae All Life Stages dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, cracked pearled barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, white rice, rice bran, cracked pearled barley, millet)
  • Price: About 1.20 per pound
  • Best For: All adults + puppies
  • Other recipes: Large breed, less active, multi-protein
  • See all 5 available recipes

This Canidae All Life Stages formula takes the bulk of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label report reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 17% fat and 46% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Typical buyer review… “I have tried dog food after dog food. I have a 30lb basset with a sensitive tummy, a 50lb pit with skin issues and allergies, and a 7lb chihuahua that eats everything and seems to always be under weight. This food works for the whole gang!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A classic, budget-friendly option. Highly recommended.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Classic dog food

Chicken Soup for the Soul Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Adult is one of 9 recipes included in our review of the Chicken Soup for the Soul dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, cracked pearled barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (cracked pearled barley, whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, white rice)
  • Price: About 1.43 per pound
  • Best For: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Puppy, large breed, mature, weight care
  • See all 7 available recipes

Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Adult derives the majority of its meat protein from poultry and poultry meal. Our dry matter label evaluation reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 14% fat and 50% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Typical buyer review… “We have 4 dogs ranging from a puggle to a great dane and all four have thrived on Chicken Soup. They enjoy it and two of them have exceeded their expected life span and are still vibrant happy campers. The two younger dogs have done well on it as well. Read the ingredients, it’s top shelf dog food at a reasonable price. I’m a customer for life.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A superior recipe at a reasonable price. Highly recommended.

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Nutro Ultra Adult

Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Nutro Ultra Adult is one of 10 recipes included in our review of the Nutro Ultra dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran, whole grain oatmeal)
  • Price: About 1.98 per pound
  • Best For: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Weight management, large breed, senior, small breed
  • See all 10 available recipes

This specific Nutro Ultra Adult formula gains most of its meat protein content from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label study reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Typical buyer review… “I tried another brand before this and it made my dog sick. He refused to eat it. My vet recommended Nutro and in my research I came across Nutro Ultra. The ingredients are what sold me. We’ve been using this brand for over a year. Both dogs have the shiniest coats (people comment on their coats all the time), are in great shape, and are happy campers.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A classic design at an affordable price. Enthusiastically recommended.

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American Journey Chicken and Brown Rice Dry Kibble

American Journey Active Life Dog Food

Rating:

Chicken and Brown Rice is one of 9 recipes included in our review of the American Journey dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, rice bran, peas
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, rice bran)
  • Price: About 1.43 per pound
  • Best For: Adults + small or medium breed puppies
  • Other recipes: Salmon, Beef, Lamb, Large Breed, Healthy Weight and Others
  • See all 9 available recipes

This American Journey recipe gains the majority of its animal protein from chicken. Our dry matter label study reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 17% fat and 48% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Typical buyer review… “10/10 recommend this dog food for my 6 year old blue heeler. She is extremely picky. We tried about 5 different brands for her, including the very expensive Blue Buffalo. She would only eat every other day. Once we switched to American Journey, she gobbles it all up every day and never misses a meal. Her coat started to become softer and softer a few weeks later. She is now filling out and her coat is soft, shiny, and beautiful! We also give this to our one year old Aussie, and he loves it as well. His coat and skin are so healthy! If you have a picky heeler, please give this a try! It saved our girl.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A classic, balanced, grain-inclusive dry kibble at a budget price. Highly recommended.

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Natures Recipe Grain Free Chicken Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Kibble

Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin Recipe is one of 6 recipes included in our review of the Nature’s Recipe dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, garbanzo beans, peas, pea starch
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Price: About 1.64 per pound
  • Best For: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Lamb, Salmon, Large Breed, Small Breed, Puppy
  • See all 6 available recipes

Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin Recipe derives the bulk of its meat protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 13% fat and 49% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

Typical buyer review… “I was feeding my puppy Canidae Pure chicken and pea for his first 6 months… Honestly, it was becoming cost prohibitive at $65 a month… My boy is fast approaching 80lbs. I found this blend specifically, the first five ingredients were good, available in the grocery store, price is less than half what I was paying and my fella is liking it and his tummy is doing fine…I mean, with pumpkin as an ingredient I kinda thought it would be mild.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A quality, inexpensive brand made by a trusted manufacturer. Highly recommended.

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Avoderm Natural Triple Protein Formula Dog Food

Avoderm Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Avoderm Triple Protein Formula is one of 9 recipes included in our review of the Avoderm dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, lamb meal, turkey meal, white rice
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, white rice, oatmeal, ground barley, oat flour)
  • Price: About 1.83 per pound
  • Best For: All adults + puppies
  • Other recipes: Weight control, puppy, senior, large breed, small breed
  • See all 9 available recipes

Avoderm Triple Protein obtains the majority of its meat protein from chicken, lamb and turkey meals. Our dry matter label report reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 14% fat and 49% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Typical buyer review… “I run a rescue so I needed a food that was good for all life stages. When I came across the Triple Protein Meal All Life Stages I was happy. All my dogs love it and I know I’m feeding them something healthy.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A complete and balanced, all life stages formula at a budget-friendly price. Highly recommended.

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.