Top 10 Best Cheap Dog Foods at walmart

Top 10 Best Cheap Dog Foods

Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” for a reason. They are loyal, loving, and always happy to see you. Plus, they’re great companions on walks and hikes. If you’re like most people, you want the best for your dog, including the best food.

But sometimes it can be tough to find an affordable dog food that is also high quality. That’s why we created this list of the 25 best cheap dog foods in 2022, to help you find high quality dog food without the high price tag.

  • Eagle Pack Dry Dog Food
  • Horizon Complete Dry Dog Food
  • Eukanuba Dry Dog Food
  • American Journey Canned Dog Food
  • Dr. Tim’s Dry Dog Food
  • Victor Purpose Dry Dog Food
  • Pupper Beef Topper
  • Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
  • Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
  • Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul Dry Dog Food
  • Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food
  • Whole Earth Farms Wet Dog Food
  • American Journey Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
  • Iams Minichunks Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe
  • Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food
  • Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Pure Balance Pro+ Large Breed 30LB Dry Dog Food
  • Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Avoderm Dry Dog Food
  • Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food
  • Retriever Choice Chops Adult Skin & Coat Beef Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Wild Earth Rich Umami and Roasted Superfood Recipe

What Makes a Dog Food Cheap?

  • When we talk about cheap dog food, we’re talking about two things: the cost per serving, and the quality of ingredients.
  • The cost per serving is important because, obviously, you want to save money on your pup’s kibble. But the quality of ingredients is just as important. A lot of “cheap” dog foods cut corners by using low-quality ingredients that aren’t nutritious for your pup.
  • So, how do you find the best cheap dog food? We’ve done the legwork for you and compiled a list of the 25 best cheap dog foods. All of these options are affordable and made with high-quality ingredients that will keep your pup healthy and happy.

Is grain free dog food better?

Grain free dog food is not necessarily better than regular dog food. Some dogs have grain sensitivities, but most do not. If your dog does not have a grain sensitivity, there’s no need to pay more for grain free food.

Can I feed any dog breed cheap dog food?

  • Yes, you can feed any dog breed cheap dog food. However, some breeds are more susceptible to certain health problems than others. For example, large breeds are more likely to suffer from joint problems.
  • So, if you have a large breed dog, you may want to look for a cheap dog food that’s specifically designed for large breeds. This will ensure that your pup is getting the nutrients he needs to stay healthy and avoid joint problems.

What is the cheapest type of dog food?

The cheapest type of dog food is dry kibble. Wet food and freeze-dried food are more expensive than dry kibble, but they’re also more convenient. If you’re on a budget, dry kibble is the way to go.

The 10 Best Budget Dog Foods

Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food

Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken Dry Dog Food

The Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food uses select and limited ingredients to ensure a healthy balanced diet free from chemicals and harmful preservatives. It has turkey listed as the first ingredient, and it also contains plenty of complex carbohydrates, including brown rice, oat groats, pearled barley, and millet. It also has taurine, which can help with several nervous system and brain functions. It’s fortified with antioxidants and probiotics, which can help boost the immune system, and omega fatty acids can help with brain and eye development as well as a healthy coat.

What we didn’t like about Gentle Giants is that the kibble is a little big for some of your smaller dogs, and some of the dogs didn’t like it.

  • Contains complex carbohydrates
  • Contains Taurine
  • Made with limited ingredients
  • Turkey is the first ingredient
  • Fortified with antioxidants and probiotics
  • Contains omega fatty acids
  • Kibble is big

Purina ONE SmartBlend Adult Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend Adult Formula Dry Dog Food is our runner-up for the best overall dog food. This brand contains lamb as its first ingredient, but you can also get it with chicken or turkey. It’s fortified with omega fats, which will help create a shiny coat, and it’s also a natural source of glucosamine. Glucosamine can help with joints and arthritis. Vets prescribe it to older dogs with arthritis, but it can help younger dogs as well. It features a highly digestible formula that’s easy on your pet’s sensitive gastrointestinal tract.

Like many healthy dog foods, the only real problem with Purina ONE SmartBlend is that some dogs won’t eat it.

  • Natural source of glucosamine
  • Highly digestible
  • Lamb as the first ingredient
  • Contains omega fats
  • Some dogs don’t like it

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food – Best Overall

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Veggies Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food is our pick for the best overall budget dog food. It contains United Sated farm-raised chicken as its number one ingredient, and it includes several other high-quality ingredients as well to help it supply a complete and balanced meal. Brown rice and beet pulp add fiber to the meal as well as a good supply of prebiotics, which help nurture and feed your bets natural probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria in your dog’s gut that help digest food and keep the digestive system balanced. Chicken fat is naturally high in omega fats, so your pet will be getting the nutrients it needs for healthy eye and brain development as well as a softer shinier coat.

Rachael Ray Nutrish doesn’t have any soy or corn ingredients or chemical preservatives, and the only negative thing we could say about this brand is that some dogs don’t like it. Healthier foods tend to be less appealing to some dogs.

  • Contains prebiotics
  • High in fiber
  • US farm-raised chicken is the number one ingredient
  • Contains omega fatty acids
  • No corn or soy
  • Some dogs won’t like it

Purina Puppy Chow Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies

Puppy Chow Complete With Chicken & Rice Dry Dog Food

Purina Puppy Chow Complete Dry Dog Food is our choice for the best budget dog food for puppies. This brand uses a formula designed for puppies under one year. It has plenty of carbohydrates to provide extra energy and contains up to 27% protein to help keep up with their rapidly developing muscular system. It also contains vitamin C to help boost the immune system, and the recipe they use is highly digestible and shouldn’t throw off your pet’s delicate digestive system.

The main thing we didn’t like about Purina Puppy Chow Complete is that it contains corn, which can cause digestive issues with some pets.

  • 27% protein
  • Contains Vitamin C
  • Formulated for puppies under one year
  • Highly digestible recipe
  • Contains corn

Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dry Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dry Dog Food is a brand that our dogs liked a lot and contains chicken as its first ingredient. The kibble size is a little smaller than many other brands, so it’s perfect for smaller-sized dogs. It’s high in fiber as well as probiotics to maintain a balanced digestive tract, and it’s fortified with antioxidants to help your pet stay healthy. There are no artificial colors or dyes.

Even though our dogs like this brand, we couldn’t put it higher on the list because of some questionable ingredients. It has a lot of corn, which can cause problems for some dogs, and it also has chicken byproduct meal that we try to avoid.

  • Contains probiotics
  • Fortified with antioxidants
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Chicken as the first ingredient
  • Smaller kibble size
  • High in fiber
  • Contains corn
  • Contains chicken byproduct

Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food

Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food

The Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food is a brand for adult dogs. It’s fortified with antioxidants and also contains essential vitamins and minerals. Whole grains provide a high amount of fiber that can help balance your pet’s digestive system. It also supplies omega fats for a healthy coat.

Unfortunately, Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition has corn as the main ingredient, and corn is an ingredient we try to avoid. We also found that this brand made our pets very gassy, which caused uncontrollable flatulence. Some of our dogs also had a hard time chewing this kibble.

  • Contains omega fats
  • Whole-grain fiber
  • Fortified with antioxidants
  • Contains essential vitamins and minerals
  • Makes pets gassy
  • Corn is the number one ingredient
  • Hard kibble

Purina Dog Chow Adult Dry Dog Food

Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult Dry Dog Food delivers complete and balanced nutrition to your pet. It’s fortified with 23 essential vitamins and minerals and also contains omega fats to help your pet develop into a healthy dog. It also uses whole American-raised chicken in its ingredients.

The downside to Purina Dog Chow Complete is that corn is the number one ingredient, and some dogs can have difficulty digesting it. Another bad ingredient is the food dyes it contains, which can also cause problems for many dogs, and some may have an allergic reaction. It also has a bad smell that fills the whole room when you open a bag, and we found it quite expensive for a brand with corn as the main ingredient.

  • Fortified with 23 vitamins and minerals
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Uses whole chicken
  • Contains several dyes
  • Corn is the number one ingredient
  • Bad smell

Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Dry Dog Food

Kibbles 'n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken Flavors Dry Dog Food

Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Dry Dog Food contains crunchy kibble and soft bits to add a bit of variety to your pet’s meal. It has added chicken and beef flavor that our dogs all seemed to enjoy, and it’s fortified with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will help boost your dog’s immune system.

Unfortunately, Kibbles ‘n Bits Original contains plenty of low-grade ingredients we would normally recommend avoiding. Corn is the first ingredient instead of whole meat like chicken, beef, or turkey. In fact, there isn’t any whole meat listed in the ingredients at all. This food also made a few of our dogs itchy, and their coats didn’t seem as shiny.

  • Flavored with beef and chicken
  • Crunchy kibble with soft bits
  • Contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Lists corn as the first ingredient
  • Contains many low-grade ingredients
  • Does not include any whole meat
  • Made dogs itchy

True Acre Foods Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

True Acre Foods Chicken & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

True Acre Foods Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is the last brand on our list to review, but there are still some good qualities to this budget food. It features chicken as its first ingredient, and it also contains antioxidants, fiber, and Omega fats. There is no corn or artificial dyes included in this food, and the fruits and vegetables are farm-grown and inspected for quality.

True Acre Foods was hit-or-miss for many of our dogs, and several of them didn’t like this brand at all. The dogs that did like it would become very gassy and needed to go outside more often. Our biggest problem was that it contains poultry byproduct, even though it’s not that high on the list. The kibble may also be too hard for some dogs to chew, and it was quite dusty.

  • Farm grown fruits and veggies
  • No corn or dyes
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains antioxidants, fiber, and omega fats
  • Some dogs won’t eat it
  • Hard kibble
  • Contains poultry byproduct
  • Can cause gas
  • Dusty

Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Adult Dry Dog

Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog food contains many high-quality ingredients like flaxseed, taurine, and carrots, as well as superfoods like blueberries, spinach, and kale. It’s fortified with Vitamin E, A, and B12, as well as important minerals like copper, zinc, and iron. A unique probiotic blend helps balance the digestive system, and omega fats help with a healthy coat.

However, the Diamond Naturals blend doesn’t have any whole meats, only an ingredient labeled beef meal. Some of our dogs liked it, but it would cause loose stools and even occasional diarrhea. We blame the loose stools on the pumpkin ingredient, but you may want to introduce this food to your pet slowly to make sure they don’t get diarrhea. Eggs are another ingredient that many dogs are allergic to, so you’ll need to be careful if you don’t already feed them a food that contains eggs. Only about half of our dogs will eat this food. The others would try to avoid it.

  • Probiotic blend
  • Contains superfoods like blueberries and spinach
  • No corn or soy
  • Contains omega fats
  • No whole meats
  • Contains eggs
  • Beef Meal
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Can cause diarrhea

Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Budget Dog Food

Here are some important things to look for when choosing the best cheap dog food.

Store-Bought or Homemade

  • It’s easy to think that a homemade meal would be better for your pet than commercial dog food. However, your pet’s nutritional needs are very complex, and their digestive system very sensitive, so it’s best to feed them commercial dog food that provides a complete and balanced meal to keep your dog healthy and happy.
  • One place we do recommend cooking the food yourself is with dog treats. Often, commercial dog treats have a lot of bad ingredients, and you can make treats at home that are much better for your pet using online sources or a cookbook.

Wet or Dry Dog Food

Both wet and dry dog food provides a complete and balanced meal, but each has pros and cons that will take a look at here.

Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food is the most popular choice and is the type of food we recommend feeding your dog. The primary reason that dry dog food is preferred is that it helps clean your pet’s teeth. As your dog chews to dry kibble, it scrapes and rubs away plaque and tartar that can lead to cavities and gum disease. Plaque and tartar are also the main causes of bad breath. Dry dog food is also less expensive and comes in bigger packages.

The disadvantage to dry dog food is that some dogs don’t like it as well. The large packages also may be hard to keep fresh and get stale before your pet makes it through the bag. It’s also not uncommon to find mold or even bugs in dry dog food.

  • Hard to keep fresh
  • Dogs don’t like it as well
  • May contain mold or bugs
  • Cleans teeth
  • Less expensive
  • Larger packages

Wet Dog Food

The main advantage of feeding your dog wet food is that it provides moisture that dry food lacks. If your dog is constipated or dehydrated, wet food can help alleviate the symptoms and return your pet to normal. Many dogs also prefer wet food to dry food, so it’s good to put on top of the dry food to get your pet to eat it, and it also works for hiding any medication that your pet is refusing to take.

However, wet food will not clean your pet’s teeth. It may instead cling to the teeth and accelerate the rate of tooth decay as well as create bad breath. We recommend feeding your dog wet food only when you’re vigilant about manually brushing your pet’s teeth.  Wet food is also more likely to cause diarrhea ended more expensive.

  • Can accelerate tooth decay and increase bad breath
  • May cause diarrhea
  • More expensive
  • Does not clean teeth
  • Helps with constipation
  • Helps when you need your pet to eat something
  • Dogs prefer it
  • Provides moisture


The ingredients listed on the bag is of critical importance when choosing a brand budget dog food. There are several ingredients to look for, and some to avoid. We’ll go over both in this section.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • There are several vegetables that your dog can eat that will be beneficial to them, including carrots broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, green beans, cucumbers, and many more. These vegetables provide important vitamins and minerals, and they also are high in fiber, which helps keep your pet’s digestive tract in balance.
  • There are also several fruits your pet can eat, including blueberries, bananas, apples, oranges, peaches, pears, and mangoes. Fruit will also supply your pet with much-needed vitamins and minerals, and they will include antioxidants that help boost your pet’s immune system. We recommend finding a brand that lists a good amount of fruits and vegetables among its ingredients.

Whole Meats

  • When we say whole meat, we mean real pieces of chicken, beef, lamb, or turkey are ingredients in creating the food. Avoid foods that push this important ingredient further down the list or remove it altogether. Many budget brands will substitute a less expensive meat byproduct or meat meal in place of whole meat. Meat byproduct is usually a dried and ground product that is not as healthy as whole meat, and many dogs can taste the difference.
  • You might also want to use caution when choosing a brand that uses exotic meat that is not part of a dog’s diet. Exotic meats include alligator, venison, kangaroo, and eel, among others. These exotic meats are a relatively new additive to commercial dog food, and there’s not a lot of research stating how these meats will affect your pet’s health over the long term.

Other Fortifications

Other fortifications that we recommend you look for when choosing a brand of budget dog food are omega fats and probiotics. Omega fats can help with eye and brain development as your puppies grow into adult dogs. They also help maintain a smooth, shiny coat in adult dogs, and they help maintain moisture in the skin preventing rashes and other problems.

Probiotics are the good bacteria in the gut, and they will help balance your pet-sensitive gastrointestinal tract. They will help boost the immune system as most of your pet’s immune system resides in the digestive system.

What to Avoid

We’ve already mentioned the need to avoid meat by-products and meat meals in your pet’s food, but there are a few other ingredients you should avoid also. You also want to avoid chemical preservatives like BHA and BHT, which are very popular in dog food. Mini food dyes can also cause an allergic reaction in your dog, and since they don’t supply any nutritional value, we recommend avoiding brands that include them. In our reviews, we tried to specify any foods that contained ingredients you should avoid.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this roundup of the best affordable dog food available this year! When choosing a budget dog food, it’s going to be tough to be our best overall. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food has chicken as its first ingredient. It contains prebiotics and omega fats, and is also high in fiber. Purina ONE SmartBlend Adult Formula Dry Dog Food is another great choice. Our runner-up contains probiotics and glucosamine, which can help with adult dog’s sore joints.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and learn some things about dog food you didn’t know before. If we have helped you choose a brand that’s both inexpensive and healthy please share these best budget dog foods on Facebook and Twitter.

We hope that this guide helps you find the best affordable dog food on the market. Good luck in your search!

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.