Top 10 Best Dog Food Under $50

Top 10 Best Dog Food Under $50

Dogs may consume a lot of food, so it’s understandable that someone would attempt to locate a low-cost dog food to feed their companion vs a higher-priced one. Although high-end brands’ ingredients might vary significantly, it’s normal to be focused on the quality of a cheaper brand.

We’ve picked four popular budget meals to review so you can understand how different each brand is from the others. We’ll tell you what we liked and didn’t like about each type, as well as some information on the ingredients and health advantages offered by each brand.

We’ve even included a brief buyer’s guide that explains what separates one brand from another and which elements each meal should include.

Check out things like the kibble form, ingredients, health benefits, price, and more to assist you in making an informed decision. This year’s best low-cost dog food options are as follows.

Why are some dog foods cheaper than others?

The quality of ingredients is generally the main reason behind the difference in price. Premium products usually include natural ingredients that can be traced back to the source. However, many brands are managing to cut down the cost without compromising quality.

Why is dry dog food cheaper than wet dog food?

Canned food is generally better for dogs because it has more moisture and more proteins. Plus, it has a lower amount of preservatives in it. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that quality is one of the reasons behind the price difference.

Is all cheap dog food bad for dogs?

There is a lot of research being conducted on commercial dog foods, and many of them turn out to be of low quality or lower nutritional value. Some products branded as premium are premium in name only. But many brands offer quality dog food at low prices.

Which cheap dog foods are the healthiest?

Cheap dog foods from trusted brands such as Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, and American Journey are suitable for your dog, but what’s healthy for your dog depends largely on the individual dog’s breed, state of life, and lifestyle. Understanding these is the key to finding the right dog food for your baby.

Is dry dog food cheaper than wet dog food?

Yes, dry dog food is much cheaper than wet dog food. It can last much longer than canned dog food because of longer shelf life. Also, because wet food is usually tastier, dogs tend to eat more of it in one meal.

Which cheap dog food should I avoid?

The number one reason to avoid any dog food is the absence of real meat in the first five ingredients. Do not buy any dog food that has too many filler ingredients such as corn bran, rice hull, wheat mill run, etc. Preservatives and additives are another reason to put the product back on the shelf.

The 10 Best Dog Food Under $50

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

How We Chose the Best Dog Food Under $50

As pet owners, we love our pets, and would not nothing more than to spoil them! But not everyone has the budget to splurge on pets. That’s why we at A-Z-Animals felt that it was important to compile a list of quality dog foods that you can trust will help your dogs grow up healthy and strong…without breaking the bank. When researching the best affordable dog foods on the market, we had certain criteria we referred to, ensuring that the food would do well for your puppy, adult, or senior dog. Those criteria are: nutrition, ingredient quality, flavor, and value for money.

  • Nutrition: We analyzed the vitamin and nutrient content of all the products we recommended to make sure your dog was receiving the proper daily allowance the essential ones, based on their age and weight.
  • Ingredient Quality: The dog foods we recommended had healthy percentages of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and other healthy ingredients. We looked for options that avoided fillers such as corn or wheat, and contained no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives (such as the Diamond Naturals brand).
  • Flavor: Of course, if your dog doesn’t like it’s food, there’s a problem. We made sure that the foods that made the cut were considered delicious by the majority of dog critics (their critiques relayed via their parents in the form of reviews). Flavors like chicken, beef, or salmon are popular with dogs, though every dog’s palate is unique.
  • Value for the Money: We strove to find good hearty foods that were affordable. Our wet food recommendation averages around $35 for a 12 can pack, but the cans are 12.5 ounces, so should cover at least two meals. With our choice for puppies, we found a great bundle where you can receive a pack of training treats with your purchase–a great value! Our other dry food options met our criteria for good value for the money.

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.