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You want to feed your dog the best possible food on the market. However, many of the top dog foods are very expensive. So you may not be able to afford these brands and may just settle for a lower cost, less healthy option. Luckily, there are some really great dog food brands on the market that are affordable for anyone, so you don’t have to settle. With a little research, you can find the best dog food that fits your budget and provides your dog all the nutrition they need. You just need to know what to look for when shopping for a dog food.
Measuring Cost When Purchasing Dog Food
One factor to consider before determining your budget is that top dog food brands offer higher quality nutrition. So your dog does not have to eat as much of a good quality brand as a lesser quality brand to stay healthy. There is also the added costs of veterinary care if your dog developed an illness related to poor nutrition. So the upfront costs of a higher quality dog food brand may be more, but the long terms costs of feeding and care will be less. So consider weighing the costs before deciding to just go with a less expensive brand. If your dog develops a preventable illness like a vitamin deficiency or diabetes, the medical costs affiliated with these issues may be much higher than providing your dog the best available nutrition through a more expensive dog food.
Read The Label Before Purchasing
Regardless of what you decide on for your budget, the best way to ensure that even a less expensive dog food brand has all the nutrition your dog needs, you need to read the label. Dog food has two nutritional panels. The first is the ingredients list which has all the ingredients listed in order of volume. So the first ingredient is the most prevalent ingredient and the last is the least prevalent ingredient. The second part of the panel is the guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis panel listed the nutritional value of the ingredients. It always contains the protein, fat, moisture, and fiber. On some foods the guaranteed analysis will also list the vitamins and minerals. So you want to make sure whatever you decide to purchase at least meets some basic requirements of quality.
What To Avoid In Any Dog Food
When looking for a good dog food, regardless of cost, there are things you should try to always avoid. The most important are damaging chemicals like artificial preservatives like BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin, artificial colors like dyes, and flavors listed on the ingredients panel usually as “flavor.” Many chemical additives like these cause long term health effects in dogs, so try to only find dog foods that have natural ingredients. Next you want to avoid fillers like hulls, pulp, and starch and sweeteners like sugar, corn syrup, and sorbitol. These cheap ingredients offer nothing for the health of your dog so they are a waste of your money. Also many of these ingredients can cause health problems like allergies, obesity, and diabetes, which can cost a lot of money as well. Finally, if possible avoid animal byproducts, highly processed, or rendered meats. These provide protein but are hard to digest and may come from diseased, rotten, or spoiled meats and can increase the risk of foodborne illness.
Three Great Cost Effective Dry Dog Food Recommendations
There are many top dog food brands that are cost effective. Here are some of our favorites healthy dog foods that can fit anyone’s budget.
Diamond Naturals is dog food made from natural ingredients. It contains no artificial ingredients, fillers, or byproducts, and is supplemented with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and a range of whole foods like carrots, kale, pumpkin, and blueberries. Though the meat source is beef meal rather than a whole meat, it still have a myriad of great ingredients that make this an ideal food for the cost. A 40lb bag is roughly equivalent to 130 cups, so depending on the size of your dog, Diamond Naturals costs anywhere from $0.12 to $1.75 per serving.
Hill’s Science Diet is a dog food that is designed to address specific health needs. They offer a range of cost effective, high-quality foods that contain no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Hill’s Science Diet is made with whole foods ingredients and is fortified with vitamins and minerals. This is a great cost-effective option, especially for dog owners looking to address specific health needs. A 38.5 lb bag roughly measures out to 125 cups, so depending on the size of your dog Hill’s Science Diet costs between $0.15 to $2.22 per serving.
Purina Pro Plan is the high quality line of the the most popular dog food brand. It is made with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It contains a lot of grains so it is not recommended for dogs with grain intolerances or allergies, however it’s primary ingredient is a high quality meat source, whole food ingredients, and it is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. A 35lb measures to roughly 114 cups of food, so depending on the size of your dog Purina Pro Plan costs $0.13 to $1.94 per serving.
So no matter what your budget, there are many affordable top dog foods. The three listed here meet the basic parameters of a good quality, nutritious food. They do not contain damaging ingredients and break down to a very affordable serving cost. So just because you have a limited budget, does not mean you have to feed your dog a low quality food.