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What is the best, inexpensive dog food?

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Showing 1-25 of 140 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 29, 2009 10:16:16 AM PST
donni88 says:
My German Shepards have to eat Natures Balance, Duck and Potato, but they are moving out. I have a Boston Terrier mix, one year old and very active. I simply can't afford the Natures Balance at this time (unemployed) but I don't want to slack on my Sugar's health because I don't have much money. So Alpo is most definetly out of the question. What is a good diet for her that is a good balance between Alpo and Natures Balance?? Does anyone know a good website to compare foods (that isn't paid for by a food company)?

Posted on Dec 29, 2009 11:06:52 AM PST
DT says:
Nutro MAX is an intermediate... for both price and nutrition. It's used mostly as a transitional food between Alpo-like foods and higher tier foods like Nature's Balance.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 11:46:54 AM PST
E. Nicholson says:
Try Costco's Kirkland Brand. Good stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2009 12:31:56 PM PST
donni88 says:
There is no Costco near my town. There is a Petco and a Walmart and that is all we have around here.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 6:40:41 PM PST
NC Pfaffy says:
I'll tell you what: we make our own and not only is it cheaper but it's much more nutritious! We simply buy some cheap cuts of roast and in the crock pot mix the roast, some brown rice, raw sweet potatoes, apples, frozen green beans, blueberries and a little honey. Allow it to cook all day. When it's done you have to cut up the roast some and then we put it in plastic containers and freeze. It's definitely cheaper than canned dog food and so much better for your friend!!

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 9:13:45 PM PST
YorkiesRule says:
Its cheaper to cook for you dog, plus the food is better for them. Get the book WOOFING IT DOWN

Posted on Jun 25, 2011 1:48:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 25, 2011 1:50:08 PM PDT
Gaja says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011 2:54:47 AM PDT
vms77 says:
Taste of the Wild is a very high quality - grain free diet which is not terribly expensive. You need to feed far less than you would a very poor diet like alpo, beneful etc. , so keep that in consideration. Very good price here on amazon actually and that includes delivery to your door. The Duck and potato diet may also be thwarting off allergies since it is considered a hypo-allergenic diet.. so you might also have to figure in vet costs should your dogs skin, ears etc. flare up from lower grade non allergy friendly diet. And always change over diets slowly, over the course of a week or so.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011 5:15:46 AM PDT
jacknladys says:
Give one tablet of Centrum a day (regular, not Silver) and this will make your home made food complete.

Posted on Jun 26, 2011 5:24:07 AM PDT
jacknladys says:
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Posted on Jun 26, 2011 6:48:00 AM PDT
D. Dixon says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011 11:15:32 AM PDT
I agree...this is what I feed my dogs. I was very surprised when I read the list of ingredients and found no corn and found it has fruits, veggies, brown rice, and actual chicken and fish as opposed to chicken by-products. The dog treats are also good too.

Posted on Jun 27, 2011 8:55:48 AM PDT rates dog food. Go to the site and click on Reviews. They do not give prices but you can see the ratings and then go on the internet or to the store for pricing. Also, beware of foods that contain ethoxyquin. It is a chemical preservative commonly added to fish destined for meal, and is believed to be carcinogenic.

Posted on Jun 27, 2011 10:32:49 AM PDT
Amanda Peck says:
My pups (and the others that get fed outside, one just a visitor) get the Canidae (chicken, not duck, slightly less expensive, but still--and it's a 60 mile round trip to get it). The inside dogs seem to be doing pretty well on the mid-priced Diamond (chicken--or lamb with chicken fat--no wheat, no corn, no soy) which is quite a bit less expensive--and less than 40 miles round trip. Everybody seems to do just fine.

If I didn't like the 60-mile round trip people so much, I'd probably just buy the less expensive.

When I made cat food for the dozen cats I had at the time, I didn't notice that it was at all inexpensive. But then cat food is almost always more expensive than dog--very low in other-than-meat ingredients.

Posted on Jun 27, 2011 11:03:13 AM PDT
partyelf says:
There is a website you can find if you google 'golden scoop' and it rates dog foods. Great website and I used it to decide the current brand I am feeding my dogs which is Wellness Core. It was highly rated product and the best prices for a dog food rated that high. They also make it in reduced fat - which my one dog needed. Be careful to keep in mind, as many others have said, that cost not just what you pay for the food. Many dog foods are so loaded with fillers that you end up feeding your pet more of what appears to be a less expensive food. In the end, this is not at all cost effective. The website I mentioned teaches you about fillers and not all the tricks are obvious. For instance, we are taught to look for the first three ingredients and if they are, what is deemed a filler, that is obviously not good. What I didn't know to look for is how to calculate the percentage of ingredients - meat vs fillers. I.e. - if they list corn meal, and various other filler items as different ingredients - the bottom line is a large percentage of the food is made up of fillers. So we've been taught to think because the 3, 5 & 6th ingredient down is a filler like ingredients - oh this food is ok because it's further down the list. But in reality you add up the percentage of those 3, 5th & 6th ingredients and it ends up being a greater percentage of filler in the than the first listed ingredients' percentage (which is supposed to be meat) and therefore - you've alot of junk/filler in the food anyway. It's a nifty trick, and we all need to learn more to avoid this. The website I reference specifically talks about this and it is taken into account on their rating of the products.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2011 12:34:02 PM PDT
We feed Costco's Kirkland Signature - Chicken and Rice. We think the best in value and ingrediants. We have feed this since our 2 Danes were 6 months old and are now 9 years old.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2011 12:34:10 PM PDT
We feed Costco's Kirkland Signature - Chicken and Rice. We think the best in value and ingrediants. We have feed this since our 2 Danes were 6 months old and are now 9 years old.

Posted on Jun 28, 2011 8:00:29 PM PDT
Nutro Max is a good food made with premium grade ingredients and is not expensive. They are the only manufacturer who guarantees an improved skin and coat in writing (and it does work!). Unlike many dog foods, it is still made by the manufacturer, Nutro, in their own manufacturing plants. Once you can afford better, I have found nothing better for my money than Nutro Ultra. My dogs are all beautiful, all eight of them, including my 10 year old great dane (still dances for his dinner and runs with the pack).

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2011 8:06:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 8, 2011 8:44:45 AM PDT
Hi D. Dixon, I know you mean well, but guess what, this is what is wrong with blanket statements. More than often, they are 2 dimensional and not peripheral in perspective. Meaning; Unfortunately, some of us out here got our dogs when we had a job! So, you can blame the dopey government for hozing the economy, not dog owners. In the meantime, that's why folks are researching and posting here and elsewhere, the temporary feasible alternatives when it is necessary to be frugal. So, we love our pets and care enough to do the research. There are indeed ways to feed our pets and not spend as much. Cheap and Good can go together if you do the research and perhaps, do it yourself. Just like many things. I too, like the posts that mention cooking for your pet. Sounds less expensive and an even better source of sustinance. That's if you are willing to wash the dishes and clean up after you cook and not always rely on some dog food company to take care of your pet. We are great pet owners out here, and always have been. We're posting because we are in a bind and researching. Indeed, most of us definitely ...Should have gotten our pets in the first place. Geeesh! Not to mention, I'm sure there are people that do the best they can on a tight budget (students or the suddenly unemployed for example), but in the meantime, they saved an animal from being euthanized. So whats better, death; or a bag of Pedigree/and love? And don't be silly and say the prior.

Posted on Sep 8, 2011 9:55:19 AM PDT
I agree with you, John.

No manufacturer of pet food will put anything in their recipe which they believe will harm your dog. (Although, I do have strong opinions regarding ingredients such as corn and ethoxyquin). Can dogs live on Alpo or Ol' Roy? Yes! The pet parent has to decide what their budget is for pet care and then provide as best they are able to support their canine/feline/other family members. I certainly do not criticize you for what you feed your children (although some people do) so why would I criticize you for what you feed your dog?! I love dogs just as much as anyone. I have nine right now, all large to giant breed and all different in many ways. I feed really good food, but if something happened where I could not afford that food, I would certainly feed something else that I could afford.

I have talked with many people regarding comparing pet foods. What you do not want to do is compare cost per pound or per ounce. What you do want to compare is cost per feeding which can vary greatly. Of course, if I could no longer afford to feed myself or my dog, the best thing I could do for them would be to find them a good home where they can afford to feed and support them the way they deserve. It would be extremely difficult for me to part with any one of them. I do understand what people go through for their pet family members. So, feed the best or feed what you can afford. It is your choice. There is no right or wrong food. There is just ingredients, better ingredients, good ingredients, and exceptional ingredients. Have fun grocery shopping for and loving your pet.

Posted on Sep 21, 2011 2:10:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 21, 2011 2:10:57 PM PDT
I would recommend this site: It lists all ingredients in pretty much every brand of dog food and tells you which ingredients are cheap or controversial. I decided to switch my black lab and beagle to Kirkland's food after reviewing that site and they are doing well and I really like the price. Before that, they ate Natural Way Lamaderm for about 2 years and did well on that. I was buying it from a natural grocery store but I saw it at Wal-Mart as well.

Posted on Sep 21, 2011 2:13:50 PM PDT
I forgot to mention that I fed my beagle Nutro as a puppy and see a lot of people recommending it on here. I'm not so sure they are as good of a brand as their marketing leads you to believe. Their food was affected by the horrible pet food recall a few years ago, so it makes me question the quality of their ingredients.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2011 3:48:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 21, 2011 3:53:10 PM PDT
First my disclaimer, I do sell pet foods. Some of it is Nutro. I also have done demonstrations for Nutro foods. I think I know them pretty well. Even though I now sell other foods, I still recommend Nutro as one of the top foods available for your money.

Yes, Nutro as well as many other brands were affected by that wide-spread recall a couple years ago. However, Nutro and others have put more stringent safety protocols into place (including over 600 tests per day at each plant). Back then, who knew to test for melamine (yes, the same stuff they make dinnerware out of)? The Chinese government minister responsible for that was executed. He won't do that again!

I prefer to use food that is made by the manufacturer named on the bag. Somehow, I find it reassuring that they have a better opportunity to monitor the safety of their food from step one, buying the natural ingredients, on through the process to shipping it out to their customers, the Pet Supply Stores and distributors. I heard that, at least for the last fifty-one pet food recalls, Nutro foods have not been involved. Sounds pretty good to me.

Read the bag. Somewhere on the bag (usually around the UPC or at least near the bottom back) will be a statement something like "Manufactured by ________", "Made by ______", "Distributed by ______", "Made for ____", etc. Unless it says "made by" or "manufactured by", it is not made by the company on the bag. Some of them, when I have called their customer service lines as well as some I have talked to their district sales managers, will not tell you who makes their food. Why? Is there something they don't want you to know? I prefer to know who makes my dog's food so I know who to call if there does appear to be a problem.

Posted on Sep 22, 2011 7:17:21 PM PDT
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Posted on Sep 24, 2011 1:58:25 AM PDT
Mighty Dog Beef label only as it is the one that contains most beef. Other flavor combinations don't have other food added to food mix.
I've purchased & fed Mighty Dog "Beef" to my dogs with no digestion, no problems for over 20 yrs.
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Discussion in:  Dogs forum
Participants:  62
Total posts:  140
Initial post:  Dec 29, 2009
Latest post:  29 days ago

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