Affordable Grain Free Dog Food

Feeding our dogs can be a monumental task. Sometimes it does seem like they never stop eating! The cost of food and treats can add up quickly and leave pet parents scouring the recesses of the internet and ad booklets for a way to cut down on the cost of care.

Luckily, plenty of budget foods are out there that can give great nutrition at an affordable price! Here are our favorites!

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

Looking for a good, cheap dog food?

Although the best budget-friendly brands are not always the cheapest

You can still find many 4 and 5-star dog foods selling for as much as 40% below the cost of premium recipes.

These are quality brands offering inexpensive product lines designed to meet the needs of those who love their pets…

But who also want to avoid foods made with cheap fillers… and plant-based protein boosters.

Sure. Low-priced dog foods CAN be safe.

As long as a low-priced food is made by a company that performs regular safety testing… and then holds the finished food at its facility until test results are confirmed.

Then you can consider it safe.

Stay away from products rated 2 stars or lower by The Dog Food Advisor.

Many of these cheap, low-rated recipes contain BHA or other cancer-causing chemical preservatives.

Grain-Free Diets and DCM in Dogs

Recently there has been an upsurge in reports of DCM in dogs, and while the verdict is still out on what exactly is causing the increase in DCM incidents, most researchers agree that it has something to do with BEG diets (Boutique brands, Exotic protein, Grain-free).

Unfortunately, outside of this scope, veterinarians still can’t say for sure what aspect of the BEG diet is causing issues. Many are asking:

  • Is it that these smaller manufacturers are doing something wrong in their production process?
  • Is it because of unusual proteins like kangaroo?
  • Is it the reliance on legumes, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas over more traditional carbohydrates?
  • Since we can’t say for sure, the safest route to take is to stick with non-BEG diets, which means:

  • Well-known, reputable manufacturers with experience in the dog food industry
  • Foods with more traditional meat proteins (such as chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, and fish).
  • Foods with grains rather than grain-substitutes (rice, oatmeal, oats, etc).
  • Research is still ongoing, but the safest course of action for now is likely to stick to grain-inclusive dog foods without legumes or peas.

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    Affordable Grain Free Dog Food

    Quality, grain-inclusive food that’s made in the USA without poultry by-products or artificial additives.

    About: Whole Earth Farms is a high-quality non-grain-free dog food with a good protein composition and a mix of meat proteins.

    This recipe includes chicken meal and turkey meal as the first two ingredients for a meat-based protein composition, with oatmeal and pearled barley as the main grain carbohydrate sources. It’s a great dry dog food that is a great pick for most dogs who don’t suffer from any particular allergy issues.


  • Chicken, turkey meal as first two ingredients
  • Oatmeal + pearled barley for grains
  • Includes salmon oil for omega-3 fatty acids
  • No corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-products, and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Made + cooked in USA
  • 26% Protein / 14% Fat / 41% Carbohydrates (Approx)
  • Chicken meal, turkey meal, oatmeal, pearled barley, brown rice…,

    chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), chicken, natural flavor, organic dried alfalfa meal, whitefish, dried yeast culture, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, minerals (zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, zinc sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodide, cobalt amino acid complex), salmon oil, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A acetate, d-calcium pantothenate, niacin, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate), mixed tocopherols (a preservative), Yucca schidigera extract, cinnamon, dried blueberries, rosemary, sage, thyme, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product

    This recipe includes chicken meal and turkey meal as the first two ingredients, making for a solid protein composition. Ingredients are high-quality with oatmeal and pearled barley for grains.

    Since this recipe features a mix of several meat proteins, it may not be a good choice for dogs with protein sensitivities.

    Rachel Ray Nutrish Dog Food – Best Value

    Bag Size: 5.5, 13, 26 lbs
    Flavors: Chicken, Salmon, Bison, Venison, Beef, Turkey
    Other Dietary Specifications: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

    Rachel Ray Nutrish is a popular TV personality who has broken into the pet food scene to deliver high-quality and affordable pet nutrition to homes across the country! Nutrish is grain-free, gluten-free, and soy-free for pet parents who have dogs with allergies.

    Nutrish has an astounding amount of flavor varieties to choose from. It also comes in a bag with a hefty 26 lbs of food for an affordable price, and that’s why it’s our choice for the best budget-friendly dog food for the money! Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Huge flavor selection
  • Cons


    Do dogs really need grain free food?

    There are a lot of dog and cat foods sold as grain-free with marketing suggesting that feeding no grains is healthier. This is not true and can, in fact, cause illness for some dogs and cats. There is no medical or physiologic basis to feed dogs or cats a grain-free diet.

    Do vets recommend grain free dog food?

    When it comes to the question of grain-free diets, veterinarians recommended that dogs be fed a grain-inclusive diet unless there is a reason that makes it unsuitable. One thing to always look out for when choosing a food is an adequacy statement on the label.

    What are some good grain free dog foods?

    Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s top 10 best grain-free dog food brands for September 2022:
    • Wellness Core Grain-Free Kibble.
    • American Journey Grain-Free.
    • Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food.
    • Orijen Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.
    • Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free.
    • Dr. …
    • Canidae Grain-Free Pure.
    • Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Grain-Free.

    Is grain or grain free dog food better?

    Health Risks

    While grain dog food was blamed for dog allergies, grain-free dog food does not look as perfect due to the FDA’s findings. It’s important to point out that there are grain dog foods containing lentils, potatoes, and peas, but not in high concentrations that grain-free diets use to replace grains.