Dogs thrive on high-quality food. According to pet nutrition expert Dr. Gary Richter, DVM, author of the Ultimate Pet Health Guide and member of Rover’s Dog People Panel, “the single biggest thing you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy is provide them with optimal nutrition.” For many dogs, that could mean a high quality grain free dog food. (Not sure if grain free is right for your dog? Learn more with our deep dive into whether grain free is right for your dog.)
But sometimes it seems like the best stuff costs way too much. However, it is possible to feed your dog a healthful diet on a budget. You just have to shop smart—and we’re here to help!
Before we get to the list of brands, let’s talk about how to identify a high-quality grain free dog food. Different dogs may have different sensitivities and preferences, but in general, dogs need an appropriate combination of protein, fat, moisture, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
Quality dog foods will contain easily-identifiable whole food ingredients and supplements. Ingredients to look for on the label include:
Whole proteins like chicken, beef, fish, duck, and eggs
Grain-free, or containing healthy whole grains like oats and quinoa
Healthy supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin
Healthy vegetables like sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots
Avoid ingredients like unspecified “meat,” corn and other unhealthy grains and fillers, and artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Quality ingredients sometimes cost more, but feeding a high-quality, low- or no-grain food means you’ll be feeding your dog less overall. Plus, the health benefits of a good diet mean less time (and expense) at the vet. Over time, a quality dog diet adds up to a lot of savings! For more information on specific foods, the Dog Food Advisor is a helpful resource.
Read on to learn about some of the most affordable grain-free dog foods on the market.
Note that prices are subject to change.