The best cheap food for small dogs?

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

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Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Wed Oct 3, '12 9:53pm PST 
Since the dachshund that will be moving in with me is my "boyfriend's dog" (more than likely I'll be the one training her lol) he wants to pay independently for her. Unfortunately he has a very low income. So what are some of the better cheaper brands?

Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 7:31am PST 
Nutro Max is an all natural food with no by-products or corn. It is about on line of price of many cheaper foods that have corn and by-products in then such as science diet or pro plan.

formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 8:11am PST 
If you have a Tractor Supply (TSC) near you, they carry a brand called 4Health that is pretty good and is not too expensive. Not too sure about Diamond Naturals anymore, but it used to be pretty good and was inexpensive. I've seen it at TSC and Menards. Also, if you have a Petsmart or Petco nearby, be sure to sign up for their store savings card and check for deals - sometimes they have good sales on the more expensive brands, especially the small bags.

Rural King (another farm supply store) sometimes also has good sales on decent brands of dog food. One time they had a rebate for an entire bag, free after you bought only one bag, plus what I wanted was on sale. I got two big bags of Taste of the Wild for about $40 - normally it costs around $50 per bag here.

Because of my dog's allergies, we are pretty limited to only the more expensive brands, but for them I generally find the best prices at smaller, independently owned feed stores. I'm not sure if that's true for the cheaper brands as well, but if you have one nearby it's worth a look.

Also be sure to ask if they have a frequent buyer program - some brands/stores have promotions that if you buy so many bags in one year, you get one free or something like that. I'm not sure if it only applies to big bags (in which case it probably wouldn't help you), but it's another option to look into for saving money.

If you find a brand you want to try, you can also email the company and see if they have any free samples or coupons to send you. Some companies will go as far as giving a coupon for a free 4-5 lb. bag, just to get you to try it.


Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 10:14am PST 
4-Health is made by Diamond and is basically about the same thing as Diamond Naturals, as is Kirkland dog food from Costco. They are pretty cheap foods. You can also go to a local pet food store and see if they have any less expensive foods that are still decent quality. You can look into Precise or NutriSource also. They are pretty decent foods at fairly reasonable prices. If you want a decent low cost grain free food, you can look at Horizon Pulsar or even Hi-Tek Naturals. These are all foods that would be sold at local independent retailers. You can also look on their websites to see if there are any retailers in your area.
Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 1:49pm PST 
Also keep in mind that if you use a food that is more nutritionally dense/better quality, you may need to feed less food and so it might not be more expensive to buy some foods even if the bag is more expensive...
I think someone had a post here before on how to figure out the cost per day of foods?

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 5:47pm PST 
Tiara, since when does Nutro MAX not have corn in it?

I'm looking at all of the adult formulas on the Nutro website, all of them list corn gluten meal as an ingredient fairly high up.

Im just a little- guy
Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 6:38pm PST 
Walmart just launched a new store brand called "Pure Balance". It's pretty good and I think it's around 6 dollars for a 5 pound bag. It does have many grains but overall decent. I am feeding it to my dog until I find more work and can buy a better quality food. He's been eating it for over 2 weeks. It has medium sized kibbles. My dog eats it with out struggling and he does not have great teeth. He is 15 pounds.

Pure Balance ingredient list

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, brewers rice, pea protein, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), rice bran, dried plain beet pulp, dried egg product, natural flavor, oatmeal, sunflower oil, dried peas, dried carrots, whole flaxseed, dried cranberry, potassium chloride, salt, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), choline chloride, manganese proteinate, l-carnitine, copper proteinate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, sodium selenite, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), folic acid

Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 8:26pm PST 
Bianco is right. Your pet will eat less food on a nutritionaly balanced dense food with less pooh and vet bills. In the long run it will cost less. Nutro Max was mentioned which is a good brand without the by-products, corns and no preservatives, all natural vitamins and minerals. Nutro also manufactures all their own products in their own plants here in the United States and track where all their ingredients come from.
Laverne- Marie

Therapy Dog- Superstar!!
Barked: Fri Oct 5, '12 6:55am PST 
There are a few other foods that have not already been mentioned that are of decent quality, yet seem to be inexpensive. Merrick Whole Earth Farms, Natura's Healthwise, Earthborn isn't too bad, and Petsmart's own brand Simply Nourish is cost effective, too. Most of these do have some grain in them, but a few have grain free formulas, as well. Hope this helps some.
Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Fri Oct 5, '12 3:07pm PST 
Thanks a lot!
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