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How Much Does Dog Food Cost in 2024? Average Prices & Buying Tips

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

pouring dog food

How Much Does Dog Food Cost in 2024? Average Prices & Buying Tips

Pet food has experienced an inflation rate of about 1.97% per year since 1997. Back then, you could buy the same amount of dog food for $20 that you would need to spend more than $30 on today. Therefore, we can expect to spend a significant portion of our hard-earned money to keep our dogs well-fed throughout the year. How much does dog food cost? You can expect to pay between $100- $500+ per dog for their food in a year. It all depends on factors such as where you live, what kind of food you want to buy, and what size of dog you’re buying food for. Let’s take a closer look at the topic.

dogster face divider The Average Cost of Dog Food in 2024

It is impossible to pinpoint a specific cost of dog food because there are so many variables that come into play. As inflation rises, dog food prices are bound to be affected and reflect the higher costs of living. For now, here is a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay for dog food this year:

  • Lower-Priced Dog Food: $100–$200 per dog
    • Includes house brands, budget brands, and sale products
  • Mid-Priced Dog Food: $200–$400 per dog
    • Includes popular brand names and emerging name brands
  • High-Pried Dog Food: $500 or more per dog
    • Includes specialty brands and organic products

The amount of money that you end up spending on dog food this year will depend on the quality of food you choose, the amount of food your dog eats daily, and your pooch’s dietary requirements and restrictions. If in doubt, work with your veterinarian to determine the best food options for your dog.

pouring dog food in food bowl
Image Credit:, Shutterstock

Things to Consider When Buying Food for Your Dog

Cost is not the only thing to consider when choosing a commercial food for your pooch. The quality of the food should also be a concern. Poor-quality food will not provide your dog with the ingredients and nutrients that they need for optimal health throughout their lives. Food with artificial ingredients and fillers may be less expensive, but they may lack quality ingredients like real fruits, vegetables, and grains.

So, it is worth spending more for dog food that contains all-natural ingredients and real plant-based foods as opposed to artificial colors and flavors. Another thing to consider is shelf life. Buying large bags of food is typically less expensive than purchasing small bags. If you don’t have enough room to store a large bag, consider making acquiring extra storage. It can save you a noticeable amount of money throughout the year.

You should also consider the stage of life that your pooch is in when choosing a new food for them. If your dog is still growing, you should probably focus on food made just for puppies unless your veterinarian indicates otherwise. If your dog is fully grown, an adult food should be fine. There is also the option of utilizing food made for all life stages if you are feeding multiple dogs of different ages.

Also, if you’re looking to save money on dog food then we suggest looking online for coupons before buying. For example, here is an article that shows some great Petco coupons.

To make sure you’re feeding your dog the right amount, check out our dog food calculator here:

The exact amount of calories an individual animal needs to maintain a healthy weight is variable and influenced by many factors including genetics, age, breed, and activity level. This tool is meant to be used only as a guideline for healthy individuals and does not substitute veterinary advice 


There is no specific price that you can expect to pay for dog food. The cost will depend on many factors, but expect to spend more than $100 a year even if you’re just feeding a small Chihuahua. Learning how to make your own dog food with the guidance of a veterinarian may be more time-consuming, but it could save you money on dog food costs throughout the year.

Featured Image Credit: cottonbro, Pexels

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