How To Select The Best Cheap Dog Food

  • 23/03/2020
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5-best-way-to-store-dog-food-this-summer.jpgWith the economic effects of the COVID-19 epidemic many pet owners are in the market for cheaper dog food. Luckily, cheaper dog food can actually be quite high-quality.

Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when searching for decent, inexpensive dog food. 

Skip the Grain-Free Foods

In many cases, dogs do not need grain-free food. They have actually evolved to eat grain, so it doesn’t cause any problems for most dogs. The only dogs that really need a grain-free food are those that are allergic to grains, which is quite rare. 

Many grain-free foods don’t actually contain more meat or protein. Instead, they use cheap veggies as fillers. They really aren’t more nutritionally complete than grain-inclusive dog foods. In fact, some veggies are actually worse for our furry friends than grains are, making grain-inclusive dog foods the better options for most pets. 

Furthermore, grain-free foods are often more expensive than grain-inclusive foods, allowing you to save quite a bit and choose the better, grain-inclusive option. 

Check the Macronutrient Content

Look at the macronutrient content of any dog food you’re looking at for an easy way to tell how healthy it is. In general, we want a dog food that is around 30% protein, 63% fat, and 7% carbohydrates. This is the macronutrient breakdown dogs choose to eat according to scientific studies, so it is likely closest to what they would naturally eat in the wild.  

Sadly, it is very difficult to actually find a dog food that matches this breakdown. Because of this, aim to find a dog food that has the lowest carbohydrates possible, as this will lead to higher levels of protein and fat. 

This can be somewhat difficult because dog food companies only have to list the guaranteed analysis of their dog foods, which includes the amount of water the food contains in the product. This is not very helpful and often doesn’t include the carbohydrates at all. Luckily, you can use online calculators to turn this analysis into a dry-matter basis, which tells you what the dog food contains minus the water.  If you are unsure how to calculate the proper macronutrients, you can use a resource like Doggypedia who compiled scientific-backed research on the best cheap dog foods for your dog. 

Learn the Truth Behind Ingredients

By-products are often demonized, but they are not necessarily bad for our dogs. If you’re looking to save money, choosing a dog food with quality by-products can be very helpful. 

As long as the source of the by-product is listed, such as “chicken by-product” for example, it is likely a high-quality ingredient. You want to avoid vague ingredients like “meat by-product”, which could literally be anything. 

By-products are just the parts of the animals that humans typically don’t eat, like ears, tails, some organs, and hooves. Of course, our dogs would eat the products in the wild, and they are often quite nutritious as well. 

Of course, whole meats are the best when available, but this is not always possible when you’re on the hunt for a budget dog food. 

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