Having a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world; a faithful and loyal friend that will always love you a little bit more than you feel you deserve, and who meets you at the door every day after work as if you were the best gift they could have ever received. Yes, having a dog is wonderful, but it can also be expensive.
There are indestructible dog toys you can’t resist, leashes and harnesses to buy, and last but far from least – dog food. If there is one thing you can’t avoid having to buy it is food for your furry friend, and it could become necessary to start looking for cheaper dog food options that won’t burn a massive hole in your wallet.
Affordable Quality Food
Cheap wet food and kibble have a bad reputation, due to often being low in quality and packed with ingredients that don’t have enough nutrition to keep your pooch healthy and strong. This can cause an obvious conflict for dog owners that want the best for their pups, but that don’t have the financial means to provide it. Luckily, there are options!
Dog food has changed a lot in recent years, as manufacturers have caught on to dog owners demanding more than they did in the past. There are a few brands that have branched out and are now making cheaper versions of their premium dog foods, and while these might not be as great as their more expensive sister brands, they are usually better than most average commercial dog foods.
One example is Nature’s Variety Prairie Dog Food, which can be found in many supermarkets. It is made by the same manufacturer making Instinct Dog Food – one of the best dry dog food brands on the market, with the intention of offering an affordable alternative for dog owners who care about their furry friends.
What to Avoid
If your choice falls upon a kibble or dry food, you want to do your research properly before choosing a brand. Many commercial dog breeds are still considered low-quality; due to the use of fillers and artificial ingredients, but you can find decent products if you know what you are looking for.
Be aware that low-quality dog food will often have fillers like corn listed among the first ingredients; which isn’t necessarily bad for dogs, but it also does not contribute with any nutrients as the canine body is unable to process it.
If you are buying cheap, just make sure there is real meat listed as high up on the list as possible and avoid brands with animal by-products as these are of questionable quality. Knowing what your dog needs to thrive is the most important thing when trying to find the perfect dog food, and it will make your search a lot easier. Rule of thumb – real meat, no unnecessary fillers, and no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.
Adding Nutritional Value
Another option if you struggle to find the perfect dog food is to mix it with something nutritious. If your budget is limited or if you are unable to find a great dog food you can afford, you can always buy decent dog food (just try to avoid what is mentioned above) and mix in something that will boost the nutritional value.
Good and affordable dog food toppings are sardines, canned pumpkin, boiled chicken, minced meat and egg (raw egg white is a somewhat controversial ingredient, as it may prevent the dog’s body from taking up certain nutrients, so consider boiling the egg first).
These types of additives will add more nutritional value to a cheaper dog food brand, while not being too expensive for the budgeting dog lover. Avoid adding left-overs to your dog’s food as these contain too much salt, oil, and other condiments. You can also make healthy and nutritious snacks for your pooch if you feel their regular dog food needs a boost. Here are some ideas for wholesome and cheap snack options:
+ Raw carrots
+ Dried liver
+ Apple slices
+ Bananas (stick it in the freezer to make it more fun to eat)
+ Sweet potatoes
Homemade Dog Food
If you find yourself enjoying adding real ingredients to your dog’s dinner, then perhaps homemade dog food is an option for you? BARF is one of the best-known homemade dog food types, but there are others, and they are all well-calculated nutritional alternatives to pre-made dog food.
When you make your own dog food, you have complete control of what goes in it; in terms of quality of ingredients and more, and you can easily adapt it to your dog and his or her nutritional needs (such as food allergies).
Making your own dog food, however, is a massive responsibility, and it is crucial to follow recipes and instructions, or you could end up with an anemic dog due to inadequate levels of protein, carbs, fiber and such – you can find a high fiber dog food for anal gland problems here. With the internet, it is not hard to find good instructions, so as long as you are willing to do your research – homemade dog food is a good and often affordable option.
Good to Know
Quality dog food is often very expensive and does not suit every dog owner’s budget, which can sometimes lead to guilt for not being able to provide your pup with the best pup food. This is perfectly normal, but the truth is that there are ways to find cheap and/or affordable options that are still nutritious enough to keep your dog healthy and strong, and the best you can do is to learn what dogs need in order to thrive and to go from there when searching for what works best for you.
The internet is a wonderful asset when it comes to research, as it allows you to compare prices and ingredients, learn about canine nutrition and find information, without having to run from pet store to pet store. The love we have for our dogs goes a long way, but we also need to make sure they get the nutrition they need to thrive.