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Best dog food for not a lot of money?

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
Money has gotten really tight here, and we're having to cut corners. I can't afford to spend as much on dog food right now, but I don't want to feed her junk.

She is an elderly dog (12-13 years), and she is a large-ish dog (about teh size of a golden retriever). What can I feed her that's not going to break the bank?
post #2 of 73
we pay $20 for a bag of Kirklands super permium chicken rice and vegetable adult dog food. it lasts us about a month and a half for one large lab mix. she gets 3.5 cups a day. out of 100 points, it ranks 110, if that makes any sense.
its a pretty good dog food that i feel really comfortable giving to my dog.
of course she would prefer i feed her the kibbles and bits that my parents dogs get. but thats like McDonalds every meal. ewwww.
post #3 of 73
my dogs are raw fed (BARF) Your dog may be too old to make the change smoothly. But they love it! We used to have a compost bucket, (to take from the kitchen to the pile) but now we have dogs! I really just feed them what we eat, (mindfully) they love carrots, but they go out the same as they went in tofu and chicken pieces all ground up, bones, veggie tops and such.
post #4 of 73
Don't do Kirkland's! That's like McDonald's every meal! Kibbles and Bits is like, I don't know, toxic waste.

The cheapest good food is usually Canidae. I pay about a buck a pound for it. My 100+ lb growing puppy goes through a 40 lb bag in about a month and a week.
post #5 of 73
i read through the ingredients. there arent preservtives, other than vit e. there isnt any soy, no corn, no by-products. and in a dog food rating (add 1pt for good, minus 5 for bad, etc) it rated 110 out of 100.
its not organic. and its not raw. but its not as bad as mc donalds
post #6 of 73


I've read it too, and I wasn't comfortable with it.

OP, there's a sticky at the top of this forum about dog foods
post #7 of 73
I think Kirkland's is the best you'll get for that price.

OP, you'd need to say what your price range is before I could give a specific recommendation. We feed Solid Gold, but it's spendy.
post #8 of 73
Thread Starter 
I don't necessarily have a price range...just as low as possible, for the time being. I'm a single mama who was laid off, and we're relying on savings now, so I am needing to keep costs down as much as possible until I am working and back on my feet.
post #9 of 73
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul is a decent food for a good price. I feed Premium Edge and that is around 30 for a 35 lb bag.
post #10 of 73
keep in mind that a better dog food will have you feeding less. Check recommended feeding amounts when you are comparing bands.
post #11 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
keep in mind that a better dog food will have you feeding less. Check recommended feeding amounts when you are comparing bands.
Yup. We feed our girl EVO and when I did the math it worked to be only $5-10 a month more when I factored in that I have to feed half the amount vs. the grocery store crap.
post #12 of 73
I'd stay away from Kirklands; the quality of their ingredients is pretty poor.

The cheapest premium kibble I can get here is Canidae All Life Stages; I feed it in conjunction with a very pricey food, but would feed it even if it were more expensive. It's a fantastic food. And I agree w/a PP, you're going to feed much less of a high-quality food, so take that into consideration. A large dog doesn't necessarily need to eat a lot of food every day. Take the activity level into consideration as well as quality of food ingredients. The label on Canidae ALS gives a 1- 1/2 cup daily ration for a 75lb senior dog. Price per 40lb bag is roughly $35, if I remember correctly. That's super cheap for premium kibble. I pay $46 for a 26lb of Wellness CORE kibble, to give you a comparison.
post #13 of 73
OK--here is what I would do if we had NOTHING.

First, is there any meat or chicken you can get for less than $.25/lb? That's the price at which raw becomes cheaper than just about any kibble. If you can find chicken necks, thighs, etc. at that price, get them.

Buy 3 whole chickens a week. Cut the chicken up into quarters--two breast, two thigh/drums, and one back per chicken. You cook and eat everything but the backs; the backs and the giblets go to the dog. That's three days a week that she's getting raw chicken backs + giblets.

If you can swing one other raw meal (a single thigh quarter, for example) a week, feed something like Kirkland (which is Diamond, as is Chicken Soup, as is Premium Edge) the other three days.

Feed the dog every edible scrap and leftover from the table. No cooked bones, no white bread; everything else is fair game.
post #14 of 73
Subbing. I don't want to go raw fed, but I would like my dogs to eat more "real food" and to save money on dog food.
post #15 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
If you can swing one other raw meal (a single thigh quarter, for example) a week, feed something like Kirkland (which is Diamond, as is Chicken Soup, as is Premium Edge) the other three days.
This gives my dogs the farts. I have read that kibble digests slowly and raw food ferments? (don't quote me) point being, pick one and stick to it. Unless you want fart propelled dogs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
Feed the dog every edible scrap and leftover from the table. No cooked bones, no white bread; everything else is fair game.
that: table scraps depending on how you eat. No refined sugars, nothing processed, nothing with any weird herbs or seasonings.

my dogs love when I crush and egg in their food. Shell and all. I didn't do it for a while because I feared for the laying chickens eggs at mom's but they dogs (my dogs) can't manage to get round things open. (apples eggs etc.)

In reality, whatever you would compost a dog can eat. (and more)
post #16 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post
This gives my dogs the farts. I have read that kibble digests slowly and raw food ferments? (don't quote me) point being, pick one and stick to it. Unless you want fart propelled dogs.
Actually, they digest the same way; kibble just takes a lot longer.

I don't have any issue with saying that doing totally raw is a lot better. But this is a mom looking for zero-money solutions, and so I was trying to bring her expenditure on dog food to as close to zero as I could. With raw whole chickens, you're feeding the waste that you'd normally throw out. Mixing with kibble (again, very much not ideal) also helps make up for not spending money on vegetables or organ meat. Since kibble is sprayed with a vitamin pill at the end, it is helpful in this VERY narrow requirement range.
post #17 of 73
totally hear you, I knew there was something about kibble and raw. I think thats where people get the idea that feeding dogs scraps is a no-no. My parents still freak when I feed the minpin chicken wings.
post #18 of 73
I know I'm like a broken record, but I'd just like to add to Joanna's post- no onions. Onions can cause a blood disorder in dogs called Hemolytic Anemia. I have this blood disorder myself (not from onions in humans, mine is from chemical exposure), and it is really not a picnic. It is life threatening, it can be controlled with Prednisone (taking a lot of that is also not a picnic, believe me) but that is not always successful.

So, watch the onions in table scraps
post #19 of 73
I am not sure how it rates but we have been very pleased with California Natural dog food. It was suggested to us by the rescue our greyhounds came from as well as the pet food warehouse where we buy it (they could have suggested some much pricier brands that they carry). We buy a 36 pound bag and it lasts our two greyhounds well over a month (I think). I believe it comes out to about a dollar per pound. Our small female eats three cups a day and our large 90 pound male eats 4 cups a day(of course they are very lazy dogs and are not very active so they do not require a lot). They are healthy as horses, have shiny coats ect. This seems to be a very nice food and it is not too expensive. They have several "flavors", the herring and sweet potato is wonderful for dry skin.
post #20 of 73
I'll second Chicken Soup for Dogs. A mid sized bag costs @ $20 and will last my senior golden mix a month or so.
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