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The 10 Best Affordable Puppy Foods

How could one not quickly fall in love with cute, squishy puppies? But puppies and dogs, in general, are expensive to care for, so it's always beneficial to discover ways to save money.

Considering that dog food is one of the major expenses, it might make raising a puppy more doable if you can locate high-quality dog food at an affordable price.

But searching for decent, inexpensive puppy food is time-consuming, so BestForPets (bestforpets.org) reviewed the best affordable puppy foods for you. Hopefully, you'll be able to locate the ideal food for your ideal new dog!


Best All-Around: Purina ONE Natural +Plus Healthy Puppy Formula



  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Size: 8 or 16.5 lbs
  • Type: Dry
  • Fat: 17%
  • Protein: 28%

Purina ONE Natural +Plus Healthy Puppy Formula is the most economical dog food available. It is offered in two sizes and precisely meets the protein and fat requirements of a puppy.

It is formulated for dogs of all sizes, with genuine chicken as the primary component, plus rice and oats to aid with digestion. It contains DHA for brain and eye development and four distinct antioxidant sources for a robust immune system.

There are omega-6 fatty acids for healthy fur and skin, as well as natural glucosamine sources for healthy joints. This is a mixture of crunchy kibble and softer meaty chunks that should appeal to the majority of puppies.

The primary problem of this cuisine is that some bags may include delicate pieces that are not really tender. Sometimes they are stretchy or rigid, which may cause pups to avoid them.


  • Two sizes
  • 28 percent protein and 17 percent fat
  • Chicken is the primary component.
  • Four antioxidant and DHA sources
  • Natural glucosamine sources
  • Combining crunchy kibble with soft morsels


  • Occasionally the sensitive portions are tough and rubbery


Best Value: Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy Dog Food



  • Flavor: Beef
  • Size: 5 or 32 lbs.
  • Type: Dry
  • Fat: 12%
  • Protein: 5%

The most cost-effective puppy food is Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy Dog Food. It provides 100% of the essential nutrients for puppy growth, as well as DHA for brain and eye development.

Mother dog’s milk contains calcium for strong teeth and bones, as well as additional vitamins and minerals. For really young puppies, you have the option of adding water and puppy formula milk to this diet.

However, it contains less-than-ideal materials, such as colors, grains, and by-products. In addition, it is simply dry kibble, and the pieces may be too large for little dogs.


  • Contains one hundred percent vital nutrients, including DHA
  • Calcium for healthy teeth and bones
  • Vitamins and minerals added to the mother dog’s milk
  • Add water and puppy food formula


  • Contains coloring agents, by-products, and grains
  • Kibble may be too large for little dogs


Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural Dog Food by Rachel Ray



  • Chicken with brown rice Flavor
  • Weight: 6 or 14 pounds
  • Type: Dry
  • Fat: 16%
  • Protein: 28%

Our top recommendation is Rachel Ray’s Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural Dog Food. It’s reasonably priced meals with high-quality ingredients.

The primary component is real chicken, and it also contains peas, carrots, and brown rice to promote good digestion.

It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids derived from chicken fat to promote healthy skin and coat, as well as no fillers, by-products, wheat, artificial flavors, or preservatives. It also contains DHA, EPA, and calcium for healthy bones, teeth, brain, and eyes.

The kibble size of this food is a little on the tiny side, therefore it may not be suitable for bigger puppies (the size of the bags might also be too small for big puppies). Additionally, finicky puppies may not enjoy this meal.


  • Inexpensive with premium ingredients
  • Chicken is the primary component
  • Omega-6 and -3 for skin and coat health
  • No wheat, byproducts, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • Consists of calcium, EPA, and DHA


  • The kibble is too little for big dogs
  • Selective dogs might not enjoy it


Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Dog Food for Puppies



  • Flavor: Chicken and salmon
  • Size: 4 lbs.
  • Type: Dry
  • Fat: 15%
  • Protein: 27%

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Puppy Dog Salmon, chicken, sweet potatoes, and apples comprise a healthful lunch for individuals with sensitive stomachs.

It contains DHA for brain development as well as vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to help the immunological and digestive systems. There are no cereals, wheat, maize, soy, by-products, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives present.

The issue with this meal is that some puppies do not enjoy it, and it might cause stomach trouble on occasion.


  • This dish includes chicken, salmon, apples, and sweet potatoes
  • Contains both DHA and probiotics
  • Doesn’t include fillers


  • Some puppies don’t like it
  • Possible stomach upset


Nutro Natural Selection Dog Food



  • Chicken with brown rice Flavor
  • Weight: 5 or 13 pounds
  • Type: Dry
  • Fat: 16%
  • Protein: 28%

Nutro’s Natural Selection The first ingredient in puppy food is chicken, and it contains omega-3 fatty acids and DHA for vision and brain development.

In addition, it contains calcium for healthy bones and teeth and antioxidants to boost the immune system. There are no GMO ingredients, byproducts, soy, wheat, or maize in this product.

However, this food is costly relative to its quantity, and the kibble is on the big side for little puppies.


  • Poultry as the primary component
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids as well as DHA
  • Provides calcium for healthy bones and teeth
  • No fillers
  • Antioxidants are beneficial to the immune system


  • Expensive
  • Kibble is too large for little dogs


The Ultimate Dog Food



  • Chicken dinner and brown rice flavor
  • Size: 5 and 28 lbs.
  • Type: Dry
  • Fat: 20%
  • Protein: 30%

Ultimates Puppy Food contains high quantities of protein and fat, which will provide a growing puppy with ample nutrition. There is extra DHA for brain and eye development, as well as vitamins A and C, which aid in digestion.

Carrots, spinach, blueberries, and apples provide this diet with a natural source of fiber. It is free of by-products, soy, wheat, maize, chemical preservatives, and artificial additives.

Not all puppies will take this meal, and it might cause gastrointestinal trouble in certain cases.


  • Protein and fat content
  • DHA, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants were added
  • Contains an assortment of fruits and vegetables for fiber


  • Not all pups can consume this
  • Possible stomach upset


Chicken Soup for the Soul Food for Puppies



  • Flavor: poultry, waterfowl, and duck
  • Size: 13 oz. x 12 cans.
  • Type: Canned paté
  • Fat: 6%
  • Protein: 9%

The Chicken Soup for the Soul series Puppy Food is a paté including actual chicken as the primary component, along with duck, turkey, salmon, oats, and a variety of fruits and vegetables for a wholesome diet.

There are no maize, wheat, soy, byproducts, artificial colors, preservatives, or tastes present.

Some puppies do not appear to enjoy this food, and some of the cans may come damaged. Remember that this is not soup, but rather a standard paté canned dog food.


  • Chicken is the primary component.
  • Includes oats and a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • No fillers


  • Some puppies don’t like it
  • Occasionally the cans arrive dented


Original Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Dog Food



  • Chicken and healthy grains provide flavor
  • Weight: 7 or 15 pounds
  • Type: Dry
  • Fat: 5%
  • Protein: 29%

The primary component of Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Dog Food is genuine chicken, and it contains 22 nutrients that pups get from their mother’s milk.

This includes omega-3 DHA and antioxidants for cognitive development and a healthy immune system, respectively. In addition, it contains natural fibers and prebiotics for good digestion and sufficient protein to promote the development of those muscles.

Unfortunately, this meal contains by-products, grains, and artificial colors, which may cause gastrointestinal distress in some dogs.


  • Chicken is the primary component
  • Contains 22 minerals present in breast milk
  • Equipped with omega-3 DHA and antioxidants
  • Prebiotics and natural fibers are present


  • Contains fillers and synthetic coloring
  • Possibly feel stomach distress


Nature’s Recipe Dog Chow



  • Having a flavor of lamb and rice
  • Weight: 4 or 12 pounds
  • Type: Dry
  • Fat: 15%
  • Protein: 26%

Nature’s Recipe Real lamb is the first and most important component in Puppy Food, which also contains DHA for eye and brain development.

Oatmeal, rice, and barley provide fiber for good digestion, and extra vitamins and minerals make this meal nutritionally sound. It is free of artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors, as well as wheat, maize, and soy.

Some puppies may not be interested in eating this food, and the kibble size may not be suitable for large breeds.


  • Genuine lamb is the primary component
  • DHA for visual and cognitive development
  • Rice, barley, and oats are natural fiber sources
  • No fillers


  • Picky dogs will not eat it
  • Small kibble might not suit giant pups


The dog food Pedigree Puppy Chopped Ground Dinner



  • Chicken and beef aroma
  • Size: 2 oz. x 12 cans
  • Type: chopped texture in a can
  • Fat: 7%
  • Protein: 9%

The canned dog food Pedigree’s Puppy Chopped Ground Dinner contains ground meat with chicken and beef flavors.

It provides the appropriate proportions of vitamins, minerals, and oils for a balanced diet and healthy skin and coat. Puppies enjoy the flavor and consistency of this meal.

However, it contains fillers such as animal by-products, artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors. In addition, the texture resembles that of a paté, and it is occasionally dry.


  • Canned food with a chopped consistency
  • Healthy oils, vitamins, and minerals for a diet
  • This meal has a texture and flavor that dogs adore


  • Filled with filler
  • The texture resembles paté
  • Generally dry

Buyer's Guide: Choosing the Most Affordable Puppy Food

Check out our buyer’s guide now that you’ve had some time to study the different puppy food options. We discuss a few crucial factors that may influence your choice.

Nutritional Requirements

Puppies require particular nutrients to grow and mature into healthy adult canines. Protein and fat are very vital.

The recommended dietary parameters for pups are between 22 and 32 percent protein and 10 to 25 percent fat. Therefore, while purchasing dog food, you should double-check these amounts.

Cans versus Dry

Typically, dry food is advised for pups since it has an optimal combination of nutrients, including protein and fat. You will see that the majority of dry foods are consistently under the prescribed quantity, whereas canned foods are far below.

You can mix wet and dry food, or add puppy formula or water to kibble to soften it, but any meal is okay as long as it is part of a balanced diet.

Size of the Canine

Always pick the appropriate type of food for your puppy’s breed. Therefore, if you have a toy breed, you will need to feed it food formulated for toy breeds, and if you have a gigantic breed, you will need to feed it food formulated for giant breeds.

Everything about the diet, from the size of the kibble to the contents, should meet the energy needs of each breed.

Changing Food

If you must switch your puppy’s regular diet to something else, make careful to do it gradually. Start by incorporating a tiny quantity of the new food into the old, then gradually add more until the new meal has entirely replaced the old.

If you speed the procedure, you risk giving your dog an upset stomach. All dogs, regardless of age, require this procedure, but because pups have delicate stomachs and digestive systems, they require it more frequently.


Natural Healthy Puppy Formula + Plus by Purina ONE is our recommendation for the finest overall puppy food at a reasonable price. Its main ingredient is real chicken, and the amount of protein and fat in it is just right for puppies.

Puppy Chow’s Tender & Crunchy dog food is affordably priced and provides all of the essential nutrients for puppies, including DHA. Last but not least, Rachel Ray’s Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural Dog Food is our top pick because it is affordable and has high-quality ingredients.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) would like to thank our visitors for visiting our website to learn about and research the best affordable puppy foods.

We hope that our evaluations will assist you in locating an affordable and palatable food for your dog. However, keep in mind that the health of your dog should be your top priority while selecting food for them.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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