Best Affordable Dog Food in Australia
It’s easy to understand why our best-rated brands also come with a price tag to match. Like with any product there’s an element of “you get what you pay for”, but for many of us (especially those with multiple big hungry dogs) it would also break the bank.
Hence this page – a guide to the best affordable dog food in Australia.
Note this is not a “best cheap dog food list”, and generally you should avoid anything cheap. It may come back to bite you in a few years as cheap dog foods can easily lead to ill health.
It’s not a conclusive list of affordable dog foods as there are literally hundreds of brands and formulas in Australia. Consider it a starting point of what I consider good all rounders for the money.
Realistically with dry dog food expect to pay around $8 per kilo. Some of the foods on this list are cheaper, but contain less meat and more grain. They’re included as reasonable options for those who can’t afford to pay more.
Unfortunately cheap dog foods are cheap for a reason, and likely formulated for profit rather than the health of your dog. At the very least avoid dog foods containing “cereals”, “cereal by-products”, or “wheat”.
If the dog foods on this list are still not affordable, make sure you read How to Feed a Dog for tips on supplementing your dog’s diet cheaply with fresh meats, offal, raw meaty bones, and other species-appropriate foods.
Affordable dog food recommendations
The following list of affordable dog foods available in Australia are recommendations. They aren’t ordered in a particular way, so not best to worst of in order of price.
There is no reason not to feed a variety of brands unless your dog has a specific health condition or sensitivities. There is also no reason why you shouldn’t mix any of these brands with any on the best rated list, wet foods, barf foods, or fresh foods. Any of the below dry dog foods can make a good base diet.
For all dog food reviews click here.
Healthy Everyday Pets
Healthy Everyday Pets offer the highest protein dog food in Australia. It’s an Australian company started by Michael Ryan, a celeb persona trainer, and his nutritionist wife Zoe who some may know from Good Chef Bad Chef. Given their backgrounds in fitness and nutrition they were shocked to find out how many dog foods were full of cheap grains and carbohydrates, so set out to make a food more appropriate to dogs as meat-eaters.
Healthy Everyday Pets therefore uses protein from meat rather than grains or vegetables (corn is often used to ramp up protein). It’s still somewhat affordable as their profit margins are lower than other brands. In other words, they’re doing the best they can to make a high meat-protein/fat dry food while keeping it within an affordable price range.
The best formula in the range is “Athlete”, which has the most amount of meat and fat, but the cheaper formulas in the range are also a good base diet for your dog.
Read the full Healthy Everyday Pets dog food review.
Canidae All Life Stages (ALS)
You’ll find the Canidae PURE range on our best-rated list as it’s well proven and works really well for dogs with sensitivities, but it’s also very pricy. Thankfully Canidae offer an All Life Stages grain-based formula which comes in a big 20kg bag for a very reasonable price.
Canidae has been around for many years and is sold the world over. They have an excellent track record of reliability and quality, so even though All Life Stages contains more grains than the PURE range it is still an affordable dog food.
Given the size of the 20kg bag this would likely suit owner’s of larger or hungrier dogs (not sure why but I always think of Labradors as a perfect stereotype). For smaller dogs you’ll need to opt for smaller bags as you really don’t want any bag of dog food left open for too long – dog foods spoil like any food unfortunately.
Read the full Canidae All Life Stages dog food review.
Taste of the Wild
Taste of the Wild, like Canidae, is another well-respected brand sold worldwide. They have a premium range known as Taste of the Wild PREY, but their regular formulas are more affordable for most.
The largest (and most affordable per kilo) is the 18.1kg bags. They’re grain-free which is a good thing, so digestibility will likely be better than products formulated excessively from grain. If you’ve heard about the “DCM scare” then don’t be put off as that was never proven, dropped by the FDA, and likely nothing more than anti-marketing from one of the big pet food manufacturers.
In my experience Taste of the Wild dog food has shown to be very reliable over the years, as well as being a great grain-free option for dogs with sensitivities. They also offer a range of novel protein formulas like Bison and Wild Boar, but note the standard range is often inclusive of chicken as well.
Read the full Taste of the Wild dog food review.
One of the most affordable “decent” dog foods in Australia is a brand you’ll find in CostCo – Kirkland Signature (Nature’s Domain).
The reason it’s good is it’s made by the same manufacturer as Taste of the Wild listed above, and the reason it’s affordable is because, well, it’s CostCo.
The cheapest formula per kilo comes in an 18kg bag, which at the time of writing costs around $70. That’s under $4/kilo so one of the cheapest on this page.
The trade off is Kirkland Signature dog foods tend to have a significant amount of grains. Most formulas use a relatively decent grain like brown rice or barley, but for the price it offers a base diet for your dog which you can always add fresh meat, offal, and raw meaty bones to.
Quick-fire feeding tips
To round off this list of affordable dog foods in Australia I’ll also through in some quick fire tips:
Feed a variety
Firstly, I personally see more issues arise with dogs fed a single brand of dog food than I do with those fed a variety. It’s perhaps common sense when you translate it to our diets, and common knowledge that we can easily become intolerant of a food we either don’t have in our diet for a long time, or also if we eat something all the time. This is in stark contrast to what pet food manufacturers tell us, which probably has more to do with them wanting you to feed their product for the life of your dog.
If you want a funny anecdote – when I studied pet nutrition I was taught to never change the brand of food, only the formula. The reason that’s funny is many brands of food, particularly cheaper brands, use the same ingredients yet sell it as multiple formula names. If you don’t believe me, read some ingredients labels – you will often find a meat ingredient combo of (poultry/lamb/beef) marketed as “Chicken”, “Lamb”, and “Beef” recipes.
Don’t be afraid to feed other foods
Kibble is a convenience food. A lot of “science” goes into ensuring all nutrients are catered for to ensure your dog has everything they need, but there’s also a lot of “marketing” – it’s a product after all.
Most of us depend on convenience, especially with our busy lives. Feeding a decent kibble over a poor one will go a long way, but there’s no reason it should be the only food you feed.
Personally I feed kibble, wet, barf, raw, and all manner of fresh foods and scraps which are species appropriate. I feed raw meaty bones for nutrition and dental health. I don’t feed anything to my dog which is unhealthy or unnecessary, especially given fresh meat will be appreciated the most.
There are many social media groups on raw feeding, fresh food feeding, and canine nutrition. I also have a list of great reading material which will really enlighten you! I highly recommend the first book on the list, “Work Wonders”.
Buying food in a bigger bag is usually more cost effective, but keep in mind a dog food will spoil over time due to moisture content. Kibble has a long shelf life, but at times mould can develop from a little bit of moisture in the bag, and that can make your dog sick.
Generally I aim to get through a bag of kibble in a couple of weeks, and for my dog that means buying around 12kg. If I have more free time to prepare food at home, such as meat and offal from the butchers, then I’ll buy an even smaller bag to make sure it’s not open for too many weeks.
Take advantage of deals
There are a number of large pet food retailers in Australia, and almost always they have a deal on one brand or other. Keep an eye out. Most of our reviews have a price comparison “Where to buy” which can point you in the right direction.
Most retailers, and also some mail-order dog foods, offer a repeat delivery discount. You can tailor the delivery to suit you, not have to worry about running out, and save some $ in the process.
Your local independent may also offer a similar service, so if in doubt ask them. In recent years many independents have also started to stock all manner of fresh meats, offal, and bones. A good question to ask is “is it human grade or pet grade meat”, or check customer reviews.
We hope our list of affordable dog foods in Australia has been of use. If you have any other suggestions of affordable dog foods then say so in the comments below! Thanks!