The High Cost Of Cheap Dog Food

Everyone loves to save money.

And cheap dog food is the perfect recipe…for health problems.


Most people consider their dogs to be part of the family. Because we want what’s best for them, we take them to the vet, groomer, keep their teeth cleaned, and get them the best toys.

But when it comes to food, many people think only about what’s cheapest. “It’s just dog food. Besides, my dog will eat anything.” 

Sound familiar?

The problem is, even the best cheap dog food could end up costing you down the road. If the food you’re feeding your dog doesn’t have the right nutrition, you’re looking at an increased risk of cancer, obesitykidney diseasediabetes, and more.

Read on to find out how cheap dog food could put their health at risk (and cost you a pretty penny)!


Cheap Dog Food Is Junk Food

“You are what you eat” is a popular saying and it applies to dogs, too. Cheap dog food is typically made with low-quality ingredients that are basically the canine equivalent of a greasy burger and fries.

Not something you’d want to feed your dog every single day.

So what are these ingredients? Let’s take a closer look.

Meat By-Products: Every dog needs meat, right? True, but not all meat is created equal.

“Meat by-products” are the parts that are leftover after “human food” has been removed. The problem arises with how these by-products are handled. Food for human consumption must be handled in a certain way to keep bacteria at a minimum.

Dog food manufacturing has no such requirements, so who knows what they’re really eating?

Fillers: Take a look at the ingredients list of the cheapest dog food on the shelf. In most cases, “ground corn” is the first or second ingredient.

Fillers like this aren’t added to provide your dog with extra nutrients, but simply to make them feel full in the cheapest way possible. Unfortunately, your dog’s health suffers as a result.

Food Dyes: Food dyes—natural or synthetic—are not added for their nutritional value, but to make food look more appetizing. When was the last time your dog turned his nose up because the food wasn’t colorful enough? Yeah, that’s what we thought. Food dyes are known to be a carcinogen for humans and dogs as well.

Carrageenan: Carrageenan is derived from seaweed and is commonly added to dog (and human) food as a thickening and gelling agent. While it’s natural and plant-based, many scientists are now calling for a ban on the ingredient, as it’s known to cause intestinal inflammation, which can lead to colitis and colon cancer.

Added Vitamins & Minerals: Unlike human food, dog food is held to certain nutritional standards. Dog food must contain a certain amount of nutrients, and the cheapest way to meet this requirement is to add synthetic vitamins and minerals. But these synthetic blends are not as easily absorbed by your dog’s digestive tract and can cause some unpleasant side effects.

Fat: Just like humans, dogs need a certain amount of fat in their diet for optimal health. After all, consuming fat is a natural part of eating meat. But there are two things to watch out for when it comes to fat: the amount and the source. Too much fat and/or the wrong types of fat (such as vegetable oil) are not good for your dogs.


Cheap Dog Food Comes At A Price

Have you ever heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”? You might think you’re getting a great deal on the best cheap dog food, but you’ll end up paying for it one way or another.

The fact is, low-quality, highly processed ingredients have a negative effect on your dog’s health. And as you might already know, bad health is very expensive. Paying for vet visits and prescription medications are hardly worth saving a few dollars on dog food!

Let’s look at the vet costs associated with some of these conditions.

Intestinal Inflammation: Intestinal inflammation can occur as a result of an allergic reaction (or even a poor diet) and lead to vomiting and diarrhea. According to Embrace Pet Insurance, an episode of colitis can run upwards of $200. (Not to mention the cost of cleaning the carpets.)

Diabetes: Living off of “fast food” can lead to diabetes as easily with dogs as it can with humans. If you need to put your dog on insulin, it may set you back up to $200 a month.

Kidney Disease: Highly processed, high-sodium diets make your dog’s kidneys work harder, which can lead to kidney disease. Between the necessary vet visits, treatment plans, and dietary changes, your dog’s kidney ailments could cost roughly $3,000 a month.

Cancer: Nobody wants to think about their beloved pet getting cancer, but it can (and does) happen. When researching veterinary cancer costs, the most conservative estimate is around $3000 for treatment. More aggressive treatment plans can cost upwards of $10,000.

Any one of these conditions (or worse yet, a combination) is enough to put a financial burden on any family. Why not attempt to prevent it first?


“Cheap” Is Not A Compliment

Think about the last thing you called “cheap.” Odds are, it wasn’t a compliment.

When you buy the cheapest dog food available, you can’t be sure what you’re actually getting. Fillers, preservatives, meat from diseased (or euthanized) animals, synthetic vitamins, fat, and toxins are never worth the savings.

Eating cheap food isn’t healthy for you and it isn’t healthy for your dog.

We know you love your dog and want them to live a long and healthy life. Start by taking a serious look with what’s going into their bodies. At Rick’s Dog Deli, your dog’s health is our #1 priority. That’s why we make our 100% USDA-inspected meal formulations in small batches and flash freeze them to lock in the nutrients (and flavor).

With multiple meal options for any breed and health condition, you’re sure to find a recipe that your dog will love!