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  1. #1
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    Question Best Bang for the Buck...

    We are currently feeding our puppy Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy. He seems to like it and hasn't had any issues with allergies, gas or digestion.

    But I know there are better formulated dry foods out there - I just can't afford to pay for the "best" available.

    What are the best value dry puppy dog food brands? I need best bang-for-the-buck here.

    I would especially be interested in foods that have better digestive absorption (less poop)

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    Senior Member DaneMama's Avatar
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    When I fed kibble on a budget I fed the Costco Kirkland signature food but now they have a grain free so I would check those out. The less fillers and junk are in the kibble the less waste the dog will produce....cut out all fillers together and the dog produces about 75% less waste but that involves feeding a raw diet.
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    Natalie
    Feeding raw since 2008

    Proper Carnivore Nutrition - Prey Model Raw

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    Senior Member Serendipity's Avatar
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    What's your price limit? Taste of the Wild (Wetlands & High Prairie), Earthborn Primitive Natural, and Victor Grain Free are exceptional for their prices.

    If you need to spend under $1.15/lb, there's Natura Healthwise, Kirkland, Nature's Domain, Pelican Bay, Natural Select, Merrick Whole Earth Farms, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul, Premium Edge, Diamond Naturals, and 4Health.
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    Part of the answer lies in what's easily available in your area to buy. My daughter and her husband are on a tight dog food budget and have been feeding Natura Healthwise (grain inclusive) for a number of years. It's also very caloric so the bag tends to last longer than some other brands. It also has a more simple ingredient list which may be helpful for a puppy. However, it can be somewhat hard to find.

    If you'd like to try grain-free you'll be looking at more money, but there can be lots of benefits. Just remember that not all grain-frees are alike. They can be high in carbohydrates (meaning lower in protein and fat) like Natural Balance Limited Ingredient formulas; or low in carbohydrates like Orijen, EVO, and others with 38+ protein. As said in another post, Taste of the Wild is one of the more affordable grain frees with moderate protein, but I have not tried it.
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    I've found good quality grain free to be a lot more economical because you feed so much less. Orijen Puppy or one of the 4 Acana grain free varieties would be my top kibble choices.

    If you're really broke you could do Nature's Domain... but you'd have to feed more than the two I listed above because it is less high calorically and has more fillers. Why not just get the good stuff and get the most bang for your buck.

    I actually finally went raw at the start of the year because 1. Kibble just wasn't cutting it anymore (I was feeding Acana grain free... rotating the flavors) and 2. Its much cheaper if you do it right. Its just much easier than paying $2-4/lb for decent kibble. I say this as someone who is extremely poor. I don't even have a television. If I can do it... yeah.
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    Hi, you should switch away from supermarket brands like Iams. There the worst bang for the buck. Your basically paying for cheap fillers like corn, wheat, rice, potatoes...... Usually the more expensive the food is, the more meat and less fillers it has. Like already pointed out, this isn't always the case. I understand that the more expensive foods seem ridiculous, but you will feed much less. My dog is 85 lbs. If I fed Iams, I probably would have to feed 5 cups a day. If I fed diamond naturals, I would feed 4 cups. Taste of the wild would be 3.5 cups. Evo or orijen would be 2.5 cups. Also the more expensive foods, have higher quality ingredients. With all that said, switching to a cheap food like kirkland, diamond naturals, 4 health, healthwise, whole earth would be 100% better than Iams. Earthborn holistic and nutrisca are a couple more mid priced foods. I fed most of the kibbles mentioned and there all pretty good;0)
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    Thank for all of your suggestions... keep em coming

    I do have an unopened bag of Iams that I will be exchanging at PetSmart. What is my best bet there? Innova puppy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ES13Raven View Post
    Thank for all of your suggestions... keep em coming

    I do have an unopened bag of Iams that I will be exchanging at PetSmart. What is my best bet there? Innova puppy?

    The best kibble at Petsmart, ingredient-wise, is BLUE Buffalo Wilderness. Are there any independently owned pet supply shops in your area? Or are you willing to order online? You'll find a much wider range of excellent food.

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    Every petfood company has a store locator on there website. You can go to there websites and see what's available locally to you. Like Serendipity said, you can buy online and have it delivered to your door;0)

    Pet Food Online | Dog & Cat Supplies & Products | PetFoodDirect.com

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    Liz
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    When we fed Kibble we fed the Kirkland food, then switched to the grain free Natures Domain which the dogs did very well on andd it was very cost effective. I still recommend it for puppy people who won't feed raw. I have also used Taste of the Wild and Nutrisca is really good also. They are all very cost effective, mid range foods.
    Liz

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