How Much More Does All Natural Pet Food Cost?

All natural pet food is better for your dog. Avoiding by-products, gluten and chemical preservatives may help reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and other troubling health issues. However, many pet owners worry about the cost. There are low-cost organic and holistic pet foods available that provide an excellent diet without draining your bank account.

Key Ingredients in Natural Pet Food

Learn to read labels when shopping for a quality natural pet food for your dog. You want a food that doesn't list any gluten, corn, soy or wheat. Look for barley or sweet potatoes.

Avoid any by-products because all they are is the scrap left over after an animal is processed for human consumption. By-products include organs humans don't eat (intestines, stomach, pancreas, lungs, etc.) and skin. While they are protein, they're not great quality. Look for deboned poultry, lamb, beef or fish.

Many organic and holistic dog foods add fruits and vegetables. Many of the fruits and vegetables offer beneficial nutrients and can help prevent against disease. For example, cranberries contain compounds that cling to the lining of the bladder walls helping to prevent UTIs.

Price Ranges for Poor Quality Dog Foods

Foods you find in the grocery stores are often low quality. Brands like Dad's, Purina Dog Chow and Alpo are loaded with gluten and poor protein sources. The companies use fillers to cut manufacturing costs. Yet, you still pay $5 to $30 depending on the size of the bag.

Many people think of IAMS and Hills Science Diet as being high quality foods, but the truth is they still add fillers. IAMS uses corn meal, sorghum, chicken by-products and dried beet pulp. Prices range from $10 to $35.

Hills Science Diet is even worse. The top ingredients in their foods usually are corn, wheat and chicken by-products. This is followed by soybean meal, chicken flavor, corn gluten and dried beet pulp. For these low-quality ingredients, you pay $10 to $50 per bag.

Price Ranges for Natural Pet Food

Natural Balance offers limited-ingredient dog foods. The foods include lamb, duck or chicken and either brown rice or sweet potatoes. Prices range from $14 to $45, so it doesn't cost anymore for these foods than for something like Alpo or Purina.

Veterinarians recommend brands like Blue Buffalo. The natural pet food includes deboned chicken, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Prices range from $17 to $50.

Check farm supply stores, such as Tractor Supply Company, for natural pet food. They frequently sell the 4Health brand, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul and Taste of the Wild. The foods all contain high quality ingredients for a reasonable price.

Purchase bags of 4Health for $18 to $40 in a variety of formulas including lamb or chicken. Thirty-five pound bags of Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul cost $40 and include chicken, turkey, barley, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables.

Taste of the Wild comes in three formulas: roasted fowl, smoked salmon or bison and venison. The foods are meant to mimic the diet of a dog living in the wild. Expect to pay $10 to $45 for this popular dog food brand.