I compared six supermarket dog foods to find the best – and one looked like pie filling – Bethan Shufflebotham

As with everything at the moment, from the weekly shop to energy bills, pet owners might have noticed a rise in some pet care costs too, like insurance and food. My two rescue dogs, Phoebe and Frank, can get through a lot of food.

Between them, they munch through a 12kg bag of high-quality kibble a month, costing around £65. Good quality dog ​​food – is firstly, pretty hard to come by, but also, is quite expensive, too.

We often stretch our dogs’ dinners with a bit of wet meat to trim costs and make our bag of kibble go further, seeing as our usual bag of Canagan chicken has just gone up by around £5 a sack. Personally, I’m pretty fussy on what we feed my two Staffordshire bull terrier crosses, but there’s nothing wrong with a cheat day now and again, much like how a tin of cheap dog food once in a while won’t kill them.

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Phoebe and Frank waiting impatiently for Morrisons dog food

Not only that but, regardless of anyone’s opinions on the pet food industry, and preferences on what they feed their pets – being fed at all is better than starving. And with the cost of living crisis, it’s only sensible to look at some of the cheapest options on the market to make sure your pooch has a meal in their bowl at the end of the day.

But, if you’re curious as to how nutritious your chosen pet food is, you can search it on All About Dog Food for a percentage rating. I visited M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Asda and Morrisons to find the best value dog food for those needing to save a few pence here and there – and found some options I wouldn’t mind feeding my own now and again, too.

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One of them however, didn’t smell great, and another looked like cat food! Here’s what I found:

Price and size

Usually, we feed Phoebe and Frank a 395g tray of Forthglade turkey wet meat with their evening meals, which usually lasts four days and keeps very well in the fridge. So we compared the rest of the supermarket offerings to this one, which usually costs £1.40 – or 17p per day, per dog.

M&S offered the smallest tray at 150g for 45p, which lasted Phoebe and Frank just one meal each. It was perhaps a little more meat than we’d usually feed, but it wouldn’t have been worth leaving the rest in the tray for the next day otherwise.

Frank with his Aldi dog food
Frank with his Aldi dog food

All of the other supermarkets sold 300g trays, which lasted two days each, but in terms of price, Aldi came in at 49p, with Tesco, Asda and Morrisons all charging 60p. The most expensive tray came from Sainsburys, at 65p.

But, even at 65p, over two days, the price per bowl was 16p, so slightly cheaper than our usual Forthglade. In comparison, it would cost 12p a day to top our dogs’ meals with Aldi’s food.

Appearance and texture

You’d think dog food is dog food, right? Even I thought all of these supermarket dog meats would look like the same processed slop in a tin, but I was wrong. In fact, some of them looked as though you could spread them on toast and pass them off as pate. Not that I’d recommend doing so.

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Four of the dog foods were very pate-like, including M&S, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons, though M&S’s was the only one which appeared to have any visible vegetables, with some easily identifiable carrots. Sainsbury’s was very firm but spread well, and Morrisons’ was also quite mashable.

Meanwhile, Tesco’s dog food was more like cat food, with chunks of beef in gravy, not too dissimilar to a pie filling, actually. On the other hand, Aldi’s food was more like a mousse or a puree, quite loose in consistency but made for easy washing up after mealtimes.

Tesco's dog food looked like a beef pie filling
Tesco’s dog food looked like a beef pie filling

Asda’s was the only dog ​​food to have an unpleasant smell, which really did make me turn my nose up – but the rest were nothing short of what you’d expect for pet food.

Taste and verdict

I left the eating up to the experts: seven-year-old fussy Phoebe, and four-year-old drooling champion Frank. Every single bowl was licked clean in minutes, so it’s safe to say none of them were unpalatable.

So really, choosing a winner comes down to the owner – based on cost and how happy I would be to swap out our usual food for a cheaper tray. Personally, If I was going to make a choice to cut costs with a supermarket dog food, I think I’d lean towards Sainsbury’s, however as I’d only technically be saving around 1p a day, I think I’ll stick to Forthglade .

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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