9 Most Expensive Dog Foods on The Shelf

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The average bag of dried dog food costs about $2 per pound or about $0.12 per ounce. However, many dogs eat a half a pound or even a pound of dried dog food per day, meaning the cost per month continues going up depending on how big your dog is.

That’s for the average grocery store kibble. For the better stuff, with real meat and veggie ingredients and major name brands behind the mixture, you’ll have to spend a lot more. For those who are willing to spend anything to give their best friend the healthiest (and tastiest) diet possible, here’s our list of the 9 most expensive dog foods that money can buy.

  1. Instinct Frozen Raw Real Beef Recipe
  2. Price: $0.40 per ounce
    Brand: Instinct
    Food type: Frozen
    Instinct Frozen Raw Real Beef Recipe
    photo source: Chewy

    This dog food comes from Instinct, packed in raw patties in a 6-pound bag for $37.99. This means it’s $0.40 per ounce, making it the cheapest of the most expensive dog foods you can buy. Unlike the other food brands on this list, these are packed as raw, all-natural patties made from non-GMO natural beef and other ingredients.

    Each patty is 4 ounces, 85% meat and 15% fruits and veggies. They don’t use fillers like grains or corn, artificial colors, preservatives, or soy. They keep their nutrient content (and taste) preserved with cold-pressure processing.

    Did you know?

    Instinct dog food is known as “the RAW brand.” Their natural ingredients are advertised as having a lot of positive effects on dogs. These effects include better digestion, healthier poops, better skin, shinier coats, increased energy, decreased weight, and fewer food sensitivities.


  3. Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Red Recipe Dry Dog Food
  4. Price: $0.41 per ounce
    Brand: Merrick
    Food type: Dry
    Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Red Recipe Dry Dog Food
    photo source: Chewy

    This freeze-dried dry dog food mix by Merrick is sold in a 4-pound bag for $25.98, which means it costs $0.41 per ounce. This raw-diet food contains freeze-dried kibble and deboned beef. Other meats include lamb and rabbit (there’s no poultry or grains).

    This Merrick dog food is packed with omega fatty acids to help your dog get a shinier coat, healthier skin, and even improved joint and hip function. This is why this Red Recipe dog food is a great choice for older dogs who can use a little boost of healthy muscle growth.

    Did you know?

    Merrick has been making pet food since 1988 under the motto “my pet is the best pet ever.” It was founded by Garth Merrick out of Texas, who based the recipes on the food he used to make for his dog, Gracie.


  5. Regional Red Dry Dog Food
  6. Price: $0.50 per ounce
    Brand: Orijen
    Food type: Dry
    Regional Red Dry Dog Food
    photo source: Pet Flow

    The Regional Red Dry Dog Food by Orijen costs $229.98 for the bag, which comes out to $0.50 per ounce. The food is 85% raw meat, coated with liver.

    The meat mix includes Black Angus beef, Alberta lamb, heritage pork, bison, and wild boar. These are then mixed with fresh vegetables and fruits. Its formula is designed to be low-glycemic for overweight dogs, leaving out unneeded carbs and supporting your dog’s healthy blood sugar levels.

    Did you know?

    Orijen uses a lot of fresh natural ingredients, which make not only the dogs happy but the owners happy as well. This is why the brand won “Best Dog Food Overall” in Business Insider in 2020 and 2021 as well as the Reader’s Choice Award in Pet Age in 2018. They use what are called “WholePrey” ingredients, including organ meats.


  7. Kent 40lb Active Dog Food
  8. Price: $0.62 per ounce
    Brand: Kent
    Food type: Dry
    Kent 40lb Active Dog Food
    photo source: Amazon

    Kent’s Active Dog Food comes in a 40-pound bag for $393.78, which equates to about $0.62 per ounce. This dry food formula is fit for all breed sizes though its specific listed use is for your dog’s immune system function, skin health, and weight management.

    This pet food formula is 27% protein, 18% fat, and the rest is metabolizable filler for energy. It can be fed to adult dogs or puppies at 3-4 weeks of age, so long as you soften the food with water.

    Did you know?

    The reason this dog food is good for skin and immune health is that it contains Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.


  9. JustFoodForDogs Venison & Squash Recipe Fresh Frozen Dog Food
  10. Price: $0.72 per ounce
    Brand: JustFoodForDogs
    Food type: Frozen
    JustFoodForDogs Venison & Squash Recipe Fresh Frozen Dog Food
    photo source: Chewy

    The Venison & Squash Recipe Fresh Frozen Dog Food by JustFoodForDogs is labeled as “human-grade” food, meaning the ingredients are fresh enough to be eaten by people. These ingredients include ground venison, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, cranberries, and butternut squash.

    They give the food its high protein, high vitamin mixture that uses all-natural, non-preserved, non-BHA food shipped in a meal-ready pack. It can be frozen for a year before giving to your pooch.

    The JustFoodForDogs meal comes in an 18-oz pack in a box of 7 for $90.65. This amounts to about $0.72 per ounce.

    Did you know?

    One of the things that sets JustFoodForDogs apart is that its nutritional protocol was formulated by independent university researchers. This group included veterinarians from different disciplines, including nutrition, dermatology, and toxicology.


  11. Nom Nom Personalized Dog Food Meal Plan
  12. Price: $1.00 per ounce
    Brand: Nom Nom
    Food type: Fresh
    Nom Nom Personalized Dog Food Meal Plan
    photo source: Nom Nom Now

    Nom Nom is a dog food service that personalizes its meal plan for every dog. They pack meals so they stay cold and fresh. Since the dog food prices are based on the weight, breed, age, and nutrition requirements of every dog, their prices are widely variable.

    We input some information on an average-sized dog with normal nutrition requirements to get the price of $1.00 per ounce for their beef mash dog food mix. The recipe includes beef, eggs, carrots, potatoes, and peas for a balanced doggie diet.

    Did you know?

    You can further increase the price of your Nom Nom personalized dog food plan with add-ons like a full-spectrum probiotic powder mixed into the mash.


  13. Ziwi Peak New Zealand Venison Recipe
  14. Price: $1.21 per ounce
    Brand: Ziwi Peak
    Food type: Wet
    Ziwi Peak New Zealand Venison Recipe
    photo source: Amazon

    The Ziwi Peak New Zealand Venison Recipe is a brand of wet canned dog food that advertises being 91% made from muscle and organ meats as well as New Zealand green mussels. According to the can, the venison was raised free-range and the other 9% of the contents are filler but not artificial flavors, colors, or grains. Ziwi Peak is advertised as being good for all breeds and ages of dogs.

    New Zealand has a lot of sustainable farms that grass-feed livestock for pet food and other meat products. The game is listed as being free from growth promotants, hormones, and antibiotics. At $199.45, a 12-pack of 13.75 oz. cans of Ziwi Peak venison dog food comes out to $1.21 per ounce.

    Did you know?

    Ziki Peak also sells upscale dry food such as air-dried lamb-based dog food that’s around $50 per pound. They also use dried beef, mackerel, tripe, deer shank, and lamb ears coated in liver for other high-end doggie snacks.


  15. K9 Natural Beef Feast Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  16. Price: $2.39 per ounce
    Brand: K9 Natural
    Food type: Freeze-dried
    K9 Natural Beef Feast Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food
    photo source: Chewy

    K9 Natural is all about improving your dog’s quality of life with their mix of nutritious meats. This beef-sourced raw freeze-dried dog food is an 85% mix of meat, bone, blood, and organs. It is all sourced from free-range New Zealand livestock, free from hormone growth promotants. The rest is made from fresh fruit and vegetables.

    The vitamins and minerals packed into this 1.1-pound bag of food is pretty impressive. According to the label, none of it contains wheat, rice, gluten, corn, or other bulking agents that pads a lot of cheaper dog food. K9 Natural Beef Feast food is $2.39 per ounce, available for $42 in a 1.1-pound bag.

    Did you know?

    The meat that goes into this dried dog food is varied. It includes beef liver, kidney, heart, tripe, blood, eggs, spleen, and more. There’s also broccoli, pears, cabbage, pumpkin, and New Zealand green mussels.


  17. Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Complete
  18. Price: $2.44 per ounce
    Brand: Ultimate Pet Nutrition
    Food type: Freeze-dried
    Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Complete
    photo source: Amazon

    The most expensive dog food is the Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Complete. This pet food by Ultimate Pet Nutrition is a bag of 100% freeze-dried veterinarian formula dog food that contains antioxidants, amino acids, and prebiotics. This means that it’s good for your dog’s diet and even its healthy digestion.

    This pet food is made from American ranch-raised beef and veggies, advertised as having 40 ingredients in every bite. It can be used as the dog’s normal food or as a freeze-dried supplement to mix into their food to add some much-needed nutrients if the cost is an issue.

    In your defense, it’s one of the most expensive pet foods you can buy at $2.44 per ounce.

    Did you know?

    In addition to being the most expensive dog food per ounce, this is also one of the newest pet food brands out there, debuting on Amazon in July 2014.

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