Balancing the household pet budget

More and more people are starting to feel the financial pinch. With continuously rising costs, it can be difficult to sustain the quality lifestyle that our pets are used to. But that doesn’t mean we have to skimp on the quality of our pets’ nutrition. Dr Elizna Boag, veterinarian at Montego Pet Nutrition, answers a few questions about pet food on a budget.


How can pet owners buy the best quality pet food on a small budget?

When looking for the best quality pet food on a small budget in South Africa, consider exploring pet food brands that are voluntary members of the Pet Food Industry (PFI) Association of South Africa. These brands commit to upholding high food safety and nutritional standards to provide high-quality pet food. A list of the members is available on the PFI website:

Secondly, always look for a ‘V-number’ on the back of the pack of a pet food product. In South Africa, pet food must be registered before production, according to Act 36 of 1947 under the Department of Agriculture (DALLRD). The act outlines the composition of pet food and verifies all manufacturer claims, ensuring the food delivers what is promised. Consequently, the inclusion of the v-number on the label signifies that the pet food has undergone evaluation and registration, adhering to the minimum standards set by Act 36 of 1947.

In terms of nutrition, the ‘best’ diet for your pets highly depends on their individual needs and requirements and is crucial for their long-term health and wellbeing. Understanding and providing food for their specific needs, such as feeding the appropriate diet for their life stage, can be cost saving as it prevents serious health issues in the long run.

Seeking guidance from a veterinarian is important, as they can offer valuable insight and advice to ensure your pet’s dietary requirements are met and their overall health is prioritised.

By choosing to feed your pet PFI member brands that offer registered products and by considering your pet’s individual nutritional needs, you can be confident that you are providing them with the absolute best within your budget.


Is buying pet food in bulk always better?

Buying in bulk can be cost effective, but careful consideration must be given to storage; otherwise, the food can spoil, effectively leading to higher costs.

Pet food must be stored in a cool, dry environment, protected from moisture and heat. Do not empty out the bag – rather place the whole bag inside a tightly sealable bin if stored that way. Bins must be cleaned and dried thoroughly between bags of food if they are used for storage.


How can pet owners make the food last for longer periods?

Following the feeding guidelines on the back of the pack is best practice. Overfeeding can lead to faster consumption and food wastage. Pet owners often give more than is indicated on the pack, but by feeding your pet based on their optimum adult weight, costs can be minimised.


How are two portions a day better than one single portion a day? 

Feeding pets two to three portions per day has a few advantages. Smaller portions support the digestion and metabolism of the animal, which helps prevent gastrointestinal discomfort and conditions such as gastric torsion.


Would you like to read the rest of this interesting article? Get the November/December 2023 edition of Animaltalk magazine from retailers today or order a printed or digital version from



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