How to Find the Best Dog Food in South Africa

South Africans have a large variety of choices when it comes to buying dry dog food. We have around 22 major pet food brands in the country, and this can be confusing for people who just want to find a good, nutritional, filling meal for their pups.

We gathered together the consensus on which of these brands are leading the industry; which are healthier for your pets; and which ones are worth the cost; then we put all that information into a simple, informative guide below.

dry-dog-food-bowl

How to Pick the Best Dog Food Brands in South Africa

There are certain things that you need to keep in mind when picking out the best food for your dog.

Choosing the wrong food can cause many issues for your pet’s health, from stomach problems to skin problems and even behavioural issues. That’s why researching the right food is vital for any pet owner.

meal-time-puppy

Top 10 Dog Food Brands in South Africa

As with most products that you buy, there are multiple brands competing against each other. Each brand has its own positives, negatives and unique qualities. The trick to finding the perfect one for your dog is to compare your budget with the quality of the food you will be getting, and whether or not the brand caters for your dog’s specific needs.

 

acana-logo

Acana

Acana has designed their foods based on the ancestral diet of your pets. According to them, the gray wolf is the ancestor of all domestic dogs, and so they have used the wolf’s eating habits and nutritional needs to build the perfect recipe for their dog food.

Their foods are said to follow 5 basic Nature Rules; meaning they are rich in protein, include high quantities and an abundant variety of fresh meats, contain the perfect whole prey meat ratio, and limit the use of glycemic carbohydrates.

Their range includes:

  • ACANA Classics
    • Prairie Poultry
    • Wild Coast
  • ACANA Heritage
    • Puppy Small Breed
    • Puppy & Junior
    • Puppy Large Breed
    • Adult Small Breed
    • Adult Dog
    • (Chicken & Greens)
    • Adult Large Breed
    • Sport & Agility
    • Light & Fit
    • Senior Dog
  • ACANA Regionals
    • Wild Prairie
    • Pacifica
  • ACANA Singles
    • Grass-Fed Lamb
    • Free-Run Duck
    • Yorkshire Pork
    • Pacific Pilchard

 

royal-canin-logo

Royal Canin

Not only does Royal Canin produce pet food that is of outstanding quality and fantastic nutritional value, but they also work hard to inform all pet owners of the benefits that a good diet will bring for your pet.

They have a Dog Food Finder, which allows you to enter your dog’s details, like age, breed, weight, etc. and find the perfect food for them. Their dry dog food range includes:

  • X-Small (1 – 4kg)
  • Mini (1 -10 kg)
  • Medium (11 – 25kg)
  • Maxi (26 – 44kg)
  • Giant (> 45kg)
  • Giant (> 45kg)
  • Maxi (26 – 44kg)
  • Medium (11 – 25kg)

 

montego-classic-logo

Montego

A family-owned company, Montego was started in 2000 by Hannes van Jaarsveld, a farmer in Graaff Reinet, South Africa. He and his son now run the factory and produce one of the best-known pet food brands of South Africa.

Montego’s range of foods extends from dry food, to wet food and everything in between. They have thought of everything; sauces to go over pellets, treats for your ‘good boys’ and the best nutritional value in their everyday foods.

montego-karoo

  • Karoo – a premium dog food range full of nutrients and scientifically formulated for your dog (comes in 1.75 kg, 8 kg, and 20 kg bags)
    • Small Breed Puppy
    • Large Breed Puppy
    • Adult Dog
    • Senior Dog

montego-classic-food

  • Montego Classic – a perfectly balanced, highly digestible recipe of delicious dog food (available in 2 kg, 5 kg, 10 kg and 25 kg bags)
    • Small to Medium Breed
    • Large to Giant Breed Puppy
    • Adult Dog
    • Senior Dog

monty-and-me

  • Monty & Me – a more affordable range of the same Montego quality that dogs enjoy (available in 8 kg, 10 kg and 25 kg bags)
    • Essential for Adult dogs
    • Adult Dog
    • Puppy

 

hill-s-pet-nutrition

Hill’s

Divided into three main groups, Hill’s offers pet owners a choice between their Science Diet™, Prescription Diet™ and Ideal Balance™ ranges. The Prescription Diet™ range is obviously for dogs who have medical issues and have been prescribed this food to help them rectify these problems. From weight issues to joint and muscle problems, this food will help keep your pups healthy.

HILLS_PRESCRIPTION_DIET

In the Prescription Diet™ dry and wet food range are:

  • Metabolic Canine Original
  • Digestive/ weight/diabetes management
  • Weight Reduction
  • Joint Care
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Heart Care
  • Liver Care
  • Dental Care
  • Digestive Care
  • Urinary Care
  • Kidney Care
  • Ageing and Alertness Care
  • Derm Defence
  • Hypoallergenic Treats

hills-science-diet

The Science Diet™ range is designed by experienced vets, with the help of science to make a biologically-fitting dog food for your pet according to its size, breed and age.

In the Science Diet™ Range are:

  • Mature Adult 7+ Light Active Longevity™
  • Adult Sensitive Skin – Chicken
  • Adult Oral Care – Chicken
  • Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin – Chicken
  • Adult Performance – Chicken
  • Adult Light
    • Mini, Medium and Large Breed – chicken
  • Adult Advanced Fitness™
    • Mini, Medium and Large Breed – chicken
    • Large Breed – Lamb & Rice
  • Puppy Lamb & Rice
  • Adult Perfect Weight
    • Mini, Medium and Large Breed – chicken
  • Puppy Healthy Development™
    • Mini, Medium and Large Breed – chicken
  • Adult Healthy Mobility
    • Mini, Medium and Large Breed – chicken

 

hills-ideal-balance

The Ideal Balance™ range is made from a perfect balance of natural and nutritious ingredients. This range has a much larger variety of flavours, such as:

  • Large Breed Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult
  • Poached Salmon & Vegetables Recipe
  • Small Breed Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Canine Adult
  • Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Mature Adult
  • Grain Free Natural Chicken & Potato Rice Recipe Adult
  • Soft-Baked Naturals with Duck & Pumpkin Dog Treats
  • Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Canine Adult
  • Puppy Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Puppy Large Breed Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

 

eukanuba-logo

Eukanuba

With a name meaning ‘tops’, Eukanuba is one dog food that is hard to beat. Around since 1969, they have continued to bring to the market an innovative food range that focuses on pet health and growth.

Their core range, known as PAWS, includes:

  • Puppy
    • Small Breed
    • Medium Breed
    • Large Breed
    • Small & Medium Breed Lamb & Rice
  • Adult
    • Small Breed
    • Medium Breed
    • Large Breed
    • Small Breed – Lamb & Rice
    • Medium Breed – Lamb & Rice
    • Large Breed – Lamb & Rice
  • Weight Control
    • Small & Medium Breed
    • Large Breed
  • Senior
    • Small Breed
    • Medium Breed
    • Large Breed
  • Daily Care
    • Sensitive Skin
    • Sensitive Joints
  • Premium Performance Working and Endurance

 

orijen-logo

Orijen

Having won many awards over the years, Orijen is another brand dedicated to feeding pets a diet based on natural ingredients and whole prey animals. Not only do they offer your usual dry pellets, but they also have freeze-dried pellets and freeze-dried treats.

The Orijen dry dog food range includes:

  • Puppy
  • Puppy Large
  • Original
  • Six Fish
  • Regional Red
  • Tundra
  • Fit & Trim
  • Senior

 

fields-and-forest-logo

Field and forest

The Field and Forest brand is a branch of Montego but has its own wonderful variety of flavours and product options.

Some of their favourites include:

  • Field and Forest – a grain-free, highly nutritious combination of wholesome and authentically prepared dog food (comes in 2 kg, 7 kg, and 12 kg bags)
    • Adult
      • Game & Lamb
      • Salmon & Tuna
      • Turkey & Duck
    • Large Breed Puppy
      • Turkey & Duck
    • Small Breed Puppy
      • Turkey & Duck

 

vets-choice-logo

Vet’s Choice

It says it in the name – Vet’s Choice. This is another brilliant brand on offer in South Africa that helps us keep our canine friends in tip-top shape. Their products are full of Omega 3, Omega 6, and plenty of other vitamins and nutrients.

The range consists of:

  • Puppy
  • Large Breed Puppy
  • Premium
  • Superior
  • Large Breed Adult
  • Sensitive
  • Lite
  • Golden Years

 

bobtail-logo

Bobtail

VITARITE® is a special formula created by Bobtail, which is found in all of their dog food. The formula contains 23 different minerals and vitamins, and it has the perfect combination of vegetable derivatives, animal-based protein and cereals. They have both the usual dry foods, as well as meal enhancers like gravy powder and sachets of chunks in gravy, which can be put over the dry food to give your dogs some variety in their meals.

The Bobtail range of dry foods include:

  • 2-in-1 moisty meat
  • 2-in-1 gravy coated
  • 2-in-1 with real veg
  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Lamb

All of these come in Puppy, Adult and Senior.

 

pedigree-logo

Pedigree

Made with no artificial flavours, colours or sugars. Pedigree is made to keep your pets healthy. The dry food is full of fibre, which helps in digestion and the pellets provide abrasion as your dog chews which aid in oral hygiene.

The wonderful range of Pedigree dry products include:

  • Puppy 1 – 12 months (Small to medium breed)
    • 5kg and 3.5kg
      • Available in chicken and rice flavour
    • Puppy 3 – 12 months (Large breed)
      • 5kg and 5.5kg
        • Available in chicken and rice flavour
      • Adult +12 months (Small breed)
        • 75kg and 4kg
          • Available in chicken and beef flavours
        • Adult +12 months (Medium breed)
          • 75kg, 6kg, 15kg and 20kg
            • Available in chicken and beef flavours
          • Adult +18 months (Large breed)
            • 6kg
              • Available in chicken and beef flavours
            • Senior + 6 years (All breed sizes)
              • 75kg and 5.5kg
                • Available in chicken flavour

 

What is the Best Dog Food in South Africa

Best Dry Dog Food South Africa

Based on the brands we have mentioned above, we would have to give our winner’s ribbon to Hill’s. They offer the largest range, catering for both prescription needs as well as average nutrition needs. Their flavours allow dogs to have variety in their diet, and their ingredients are specially chosen to keep dogs healthy and happy.

hills-combined

 

Best Grain-Free Dog Food South Africa

While there are many brands that offer grain-free dog food in South Africa, there is one of the above-mentioned brands that is known for its 0% grain in its dog food. That brand is Acana; with a large range of foods in a variety of flavours, all with absolutely no grain, they come up on top.

Acana-Dog-Food

 

Dog Food Reviews South Africa

List of Dog Food Ratings South Africa

Dog food brands work hard to get high ratings from their consumers, the better their product and customer service is, the more likely they are to be a favourite among South African pet owners.

Dog food is rated on the following:

  • Price
  • Nutritional value
  • Value for money (variety in size of bags available)
  • Customer service from a brand
  • Product availability (available in many shops, online, etc.)
  • Feedback and reviews (people are not likely to buy a brand with a bad name)

dog-judging-ratings

Dog Food South Africa Price

Feeding pets can become expensive, so it’s important to find a dog food that is both healthy for them and affordable for your wallet. Below, are average prices for some of the brands we have mentioned.

Acana

From R864 for 6 kg to R1 829 for 11.4 kg bag

Eukanuba

From R117 for 1 kg to R1 058 for 15 kg bag

Orijen

From R513 for 2 kg to R1 860for 11.4 kg

Montego

From R233 for 10 kg to R717 for 20 kg bag

Royal Canin

From R113 for 800g to R1 185 for 15 kg bag

Hill’s

From R269 for 2 kg to R1 185 for 18 kg bag

Pedigree

From R213 for 3.5 kg to R665 for 15 kg bag

Bobtail

From R139 for 8 kg to R369 for 25 kg bag

Fields & Forest

From R253 for 2 kg to R1 149 for 12 kg

Vet’s Choice

From R186 for 1.8 kg to R1 149 for 20 kg bag

 

Finding the Best Dog Food Online

Online shopping has revolutionised the way we live. No longer do we need to trudge to the nearest shop, make our way through traffic and queues, just to buy something we have run out of. We can now just sit at our laptops, click a button and the products arrive at our door! Pet food is no different. Here are some of the best online shopping sites to buy your dog’s food.

pet-heaven-logo

Pet Heaven

 

patchesandpaws-logo

Patches and Paws

 

dog-food-bought-online

 

There you have it, the ultimate guide to making your next purchase of dog food. Whether it’s for your brand-new addition to the puppy family, or you feel your dog needs a change in diet, you should be set to make the best choice for you and your dog.

If you are still unsure, or your dog has very specific needs, it is a good idea to first visit your vet. They will be able to help you find a dog food that will fit perfectly into your dog’s diet and keep his/her body healthy.

9 Total Score
Most comprehensive article on the topic

This was such an informative post about dog food

PROS
  • Most of the dog food brands are on here
CONS
  • Cant order on this site
User Rating: 3.27 (22 votes)

43 Comments
  1. I am just offering some healthy criticism. Firstly in choosing a dog food there are many factored to take into consideration and perhaps it would be useful for those choosing a dog food to be aware of these. There are other sources that offer up such a list but none of them are South Africa based. Beside ingredient list there are many factors to consider and questions that need to be asked and answered. One such question, who formulates the food? Does the company have a full time qualified veterinary nutritionist What rigorous testing of the product ingredients are carried our proir to the food arriving on our shelves? In addition to this it work be useful to up after this information as there has been much come to light due to the clean label project and the recent increase of Taurine Deficient DCM diagnosis coming out of America and its possible link to grain free diets. There is I am sure you are aware an FDA warning and investigation in this regard. What we need in South Africa is an article that presents all the facts and that is transparent as possible. It would be wonderful if someone would investigate each dog food that is available, visit the factories, research the studies and formulations and then present an open honest look at each dog food, facts free of pretty labels and other marketing nonsense including nonsense buy lines and hollow promises. Our pets deserve to be fed foods that are nutritionally sound and will not only just sustain then but help them reach their full potential.

    • Hi Janine
      Thank you for your very thoughtful comment!
      Your questions are valid and interesting, however, an article such as the one you mention would take quite a while to research and put together, which we are not able to do at this moment. Perhaps sometime in the near future 🙂

  2. It would be better to review the actual quality of the foods rather than just giving the full list of available foods, especially since the article is titled best foods. Foods like pedigree and bobtail are globally thought of as poor options. Field and Forest has bad packaging for it’s price.

  3. What have you based these ratings on? Bobtail along with Hills, you have to be joking. What are the nutritional analyses? Protein sources? contaminants? Please do at least a basic amount of research before making a list that could affect the quality of the lives of animals. Arcana and origen have ben shown in ruputable studies to show massive amounts of mercury and arsenic and are rated only 3 stars out of 5 on most reputable international sites. Bobtail! i wont even bother on this one. This is obviously an advertising ploy and not a reputable comparison.

    • Hi Tim.
      Thanks for taking the time to leave us your opinion.
      These reviews are based on real-life people, feeding their dogs these foods on an everyday basis for years.
      We’re interested in hearing what you feed your dogs though? Perhaps you have found an answer to all our dog food questions 🙂

  4. This article completely ignores the number of excellent brands of non-pellet dog fooods – especially the raw food manufacturers in South Africa. Why feed your dogs a heat extruded dry nugget with dubious ingredients when you could be feeding them real raw dog food – As Nature Intended

  5. We absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write related to here. Again, awesome website!

  6. I have 2 Toypom Puppies. 4 years old They are not very small 11 kg
    I used to give them PEDIGREE – small dogs. 2 months ago they stop eating that. Took them to Vet. not Vet took blood tests..constipation etc..injections.. All OK.
    Dr. recommended to try the following food:
    1. Ultradog ,Superwoof-small to medium… dogs refused to eat that
    2. dr. recommended Ultradog Special Diet … dogs refused to eat that
    Please what can I buy them: (I am moedeloos!!!!): Montego.. Hills…. Royal Canine. or any other brand that is not too expensive.Thank you for trying to help me.

    • RENE CANINE CUISINE MY TOYPOMS ARE THE SAME THEY DONT EAT DOG FOOD LOL

    • Hi Rene.
      Sounds like you have some fussy puppies 🙂 many pet shops sell smaller samples (some will even give them out free). You should try out a few samples of food and see which ones your puppies are happy with. Good Luck!

  7. H there,

    I have a very overweight pitbull. We are currently feedin him omega classic or opti wuff.

    Could you suggest a good diet food that can be purchased in large quantities 20 or 25kg and that is not more then 650 zar

    Thanks so much

    • Hi Iben. The best advice we can give you is to consult your vet, they will know your pitbull’s medical history and can help you with a personalized diet.

  8. The best dog food which is raw food… As Nature Intended is not even mentioned. The writer writes as if dry pellets are the only things you can feed your dog’s.. Please do your research

    • Insisting that raw foods are best is a strange, unsubstantiated assertion to make and simply falls in line with the current paleo/raw foods mania sweeping the masses who deem themselves among the most enlightened of middle-class consumers. (Sounds like a cult, I’d say.)

      How much water does claiming that dogs are best off eating as their ancestors did hold? What was the pre-domesticated wolf’s mortality like, and what exactly is the “natural” approach to feeding a species that is the result of millennia of domestication and selective breeding that has, in some instances, created wholly unnatural features (malocclusions, brachycephalic syndrome, entropion, the list goes on)? Completely ignoring the science, jumping on the bandwagon and adopting a holier-than-thou approach will not hold out in the long term.

    • Hi Janet
      Thanks for your comment – you have a point (we should perhaps specify that this article is for dry food only) we’ll work on that. However, the debate is still out on whether or not raw food is the best (we’ve researched 😉 ) so we’ll keep an eye on that.

  9. Terrible info. There’s no reviews as the site suggests. It’s a marketing scheme.

    • Hey Dhameer
      We’re sad that you weren’t happy with your Compare n Review experience… Although you seem to enjoy visiting us 🙂 we hope we live up to your expectations in the future!

  10. Not very helpful. Everything is recommended and links out to petheaven – marketing ploy

    • Hi Dhameer 🙂
      Pet heaven is honestly a life saver for pet food deliveries – which is why we link out to them! If someone is searching for dog food online then the obvious option is buying it online. However, if you have suggestions on how this article could help you more we’re open to hearing them

  11. I would love to see “Jock Dog Food” compared to these top brands as I certainly believe their products belong here. My dogs have been on it for many years and I could not be happier with their health. The price as well as the quality is certainly tops!

    • Hi Michael! We haven’t actually reviewed that one yet… But you have us intrigued. We’ll be sure to check it out, thanks!

  12. Nice overview of dog foods…but no real ratings. I want to know the top 5 best foods for my dogs. Leave the wallet issues to me.
    Thank you.

    • Hi DeeDee
      Thanks for your comment. As all dogs are quite different, only your vet would be able to give an absolute idea of the best foods. This list hopefully serves to put together the top options – on one page so that you can easily compare them 🙂

  13. Just some info. When purchasing any dog food (kibble) read the ingredients on the bag. Whatever incredient appears 1st, it means that the most of the makeup of the bag is made up of that partiular incredient. Regards Waleed

  14. First of all a huge thanks to Sharing such helpful information here. It is exactly what I was looking for info about pet food. Well described and really interesting post indeed. now, I would like to add some information about a very troublesome disease for pets which is Flea and ticks.
    Hope you found useful. Thanks

    • Hi James

      The best for fleas and ticks, effective for 12 weeks at least, BRAVECTO, I bought at the vet.
      though expensive, very effective,am giving it to our little Jack Russel now for the past 3 years

      Regards..

    • Hi, James Uba

      The best for Flea and ticks, I bought from the Vet, BRAVECTO, It works effective for 12 weeks
      A bit costly though,approx. R300- Our little Yack Russel, being on it for the past 3 years

      Regards.

  15. Really of no help!

  16. Looking to supply dog food in Port Elizabeth. I would be interested in a quality brand not represented here yet, that I could supply online as well as deliver and operate on personal basis. Any ideas of who might be interested in supplying?

  17. Can you include Nutribyte in your writeup.

  18. […] in fact, you don’t have to do it at all! After eating here even your pup wouldn’t touch his dog food ever again. You can also enjoy a central boma that surrounds the pool with your travel buddies, and […]

  19. To James Uba

    Hi james, About your problem: Ticks and Fleas , best option ,from my vet : BRAVECTO, bit expensive but surely worth it ,works for 12 weeks .I am using it for past 3 years

    Regards

  20. Hi i understand icehaven dog food in Durban has been specially formulated for rottweilers by rottweiler breeders and is apparently a exellent large breed dog food which is on par with other known large breed dog foods available in sa, a plus is that it is significantly cheaper than the known large breed dog foods

  21. Nice tips! I have been seeking for things like that for a while currently. Thanks!

  22. Can you tell me anything about Menu dog food it is cheap and I feed my boerboel since puppy stage. Is it a good product

  23. […] Massimo’s takes the cake when it comes to treating it’s furry customers right! They not only offer outdoor seating and water bowls, but have an entire menu full of canine cuisine! […]

  24. Hi there,
    I would like to reiterate some of the comments above, I don’t think it is correct to use a heading that suggests that by reading this article you going to have the necessary information to find the best dog food in SA. It is basically a cut and paste job from the websites of the foods mentioned masquerading as research. As Janine Lancaster explained in her comments there are many other factors that would determine what constitutes the best dog food in SA. If as you say you don’t have the time to do the required research that’s fine but you should consider changing the title to something that reflects that you are rehashing information from the manufacturers and not doing independent research.

  25. Hi

    I don’t know enough about what is the best ingredients in dog food and feel completely lost at the moment. I used to buy Hills for many years, but it has just become to expensive. I went to Petworld and they recommended the Ultra superwoof and special diet range. It am always worried that the sale ladies are just recommending the products the get the best commission on….

    I am worried after I read a lot of bad reviews on Nutro Ultra dog food. Is this the same product? I was also recommended Amigo dog food, but I am worried that it is not available every where.

    Is it then safer to go with a known brand like Pedigree or Montego? I am so confused at the moment and don’t know what advise to trust.

    • Hey Louwrika.
      The safest thing for your pets (and your wallet) is to have a chat with your vet. They should be able to help you find a dog food that gives your dog the nutrition it needs, while still sticking to your price range 🙂 let us know how it goes. Good luck xx

Leave a reply