Source: IOL (Extract)
Posted: February 3, 2024

South Africa is one of the least expensive countries in which to feed a dog, according to online lender CashnetUSA.

In a study, the online lender found a year’s supply costs just $267.81 (about R5000) as dogs are popular in South Africa. Cashnet said over a third of adults in the country own a dog.

In its report, CasnetUSA said for each country in its analysis, it found the price of the cheapest dry dog food from local supermarkets or where local supermarkets didn’t offer that information, the price offered by an international supermarket that would deliver to that country.

“Using guidelines from PetMD, we then calculated the equivalent annual cost of feeding a medium-sized (40 lbs) dog 540 grams of dry food each day. To find out how affordable feeding a dog is in each country, we compared a country’s yearly dog food cost to its national net income per capita,” it said.

The group surveyed 97 countries. The report said in times gone by, pets were usually fed with scraps from the dinner table, with only the rich upper classes capable of preparing dedicated meals for their furry friends.

“Nowadays, however, research has shown that over 40% of owners prioritize giving their pets healthy food over themselves, reflected in the wide range of delicious and nutritious kibble on store shelves the world over.

“You don’t even have to go out to get dog food, with a host of services offering to deliver meals tailored to your dog’s specific requirements straight to your door, making for a global market worth a staggering $1.8 billion. But just how much does feeding one dog cost in real terms? And where in the world is it the most and least expensive to buy food for man’s best friend?” it said.

According to the report, Japan is the most expensive country in the world in which to feed a dog overall; the average annual cost of dog food is a staggering $2,056.88.

“Here, pet ownership is actually on the decline, attributable to a variety of factors, including regulations that affect breeders, an ageing population that the government discourages from homing dogs, and unsuitable home environments. Likely not helping matters is that 2022 saw a sizeable increase in the cost of pet food,” the report revealed.

Botswana is the least expensive country in which to feed a dog (a year’s supply of food costs just $163.59).

“Perhaps the cheap price is down to less-than-ideal ingredients; according to one local entrepreneur: Most retail brands in Botswana and around Africa use basic formulae often resulting in dogs suffering from inflamed skin, and increased scratching caused by [an] imbalance in levels of Omega 3 and 6 along with insufficient levels of essential fatty acids like DHA and FPA,” it said.

Egypt ranks as the most expensive by far in Africa, a country where a year’s supply of dog food will set you back $1,009.81 on average, the report found.

The report listed four healthy additions you can make to your dog’s diet that won’t break the bank.

According to the report, carrots are a fantastic treat for dogs as they’re packed with fiber and beta-carotene.

“Chewing on them is also great for your dog’s dental health. Make sure to cut them up into small, bite-sized pieces so your furry friend has no issues with swallowing them,” it said.

Blueberries, in moderation, are a healthy and low-calorie addition to a dog’s diet.

The report said fish oil is an ideal supplement for dogs because it contains essential omega-3 fatty acids that dogs (like humans) can’t produce on their own. The immunity-boosting benefits of fish oil include improved heart health, healthier skin, and allergy relief.

Green beans, with no added salt or spices, are a healthy treat for dogs as they’re full of vitamins and minerals. It doesn’t matter if they’re cooked or raw; they just need to be plain (remember that canned beans can contain a lot of salt) and cut up into easy bite-sized chunks, it said.