Pet Foods

Food & Beverages | Pet Foods

FDA regulates the manufacture and sale of pet food, which does not require pre-market approval. However, FDA does require that pet food, like human food, be safe to eat with no harmful food additives or colors and be truthfully labeled.

What is "Pet Food?"

Pet food under FDA jurisdiction includes articles used for food or drink for animals. This includes cat or dog food, treats, or snacks, but also includes products like horse feed.

Pet Food Registration

There are two levels of regulations on pet food registration. First, pet food facilities must register with FDA. Pet food is considered a conventional food under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Any facility that manufactures, processes, packs, or stores food for distribution in the United States must register with FDA. A foreign manufacturer must register and appoint a U.S. Agent for FDA communication purposes. See our facility registration page if your facility needs registration help.

Second, pet food facilities or distributors need to register with each state into which it sells. Most states require that pet food products and/or facilities be registered with the state’s feed control office. Importantly, each state has different document and process requirements and charges different fees. Therefore, it is important to comply with a state’s regulatory requirements before marketing and selling a pet food there.

Pet Food Labeling

Similar to registration, there are two levels of regulations on pet food labeling. FDA established necessary information for the labels of all animal feeds: Statement of Identity; Net Quantity statement; Name and address declaration; and Ingredient List. States have their own labeling requirements. Normally the states’ rules are more specific, requiring guaranteed analysis and a nutritional adequacy statement. Additionally, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has published a set of model rules to create uniformity in the state rules, which most states have adopted as their law.

USDA Permits

USDA requires that importers have a Veterinary Service Permit (“VS Permit”) and/or a Plant Protection and Quarantine Permit (“PPQ Permit”) before receiving products (such as pet foods) containing certain animal- or plant-origin materials, to prevent certain diseases from being introduced into the United States. Failure to obtain the required permit and corresponding foreign veterinary health certifications will cause a delay and possible refusal of the goods at the U.S. Port.

Animal Supplements

Technically, under U.S. law, there are no dietary supplements for animal use. The definition of the term dietary supplement includes only articles ingested "by man." There is an informal process FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine has used in the past for marketing supplements for animals; however, with the reorganization at FDA, much of that has been institutionally lost. Nevertheless, there are regulatory and administrative mechanisms available for marketing supplements for animals. In many cases, the states will regulate the product as pet food and require the registration referenced above.

Need Help?, LLC works with international and domestic companies to assure FDA and USDA compliance with pet food products, facilities and registration. Let us find The Way Through for you and your company. Get Started.