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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Ask CVM - August and September 2006

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter 2006 Volume XVII, No IV

Q: Does CVM have specific information about dog products for specific breeds of dogs? Also, if my pet is allergic to brewer’s yeast, would an ingredient referred to as “yeast culture” yield the same allergic reaction?

A: CVM regulates the manufacture and distribution of food additives and drugs that will be given to animals. As a regulatory agency, FDA cannot recommend any one pet product over another. Specific questions should be presented to a veterinarian who knows the pet’s specific health and nutritional needs. Information is also available on CVM’s Pet Food Page (http://www.fda.gov/cvm/petfoods.htm) and CVM’s Information for Consumers fliers posted on http://www.fda.gov/cvm/consumer.html.

Q: We are an overseas firm seeking to market a pet enzyme product in the United States and need to obtain an FDA certificate. What do we need to do?

A: In order to receive permission to import this product into the United States, you will need to send a letter describing your product and include copies of all labels and other promotional materials so that CVM can determine the regulatory status of your product (whether it is a food or a drug). Do not send a sample of the product. Send your letter to:

Division of Compliance (HFV-230)
Center for Veterinary Medicine/FDA
7519 Standish Place
Rockville, MD 20855

Q: I want to export to Japan a pet food product made by a U.S. firm and need to know the meat grading system used by FDA to ensure quality.

A: All meat grading is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA/AMS). You should contact them directly for additional information on meat grading (see http://www.ams.usda.gov/). CVM would also recommend that you contact the manufacturer and ask for documentation of the grade of the product being used.

Q: We are starting a pet food home delivery business and are also experimenting with making homemade dog biscuits and marketing them as dog treats. What needs to be on the package label? Also, can you recommend a good food manufacturer for private labeling?

A: CVM has information on its home-page that should answer many of your questions—http://www.fda.gov/cvm/petfoods.htm. You also may be interested in looking at the Web sites of the American Feed Control Officials at www.aafco.org and the Pet Food Institute at www.petfoodinstitute.org. As a regulatory agency, FDA cannot recommend a manufacturing company for you.

Q: Are there Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) for dogs, particularly for sodium?

A: There are no RDAs yet for dogs. There will be an equivalent if/when the “new” Nutrient Requirements for Dogs and Cats publishes. The minimum daily sodium (Na) requirement for dogs is rather low and not particularly challenging to meet. The 1985 National Research Council Nutrient Requirements of Dogs listed the minimum requirement as 11 milligrams (mg) Na per kg body weight for adult maintenance in a 10 kg dog eating 742 kcal or -metabolizable energy (ME) per day and 30 mg Na per kg body weight for growth in a 3 kg Beagle puppy eating 600 kcal ME per day. For growth, this translates into about 0.15 grams (not milligrams) per 1000 kcal ME or about 0.09% Na on a dry matter basis. AAFCO’s Dog Food Nutrient Profiles, which might be viewed as somewhat representative of an RDA, list a recommended Na-content of 0.2% on a dry matter basis for both growth and adult maintenance, and 0.86 grams per 1,000 kcal ME for growth and 0.17 grams per 1000 kcal ME for adult maintenance.

If you would like to know about all of the vitamins and minerals, you should purchase an AAFCO Official Publication from AAFCO (located at the following url: http://www.aafco.org/OrderAAFCOPublications/tabid/75/Default.aspx) and/or a Nutrient Requirements of Dogs publication from the National Academy Press (located at the following url: http://www.nap.edu/bookstore.html).