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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

For Industry

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You have a developed a dog food or treat and want to manufacture and market it. Are there rules or requirements you should know about?

There are Federal and State rules governing the manufacture and sale of pet food products. Information can be found on the CVM web site. This information applies whether you want to produce pet treats, gravies or other pet food items, and the information applies whether you are manufacturing the products in your house or in a commercial operation. The information applies to all pet food products sold in the United States. Here’s an overview of information available about the Federal and State rules.

The FDA’s regulation of pet food is similar to that for other animal feeds. There is no requirement that pet food products have premarket approval by the FDA. However, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that pet foods, like human foods, be pure and wholesome, safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.

The best source of information about State rules is the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). To promote uniform labeling requirements across all States and territories of the United States, AAFCO has developed a set of “Model Regulations for Pet Food and Specialty Pet Food” that are contained in AAFCO’s Official Publication. Since the AAFCO “Model Regulations” were developed consistent with Federal requirements, they are a useful resource for information on the regulation of pet food.

If you are considering starting a pet food, pet treat, or other animal feed business, either in your house or in a commercial establishment, visit the Pet Food page on CVM’s Website and get a copy of AAFCO’s Official Publication. The AAFCO publication is available either through a local library or by purchasing a copy from the AAFCO. Information on how to order the Official Publication is available at www.aafco.org in the “Please Select” drop-down menu, by writing to AAFCO at P. O. Box 478, Oxford, Ind., 47971, or by faxing your request to 765-385-1032. The Official Publication is updated and published annually.

Related Resources

How FDA Regulates Veterinary Medical Devices

Pet Treat Manufacture

New Animal Drug Application process

Generic Animal Approval process

Animal Drugs @ FDA (CVM's database of approved animal drugs)

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