The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), an organization of state and federal officials, develops model regulations for the state-level regulation of pet food.

Representatives of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), international and state regulators participate in the various AAFCO committees to develop uniform models for laws, regulations and rules for pet food products as well as feed products for livestock. Each year AAFCO publishes a compilation of the most current model law, model regulations, labeling rules, ingredient definitions and other guidance materials adopted by the organization.

AAFCO maintains “The Business of Pet Food” website to help explain the regulatory requirements enforced on the pet food industry. The organization has adopted definitions for many of the pet food ingredients found in cat and dog food and has developed complex rules for labeling pet food, and these definitions and rules are found in AAFCO publications.

AAFCO maintains nutrient profiles for cat and dog food and has developed procedures to evaluate whether cat and dog food products contain the essential nutrients for healthy pets.

The full AAFCO membership meets twice per year, typically in January and early August. In addition, committees and working groups collaborate throughout the year on various topics.