After meeting with pet lovers, reporters, influencers and other pet advocates, PFI has put together an overview of some of the common questions individuals have about pet food and nutrition. Please see below and let us know if you have a question you would like added to this page.
An ingredient cannot be used in pet food until it has been accepted by the FDA and/or adopted by the Association of American Feed Officials (AAFCO), the organization of state regulatory officials that develops model regulations for pet food and animal feed that can be included in state law. To learn about pet food regulations, click here.
In addition to the pet food makers themselves, ingredient suppliers must report any recall of their product to the FDA’s Reportable Food Registry so that information can be shared with customers. The RFR provides an added measure of security for pet food makers and, more important, for you and your pet.
Washing pet food storage containers between each bag of food is a helpful way to remember to check for damage and insect activity. When possible, store dry food in the original bag and within a plastic or metal bin with a lid. Wet or fresh food can be covered and stored in the refrigerator according to label guidelines.
Shoppers have an array of options when considering food for their dog or cat. When selecting food for your pet, look for the nutritional adequacy statement, indicated life stage and the guaranteed analysis to ensure your pet is getting the nutrition he or she needs. The nutritional adequacy statement will indicate that the food is complete and balanced for a particular life stage, such as growth, reproduction, adult maintenance or a combination of these. If the food does not meet the complete and balanced requirements, it is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. Ensure that you follow the feeding directions indicated on the package and that the food you select is appropriate for your pet’s life stage.
Finally, the guaranteed analysis (GA) indicates to regulators reviewing each label that the product complies with nutrient requirements and voluntary label claims. The GA also ensures you, the pet owner, can find the levels of, at a minimum, four key nutrients in your pet’s food: protein, fat, fiber and moisture.