A pet food label is full of information, including a full ingredient list. This is required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Each ingredient:

  • Must be listed in the product ingredient information panel; and
  • Must be listed in order of predominance by weight, using the technical names which includes not only the source of the nutrient, but also can include information about a process, if used, to make the ingredient, e.g., poultry byproduct meal or whole ground corn. Vitamins and minerals are required to be listed by their chemical name, for example, Pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6) and Thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B1).

Each ingredient is listed on a pet food label in descending order based on weight and using the required technical definition. As a result, pet food labels aren’t always consumer-friendly. We believe it’s critical for pet food makers, the FDA and state regulators to help make pet food labels easier for pet lovers to understand. FDA recognizes this as well. We’re developing ideas that will make pet food labels more user-friendly and informative.

Click here to download our infographic that helps explain what’s in a label.