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What "Made in the USA" Means for Dog Food

Adult dog with puppy

We take extra care when planning meals for our families, but what about our dog’s food? From manufacturing and labeling to what certain ingredients are, it’s important to inform yourself about where your dog food is made and what’s in it before picking up your next bag or can of dog food.

The Basics

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates “Made in the USA” claims or labels for all products human and pet related, according to Mindy Bough, the vice president of operations for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and head of the ASPCA’s Pet Nutrition Services. For a product to carry a “Made in the USA” label, it must be made from all or virtually all products from the United States. For pet food, that includes the packaging, ingredients and production of the food, Bough said. If a company uses a “Made in the USA” label but sources products from another country, they must have a disclaimer on the packaging (e.g., “Made in the USA with lamb from New Zealand). For the FTC to investigate a potential concern regarding food labels, a complaint must be filed, Bough, who is also a founding member of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians, said.

Dog Food Labels

Because manufacturers know consumers look for specific ingredients when purchasing dog food — like the words “chicken” or “real beef” — they incorporate these names into their labels. Fortunately, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has specific rules when it comes to the percentages of named ingredients in a product and dog food labels sold in the USA. Not sure where to get this info? Read more on ‘How to Read a Dog Food Label.’

For the complete slideshow on what “Made in the USA” means for pet food, visit petMD!