Introducing the New Model Pet Food and Specialty Pet Food Regulations

In 2015, AAFCO began the Pet Food Label Modernization (PFLM) project to modernize and update the model regulations that set the requirements for pet food labeling. The goal is to provide consumers and regulators with labeling information that is transparent, easy to understand, and in a format more familiar to consumers. This has been a meticulous process where AAFCO has conducted multiple rounds of consumer research, formed numerous workgroups that consisted of both regulators and pet food industry advisors, and solicited open feedback during a public comment period.

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Major Label Changes

More closely resembles human-food labeling and includes a nutritional adequacy statement.

Required on front display panel to help easily identify the intended life stage and purpose.

Clarifies the use of parentheticals and common or usual names for vitamins.

Updated and standardized with optional icons for more consistency.

What’s Next?

Each state has its own rulemaking process that outlines how these regulations may be adopted within the borders of that state. During this process, AAFCO recommends a transition period of six years for manufacturers to fully incorporate the label and packaging changes to their products. Pet owners will see some changes before then, but all packaging should be consistent by the end of the six-year period.

AAFCO will be providing additional resources, regulator and manufacturer training materials, and information for pet owners through the remainder of 2023 as the new label and packaging requirements are being implemented. 

PFLM Resources