Ingredient Statement Overview

Ingredients must be listed in order of predominance by weight, on an “as formulated” basis. The ingredient that makes up the highest percentage of the total weight as it goes into the product is listed first. Each ingredient must be listed by its appropriate name. There is no allowance to group ingredients smaller than some percentage (like 1% or 2%). There is no allowance in pet foods to use a collective term for replacing individual ingredient names with a group term, like combining wheat, corn and oats into one ingredient name “grain products”.

The ingredients used must be AAFCO officially defined animal feed ingredients, or be common or usual names of feed ingredients, be approved food additives in 21 CFR 573, or be considered GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) animal feed additives. Just because an ingredient is used in human food does not mean that it is acceptable to use in animal feed or pet foods. It is important that if an AAFCO defined name exists, then that is the name that must be used in the ingredient statement.

Some AAFCO defined ingredients and some ingredients listed in the Code of Federal Regulations have restrictions for which animals can consume the ingredient or restrictions on how much of the ingredient can be used. You need to check to be sure that the ingredients that you use are approved for use in animal feeds. Many regulators will immediately reject product registration requests if they find unapproved ingredients in the ingredient list.

Additionally, there is no allowance for dietary supplements for animals. DSHEA does not apply to animals. For animals there are only two categories: food or drug. Be advised that some ingredients used in dietary supplements for humans cannot be used as pet food ingredients.

Federal and state officials can help you to determine if an ingredient is an approved ingredient.

So can’t I use "JUST ANY" ingredient in my product?


Do I need a professional or inspected kitchen to make pet food or pet treats?