In this guide, we discuss what ‘Made In The USA’ might actually mean when it comes to dog food.
We also list a few of the most popular brands of dog food on the market right now that have some type of claim to the United States, and list what those claims are.
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
Firstly – What Does ‘Made In The USA’ Actually Mean When It Comes To Dog Food?
There’s two parts to this – the technical/regulatory side, and the practical side of what might actually be enforced.
On the technical side, there’s the FTC and AAFCO to consider. AAFCO has no statutory authority to regulate pet products, but US States might generally follow AAFCO models. AAFCO refers to the FTC’s information on ‘Made In The USA’ claims:
- [Made In The USA means that] “all or virtually all means” that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of US origin. That is, the product should contain no – or negligible – foreign content. So just putting together ingredients inside the US is not enough. Additionally, just getting ingredients from a broker within the US is not enough. If ingredients are imported, then it is very difficult to justify the use of the phrase “Made in the USA.”
On the practical side of what happens in reality, topdogtips.com mentions that these guidelines might not be enforced very strictly in the pet food industry, and pet foods using the ‘Made In USA’ label, might be put together in the USA, but have foreign sourced ingredients. It can be hard to to pet food companies to divulge where their ingredients are sourced, and this may not change until the FTC is stricter on these requirements.
We have written about this before – that the pet food could become a more transparent industry overall.
Sourcing Ingredients, & Manufacturing Pet Food
What we see from above is that there’s three main factors to consider:
- Origin of ingredients/ingredient sourcing
- Manufacturing of commercial dog food – in what facility, and where
- Packing of the dog food – where, and how
Different countries have different standards for the quality of ingredients, or the processes and requirements of manufacturing facilities.
A Note On Finding USA Sourced & Manufactured Dog Food As A Consumer
Something we noticed is that it’s very hard and time intensive to search online for dog food products with USA sourced ingredients on the main ecommerce platforms.
This is something that could definitely be improved by online sellers if they want to meet the needs of pet owners looking for 100% sourced and manufactured in the USA pet foods.
At this stage, a consumer essentially has to spend the time reading the label and manufacturer website information to individually read that the ingredients are fully sourced in the US, and also read where the food is manufactured and packed. They may also have to call or contact customer service.
Some brands indicate they source ‘most of their ingredients from the US’, but don’t say what %, or what specific ingredients (it could be the secondary ingredients, and not the main meat ingredients for example). Purina is a current example of this.
Some other brands mention they use ‘high quality ingredients’ and
Do Ingredients Always Have To Come From The USA?
Several sources indicate that there is some concern over ingredients sourced from a country like China.
On the other hand, other sources indicate that ingredients might still be high quality and well regulated and sourced from a country other than the US.
So, it depends on the quality of the ingredients, and how well regulated they are moreso than whether the ingredients comes from the US.
Popular Dog Food Brands Sourced & Made In The USA
One notable dog food brand is TruDog – on their website they mention ‘TruDog products are made from U.S.A. sourced, humanely processed meat’
The topdogtips.com resource listed in the ‘Sources’ section below lists some brands and products sourced, manufactured and packed in the US.
Further Reading On Dog Food
Having a ‘Made in the United States’ claim is only one component of dog food.
There’s many other considerations to take into account.
You should speak to your dog’s vet about the best food for your dog, and what a healthy diet might look like for them.
9. https://www.merrickpetcare.com/our-five-star-promise/ (description of the FDA and safety guidelines met by facilities)
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