What USDA Logo/Certification On Dog & Pet Product Labelling Really Means


From time to time, you will see a ‘USDA Organic’ Certification logo, or some type of USDA logo on pet and dog product labelling.

You might have a few questions about the USDA such as what it stands for, who they are, what they do, what the requirements are for a product to have the USDA logo on their labelling, and what the application process is like for obtaining the USDA logo on a label.

We’ve aimed to bring you more information on each of these queries to help you make better informed decisions with your pet and dog product purchases.

We’ve also included links to the relevant parts of the USDA official site if you want more information each query from the official source.

Let’s take a look!


(NOTE: this is a general informational and educational guide only. It is not professional legal, health or any other type of advice. See a vet or qualified expert for professional advice).


What USDA Logo/Certification On Dog & Pet Product Labelling Really Means

What Does USDA Stand For?

USDA stands for United States Department of Agriculture.


Who Is The USDA, and What Do They Do?

The USDA has nearly 100,000 employees in 2017.

Across America, they aim to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.

You can read more about what they do, their vision, where they are located, their history and how they operate here.


What are the USDA Organic Standards When It Comes To Labelling and Making The Product?

The general organic standards are that ‘organic operations must demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and using only approved substances’.

Unless noted otherwise, products labelled organic must meet the following standards:

Be produced without excluded methods (e.g., genetic engineering), ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge

Be produced per the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List)

Be overseen by a USDA National Organic Program authorized certifying agent, following all USDA organic regulations. 


The full page on USDA organic product production (how it’s made) and labelling requirements can be found here.


How Does A Product Receive USDA Labelling?

A company must file an application for their product, which must be ‘verified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent before products can be labeled USDA organic‘.

The certifying agent will also review and approve each of the product labels you put put forward. to ensure compliance


Can A Product Be Labelled Organic Without Being Certified?

Companies can and do do this in reality on their labels, but is it allowed.

From the USDA:

‘Overall, if you make a product and want to claim that it or its ingredients are organic, your final product probably needs to be certified. If you are not certified, you must not make any organic claim on the principal display panel, or use the USDA organic seal anywhere on the package. You may only, on the information panel, identify the certified organic ingredients as organic and the percentage of organic ingredients.’

Some operations are exempt from this though. Refer to the USDA site for more details.


What Does USDA 100% Organic Mean?

Raw or processed agricultural products that show a “100% Organic” logo on the label must meet this criteria:

All ingredients must be certified organic

Any processing aids must be organic

Product labels must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel.


What Does USDA ‘Organic’ Mean?

Raw or processed agricultural products that show an “Organic” logo on the label must meet this criteria:

All agricultural ingredients must be certified organic, except where specified on National List

Non-organic ingredients allowed per National List may be used, up to a combined total of five percent of non-organic content (excluding salt and water)

Product labels must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel.


What Does USDA ‘Made With’ Organic Mean?

Multi-ingredient agricultural products showing “made with” on the label must meet this criteria:

At least 70 percent of the product must be certified organic ingredients (excluding salt and water)

Any remaining agricultural products are not required to be organically produced but must be produced without excluded methods (see page 1)

Non-agricultural products must be specifically allowed on the National List. – Product labels must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel.


Specific Ingredients, Multi Ingredients Products, Alcohol & Textiles

The following have their own requirements:

Multi ingredient products




Read more about these requirements here.


Examples Of Dog Products Carrying the USDA Organic Label/Certification

(*Friendly Disclosure – links to retailers or brands on this page may include affiliate links, and we may receive a commission when you purchase through these links)

Two examples of products carrying the ‘USDA Organic’ Label as of September 2017 are:



Friendly Disclaimers 


TheDailyShep.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc., or its affiliates.

Additionally, TheDailyShep.com participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.


TheDailyShep.com are not veterinarians, or animal professionals/experts. Information provided is for informational purposes only – it is not a substitute for professional or qualified advice.

The information is based on either our own thorough research, and/or own experiences, as a means of free speech.

By consuming this information, you accept that TheDailyShep.com do not have client or patient relationship with you, and TheDailyShep.com are not advising you to act on anything you read.

You should always consult your own veterinarian, animal expert, or health care professional and follow their advice before making decisions on all matters.


You can find our full set of disclaimers and T & C’s in the footer of this site.


Enjoy your reading, and thank you for being here 


' ); } ?>

Leave a Comment