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9 Requirements for Pet Food Labels

November 03, 2016

Unless there’s a pet at home, most shoppers probably don’t pay a whole lot of attention to pet food labels and bags of pet food. Even if they have pets at home they may not notice everything about the product label.

Perhaps shoppers have been buying the same bag of food for years and years because it’s a product their veterinarian recommended to them, or maybe it’s the only type of food their pet will actually eat. Whatever the case, machine applied labels in the pet food industry have requirements and regulations just like human food does.

If you’re new to the pet food industry or if you’re ready to update your pet food product labels, there are some important things to consider before printing your new labels.

Examples of Pet Foods

The pet food industry is a booming business and will only continue to grow in the coming years. New and improved foods and treats are being released and more and more people are willing to take them home to their pets to have them test the products out.

Now that the majority of today’s shoppers want brands to show transparency with their customers, more and more pet food brands are jumping on board and are selling new and improved natural products for pets. After all, shoppers want what’s best for themselves and their families, so why wouldn’t their pets be included in that same category?

Now is the perfect time for brands to branch out into the pet food industry, as long as rules and regulations are followed in accordance with the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM).  Several different items are categorizes as pet food, including treats and snacks, nutritional supplements, fortified waters, edible chews, and food items themselves. This means that each of these products must be regulated by the CVM and machine applied labels should include all pertinent information. 

Rules for Pet Food Labels

Just like human food, pet food labels must include a wide range of information. Before printing your labels, consider the following requirements:

1.    Pet food label requirements vary depending on the state you plan to sell the product in. If you plan to sell the product online, you’re required to follow the rules for every state.

2.    You must include the brand name and the purpose of the product.

3.    Name the species of the animal that the product is intended for.

4.    Include a net quantity statement which tells the customer exactly how much product is in the package. You may list this information as net volume or net weight.

5.    Add a guaranteed analysis which lists the percentage of each vitamin or nutrient in the food product. The minimum percentage of crude fat and crude protein are required, as well as the maximum amount of crude moisture and crude fiber.

6.    Most importantly, an ingredient statement must be included. The ingredients should be listed in order of predominance by weight, on an as-formulated basis.

7.    A nutritional adequacy statement is another important requirement. This statement should explain which life stage (or stages) the product is suitable for, including growth, reproduction, or adult maintenance.

8.    Foods labeled as “complete and balanced” should include feeding directions and frequency.

9.    The manufacturer's name and address must also be included.

When you have all of the required information sorted out and are ready to purchase sheet labels, rolled labels, machine applied labels, or cut-to-size labels, SheetLabels.com can help. Pet food labels are just one of our many specialties—contact us today to learn more!

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