Buster’s Vision Education Tool

What “Made In America” Means for Animal Products

By Dennis Lubrano, “NO EXCUSES, NO KILL!”
Editor, Meet Gulati

June 7, 2017

pet food made in usa

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Pet Food Made In USA (Read Product & Pet Food Labels)

Over the last few years, many scares have surfaced regarding products and ingredients from foreign countries. These products are sold for animals in the USA, such as pet toys, treats or food. The best alternative is to purchase items only “MADE IN AMERICA”. Bear in mind, “MADE IN AMERICA” signifies manufactured products in the USA, and also the majority of ingredients from suppliers based in the USA. This is a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) industry standard. As a matter of fact, their website states that consumers might not approve of such flexibility.

However, many USA based manufacturers feel fortunate it does exist. For example, USA cannot produce one ingredient, so the manufacturer must secure it overseas. Be as it may, there are regulatory loopholes. That is to say, we can only hope that a manufacturer has the jurisprudence to only settle for the very best ingredient that a country offers, and nothing less.

Made in the USA signifies “all or virtually all” of the manufactured product comes from America.

That is, all significant parts, processing, and labor that go into the product must be of U.S. origin.  Above all, products should not contain any – or should contain only negligible – foreign content.  Accordingly, the FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement and its business guide, complying with the Made in USA standard, spell out the details, with examples of situations when domestic origin claims would be accurate and when they would be inappropriate. Made in the USA signifies the manufactured product comes from a facility located in the USA. In a perfect world, the assembled, sourced, or grown products come from America. Unfortunately, this is not the case, because some ingredients are just not available in the USA.

All pet owners should contact manufacturers and inquire about the actual safety protocols that go into their products. As for the term sourced in the USA, this signifies, whatever it is, the purchase came from a company based in the USA. Remember, USA sourced does not mean USA grown. A company can purchase an ingredient not grown here, yet it can be processed in America, making it “USA sourced”.

Always Read the Labels

If you read “manufactured by” this means they are responsible for the safety and quality of the product and location. If you read “distributed by” or “manufactured for” this means another company manufactured it and not the one selling it. Companies manufacturing in their own facilities can set higher standards for quality, and can better deal with quality control standards.

Often if cost is a factor, then more than likely MADE IN THE USA brands will cost more. This may give many consumers peace of mind. You must consider that the quality control factor is much higher. Remember the saying, “ You get what you pay for ”. Just like money saved on less expensive food and treats might just cost more in veterinarian bills in the future. Real ingredients in food cost more than less expensive byproducts and fillers. As animal caregivers, you must take the initiative of being responsible and accountable for the health and well-being of the animals in your care.

Research products and ask questions before purchasing them.

Be sure to ask questions, and more important, ask the right questions. This is also a big part of deciding what particular brand of food to serve. The assortment and choices are growing daily, not only with brands, with the type of food to serve.

Now we see organic, raw, freeze dried, homemade, store bought, etc. Read the label and research list of ingredients on the package. Association of American Feed Control Officials have their guidelines for what Made in the USA means for animal foods. Nowadays quality ingredients are just as important as the track record of the manufacturer. Consumers are looking for quality brands they can trust. Along with Made in the USA, ingredients such as all-natural and meat being the primary ingredient products, and no grain, the quality seems to be rising. Did you know there are edible grade and pet grade ingredients, not to mention humanely raised meat? Be sure to visit the manufacturer’s website to see any reports on safety in their food processing or recalls.

Fortunately, the demand for animal products MADE IN THE USA is growing.

American made treats are a higher percentage, while toys are a lower percentage. This is why consumers should always look for the “ Made in the USA “ label on the products. It may not be foolproof, yet it is a start. The perfect combination is made and sourced in the USA. For now, we just have to question the integrity of the manufacturers.

Today we have the luxury of being able to find so much research on the internet. Do not stop there, call the manufacturer and ask questions.

In closing, corruption co-exists worldwide. You need to research purchases of products to protect your fur-babies. Resources available for consumers:

  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Consumer Protection Agency
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Your state Attorney General
  • Econsumer.gov (If you purchase was from a foreign retailer.)