Learn More About Pet Food

Industry Regulations

Pet Food Association of Canada (PFAC) member companies are committed to ensuring the health and vigour of family pets. As a result, our members select only the highest quality, nutritious ingredients for pet food.

Pet food sold in Canada is currently subject to the following Canadian and international regulations:

  • The Government of Canada's enhanced animal health safeguards, implemented in July 2007, make it illegal for specified risk materials (SRMs) to be fed to any animal, including dogs and cats. Members of PFAC support this new legislation and have fully complied with it by removing specified risk materials from their pet food.
  • The labelling and advertising of pet food is regulated by the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and the Competition Act, administered by Industry Canada. PFAC members fully comply with these Acts and with the Guidelines for the Advertising and Labelling of Pet Food, which is a voluntary guide developed to ensure consistency and accuracy on pet food labels. The Guidelines also help to ensure that Canadian consumers clearly understand the contents of each package of pet food. They were developed by a working group including Canadian pet food manufacturers and importers, representatives from the Competition Bureau and the Government of Canada, as well as consumers.
  • The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act mandates that the following items be included on pet food labels.
    • Common or generic name: e.g. "Dog Food" or "Cat Food"
    • Net weight: amount of product within the package, measured in metric units
    • The manufacturer's or importer's contact information
  • The Guidelines, an accepted standard in the pet food industry, recommend pet food labels should contain at least the following information in addition to the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act items.
    • List of ingredients: listed in descending order by percentage of weight
    • Feeding instructions
    • Guaranteed analysis: information on the minimum and maximum nutritional quantities. For example, the analysis will include the maximum or minimum percentage of protein, fat, fiber and moisture.
    • Nutritional adequacy or intended life stage for which the food is suitable
  • Ingredients must be listed and identified by their common name. When an ingredient or combination of ingredients makes up 90% or more of the total weight of all ingredients, these ingredients may also form a part of the product name. For example, if the product contains 90% or more beef, it may be called "My Brand Beef Dog Food".