Pet Food Standards

001.     The following Standards augment and comprise part of the Conditions to be met by participating Companies in order to qualify for “accreditation” within the Wholesome & Humane Program .  As such, these Standards are developed within the context that Pets are an integral part of one’s family and as such deserve to be treated in not only a humane manner but with respect, including due care and attention being afforded toward the foods that are fed to such Animals, gaining assurance such foods are wholesome and safe for consumption.

002.     Products being sold must clearly indicate, on appropriate labels, the exact contents, clearly stating the origin of each, such as “Meat By-product”, “Chicken By-product”, “Fish By-product” or “Protein”, “Meat Meal”, etc., is considered insufficient identification.  All content must be more clearly stated and defined, indicating exact content, exact sources of protein, carbohydrates and fat contents.



a).        Certain “By-products”, including those stated under “unacceptable” content and other content, to be determined, will not be acceptable under any circumstances.

b).        We need to assess current identification of all “By-products” used in order to render a decision if such is to be acceptable per “Standards”.

i).         Pet Food Manufacturers are expected to submit a list of ingredients currently included on labels under “By-product”, “Meat Meal”, for assessment and approval.

a).        If declined, such content is to cease being used

b).        If approved, the content will either be

i).         included under an approved listing and continue to appear as a “By-product”, with Consumer information readily available at all Retail Stores selling such product

ii).        specified separately on product labels

c).        Labels must indicate if formulation is variable or fixed.

003.     Content is to be listed in decreasing order of percentage of content, with applicable percentage stated beside the product content.

004.     Guaranteed analysis of product content is to be stated on labels, including but not limited to the following identified content, with minimum/maximum percentages stated:

a).        Dog Food Moist (Adult)

i).         Moisture                       83.00%

ii).        Protein                         10.00%

iii).        Fibre                            0.20%

iv).       Ash                              0.90%

v).        Fat                               6.00%

b).        Dog Food Dry (Adult)

i).         not more than

– Crude Fibre   3.00%

– Moisture        10.00%

ii).        not less than

– Crude Protein                        21.50%

– Crude Fat                  13.00%

– Calcium                     0.50%

– Phosphorus               0.40%

– Calcium:Phosphorus ratio 1.1 to 1.5:1

c).        Cat Food Moist (Adult)

– Moisture                    78.00%

– Protein                       10.00% – 11.00%

– Fat                             3.00% –  6.00%

– Crude Fibre              1.00%

– Ash                            3.50%

– Taurine                      0.05%

– Magnesium                0.05%

d).        Cat Food Dry (Adult)   MEDICAL BRANDS

i).         not more than

– Crude Fibre               2.50% – 3.00%                       1.50%

– Moisture                    10.00%                                    10.00%

– Ash                            5.50% – 7.00%                       5.50%

– Magnesium                0.10%                                     0.10%

ii).        not less than

– Crude Protein                        31.00% – 34.00%                    30.00%

– Crude Fat                  18.00% – 21.00%                    20.00%

– Taurine                      0.16%

– Omega-6 Fatty Acids  1.40%

– Omega-3 Fatty Acids  0.28%

– Calcium                                                                     0.70%

– Phosphorus                                                                0.60%

iii).        Low dietary magnesium to reduce urinary pH resulting in improved urinary track health, mandatory in all Moist or Dry Cat Food Products.


a).        Moist Dog Food

i).         Fresh ground lean red beef roast & steak meat, horse meat, lamb

ii).        Fresh Beef Liver

iii).        Fresh Beef Kidney

iv).       Processing Water

v).        Vegetables, such as Carrots, Onions, Corn & Vegetable gums

vi).       Chicken or Turkey Meat

b).        Dry Dog Food

i).         Fresh ground lean red beef roast & steak meat, horse meat, lamb

ii).        Fresh Beef Liver

iii).        Fresh Beef Kidney

iv).       Chicken or Turkey Meat

v).        Vegetables, such as Corn, Vegetable Oils

vi).       Dried Egg Product

vii).       Soybean and Flax seed

c).        Moist Cat Food

i).         Ocean White Fish, Tuna, Salmon

ii).        Chicken or Turkey Meat

iii).        Fresh ground lean meat, liver, kidney

iv).       Processing Water

d).        Dry Cat Food                                                     MEDICAL BRAND

i).         Chicken or Turkey meat                                   Chicken or Turkey meat

ii).        Chicken liver                                                    Chicken liver

iii).        Fish meat (specify type and percentage used)    Herring Oil

iv).       Rice flour                                                          Rice Flour

v).        Corn, dried beat pulp, wheat                             Corn

vi).       Dried egg product                                             Dried Egg Product

vii).       Brewers dried yeast                                          Brewers Dried Yeast

006.     In all cases, Vitamin & Minerals must be identified and weight listed, with all claims of 100% complete and balanced nutrition, well-balanced diet or similar claims, must be supported by documented proof and specific listing of content to support such claims, with appropriate verification seal of an accepted accreditation agency.

007.     In all cases, Product claims, such as “Veterinarian Recommended”, “Promotes Healthy Skin & Coat”, “Maintains Health & Vitality”, “Highly Digestible – Complete Nutrition” and other similar claims, are unacceptable unless it is clearly discernible on labels, the basis of such claims and for example, a recognized “seal”* authorizing and verifying claims, a Veterinarian (s) Name, Veterinary Medical Association Name/SEAL, AAFCO SEAL and a Consumers ability to talk directly to a person to substantiate all claims made to sell a product.

008.     Authorized agencies and approved seals, may, until proven otherwise, continue as at present, such as but not limited to AAFCO, PET FOOD INSTITUTE, PET FOOD ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (NUTRITION ASSURANCE PROGRAM – NAP), VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSN. and others to be determined, providing scientific facts and scientific variability demands are met and satisfied; nutrition value verified; stated standards complied with; proven integrity, impartiality and objectivity of agencies approved to make assurances that Pet Foods are safe.


a).        No preservatives

b).        No sawdust or similar non-food fillers

c).        No artificial color added

d).        No salt

e).        No Dog or Cat remains

f).         No fur, hair, feathers, claws, hoofs, hooves, feet, heads, stomachs, intestines, spinal cords, tails, bones or grease

g).        No diseased, condemned or contaminated Animals or materials

h).        No Zoo, Wild or Exotic Animals, fowl or road kill

i).         No collars, tags, flea collars or other accessory products

j).         No antibiotics, drugs, sodium pentobarbitol, poisons, pathogens, pesticides or heavy metal residues

k).        No “baby” animals or fowl (ie; veal crate produced veal, calves, foals, chicks)

09. Supervised “independent” lab testing must be conducted and “quality and wholesome” results indicated, by authorized seal*, upon each label, per product, to provide scientific assurance no unacceptable ingredients are contained and to support any nutritional values and digestibility claims.

10. Labeling is to follow a uniform form making it easier for Consumers to clearly understand and to compare Brands between Companies; statements must be factual and readily supported, completely truthful without exception; uniform terminology, with each “claim” clearly separated (ie: Guaranteed analysis, content, vitamins, minerals, etc.).

11. BY-PRODUCTS – Definitions derived from AAFCO Dog Food Ingredients are subject to assessment by the Wholesome & Humane program and as such may be included, in part or whole.  It is further recognized certain Pet Food Manufacturers may exceed these specified contents, possibly by including “unacceptable” content, as aforementioned, therefore, while some of these contents are “temporarily” accepted all others are not and subject to accreditation.  Certain content listed below, while apparently acceptable to AAFCO are not to the Wholesome & Humane Program (*) and thus any inclusion if any unacceptable content will render such Pet Food Manufacturer product void:

a)               Animal Digest – material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue, excluding hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers.

b)               Chicken By-Product Meal – consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks (*), feet (*), undeveloped eggs & intestines (*), exclusive of feathers.

c)               Digest of Beef By-Products – material from beef which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed tissue from non-rendered clean parts, other than meat, from cattle which includes but is not limited to lungs, spleen (*), kidneys, brain (*), liver, blood, bone (*), partially defated low-temperature fatty tissue, stomachs (*), and intestines (*), free from fecal content and foreign matter.

d)               Digest of Poultry By-Product – material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue from non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads (*), feet (*), viscera-internal organ such as heart, liver, intestine (*), free from fecal content and foreign matter.

e)               Meat By-Product – the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals, including but not limited to lungs, spleen (*), kidneys, brain (*), liver, blood, bone (*), partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines (*), freed of their contents, excluding hair, horns, teeth and hooves.

f)                Poultry By-Product Meal – consists of ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet (*), undevelpped eggs, intestines (*), exclusive of feathers.

g)               Turkey Meal –  the ground combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone (*), derived from the parts of whole carcasses of turkey or a combination thereof, excluding feathers, heads, feet and entrails

h)               Lamb Meal –  the rendered product from lamb tissue, excluding blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen (large first compartment of the stomach in a ruminant0 contents.



Content Introduction Conditions & Policies Welfare Standards Pet Food Standards

Implementation Consumer Checklist No. 1