2024 New Requirements on Pet Food Packaging in USA & Canada

At the AAFCO 2023 annual meeting, its member units jointly approved the new labeling guidelines for dog and cat food. New standards have been established for pet food manufacturers and distributors. Feed regulatory professionals in the United States and Canada collaborate with consumers and professionals in the pet food industry to develop strategic guidelines to ensure that pet food labels provide more comprehensive product descriptions.


Austin Therrell, Executive Director of AAFCO, stated, “The feedback we received from consumers and industry consultants throughout the process was an important component of our collaborative improvement. We sought public opinion to learn more about changes in pet food labeling. We increased transparency and provided clearer information in a consumer friendly format. The new packaging and labeling will have clear definitions and be easy to understand. This is good news for all of us, from pet owners, manufacturers, to pets themselves.”


The new pet nutrition table will be more similar to the content on human food packaging, including labeling of dietary fiber and total carbohydrates.

Main changes:

  1. Introduce a new pet nutrition ingredient list, which has been restructured to be more similar to human food labels;
  1. The new standard for declaration of intended use will require brands to indicate the purpose of the product in the lower one-third of the outer packaging, which will help consumers understand how to use the product.
  1. Changes to ingredient descriptions, clarification of the use of consistent terminology, and allowance for the use of parentheses and common or generic names for vitamins, as well as other objectives aimed at making ingredients clearer and easier for consumers to identify.
  1. Processing and storage instructions are not mandatory to be displayed on the packaging, but AAFCO has updated and standardized optional icons to improve consistency.
  1. Sustainable packaging is required for pet food packaging. Such as dog food pouches and cat food pouches, it will need either biodegradable pouches or 100% recyclable pouches. Since the function for biodegradable pouches are not very good to meet the packing demands of pet food; 100% recyclable pet food pouches are the main solution today. It is mostly 100% recyclable mono-material PE pet food pouches.

Even it is retorted pouches, it will also need 100% recyclable retort pet food pouches.

2024 New Requirements on Pet Food Packaging in USA & Canada

AAFCO stated that in order to develop these new labeling regulations, AAFCO collaborates with feed and pet food regulatory professionals, industry members, and consumers to develop, collect feedback, and ultimately determine strategic updates to “ensure that pet food labels provide a more comprehensive product view.”. AAFCO has given pet product manufacturers 6 years of transitional time to fully incorporate labeling and packaging changes into their products.


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