Do you know where your best friend’s food come from?

Until 2007 most of us never thought about where our dog or cat’s food came from. We also probably never thought about the source of the individual ingredients. Many of us now look for the “Made in the USA” label, but that’s often not sufficient to guarantee a safe product. Many foods and treats are made in this country from ingredients that originate elsewhere. So just what does “Made in the USA’ mean?

You may have heard of the Country of Origin Law (COOL). In order for a product to carry the “Made in the USA” label all, or virtually all, of the product must be made in the US. The components of the product can be imported from anywhere, assembled in the US, then stamped “Made in the USA.” This is how Chinese chicken tainted with banned antibiotics makes it into those “Made in the USA” chicken jerky treats that keep getting recalled.

What can you do to ensure your pet’s food, treats, toys, beds, food and water bowls, sweaters, etc. are as safe as can be? 

  • Read the entire package, especially the small print. 
  • Contact the manufacturer and ask for country of origin information.
  • You can rely on a trusted source such as your independent pet supply retailer.

In case you think that a food that meets AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) requirements is a safe, high quality food, think again. Remember, AAFCO sets the minimum nutritional requirements of pet food. They are not concerned with the final production quality. In fact, AAFCO has not established definitions for the terms holistic, organic, or natural so interpretation and use of the terms are at the discretion of the manufacturer.

Before any product is carried at Howlistic the product and its manufacturer are thoroughly researched. Determining the country of origin of ingredients, components, and final product is where we start. We also work hard to determine the quality of ingredients, how a manufacturer gives back to the community, and how they conduct business. We look for small, reputable companies that share our holistic mind-body-spirit approach to achieving healthy, happy dogs and cats!