Therapeutic pet food health claims

The AVMA recognizes that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses enforcement discretion in the oversight of certain pet food claims. Even though many of these foods could legally be considered drugs, certain claims are not FDA approved; consequently, efficacy for these products cannot be assured. Therefore:

  • The AVMA encourages the pet food industry to act responsibly by only making health or therapeutic claims that are supported by defensible scientific evidence.
  • Veterinarians should assess relevant product information through principles of evidence-based medicine prior to using or recommending wellness or therapeutic pet foods.
  • In the interest of pet safety, AVMA recommends the FDA require all pet food products with implied or explicit health or drug claims include a prominent statement on the label indicating that these claims have not been evaluated by the FDA as well as appropriate warning and cautionary statements when appropriate.
  • In the interest of pet safety, AVMA recommends the FDA require the product to be made available to the public only by order of a licensed veterinarian within the confines of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
  • The AVMA encourages the public to consult with their veterinarian before purchasing pet foods that are marketed to have specific health and therapeutic benefits.