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What pet food companies are a member of PFAC?

Food is fuel, and pet parents are always looking for the healthiest food to feed their pets. Most of us would love to make our dog’s food at home so that we can build a nutritious meal four our pups with ingredients that we know and trust. Unfortunately for most pet owners, home cooked meals are not feasible due to cost, time and insufficient knowledge surrounding canine nutrition. As a result, the majority of dog owners purchase their dog’s food from a commercial manufacturer. 

But how do pet parents know which pet food companies are trustworthy? With all of the recalls that occur in the pet food space, it is understandable that pet owners are wary of big pet food companies. Afterall, you’re putting a great amount of trust in a product that you have no idea where the ingredients are coming from or if they are balanced correctly for the nutritional needs of your dog. This is where independent organizations, like PFAC, can help improve the transparency of what is in your dog’s food and also set guidelines and standards for pet food companies to uphold.

Man wearing blue collared shirt looking at ingredients on bag in pet aisles

How is pet food regulated in Canada

The unfortunate truth is that unlike human food, pet food is very poorly regulated in Canada. Standards for pet food in Canada are almost non-existent and put us way behind American and European pet food manufacturing. When recalls occur with human grade food, there is a national recall issued and the government is quick to notify consumers of the health risks. However, no such standards exist for pet food and if there is a health and safety concern associated with a specific product, it is up to the manufacturer to notify the public.

This is not to say that Canadian pet food companies are running rampant and ignoring food safety standards. Most Canadian pet food manufacturers follow US guidelines and food safety practices to ensure that their food is safe and healthy. The majority of pet food companies follow  guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO), a voluntary membership association of local, state and federal agencies that establishes the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods. For pet food manufacturers that produce and/or distribute their products in Canada, they can also become members of the Pet Food Association of Canada (PFAC).

What is PFAC?

According to its founders, “PFAC is the national voice of the pet food industry in Canada”. The association provides members with regulatory support, government relations, exporting and market access support and other services, in addition to setting standards that members must follow. Members of PFAC are any pet food manufacturers that supply pet food within Canada and companies who supply the pet food industry with ingredients, products and services.

To become a member, pet food manufacturers must follow certain guidelines and standards including:

  • Following AAFCO nutritional guidelines to ensure a complete and balanced diet of appropriate nutrition for both cats and dogs..
  • Following a recognized food safety program, such as a Global Food Safety Initiative scheme, a HACCP based program, or similar.
  • A company must also have been in business for at least one year.
PFAC logo

What is the difference between PFAC and AAFCO?

PFAC and AAFCO share a lot of similarities. Both are independent organizations, dedicated to setting standards for health and nutrition safety in the pet food industry in North America. PFAC can almost be considered like the younger sibling of AAFCO. AAFCO set the bar for nutrition standards for pets and PFAC has adapted a lot of their regulations from them.

It is important to note that while AAFCO sets the standard for the nutritional needs of pets, it is the pet food manufacturer's responsibility to correctly formulate and label their food. AAFCO does not create laws or regulate compliance. 

Most commercial dog foods are formulated to meet AAFCO standards. Look on the label for a statement saying “[Pet Food Name] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles”. This means that your dog’s food is completely balanced for their life stage needs. This includes not only macronutrients like protein and fat but also micronutrients like amino acids, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals that dogs need for growth. Check out the full list of AAFCO nutrientrients required by dogs and cats.

 AAFCO also sets standards for labeling of pet food so you know that you’re always getting the truth when you read your dog’s pet food label. Since PFAC members are required to follow the same AAFCO guidelines, you can rest assured that your dog’s food is made by a company that values transparency as well as the health and safety of your pet.

Human hand feeding corgi kibble next to cat

What pet food companies are a member of PFAC?

There are a number of Canadian and international pet food companies that are members of PFAC. Check out the list below and see if the manufacturer of your dog’s food is a member!

  • AITCHL Ltd.
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Canadian Jerky Company Ltd.
  • Canidae Pet Foods
  • Champion Petfoods
  • The Crump Group Inc.
  • Elmira Pet Products
  • Freshpet
  • Guiltant Inc.
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition Canada Inc.
  • Kabo
  • Lincoln Biotech (Boreal)
  • MPF Pet Foods Ltd. (Aime Kitchen)
  • Mars Canada Inc.
  • Nestle Purina Petcare Canada
  • Petcurean Pet Nutrition
  • PLB International Inc.
  • R.C. Hagen
  • Simmons Pet Food Inc.
  • Smucker Foods of Canada Corp.
  • Spectrum Brands – Global Pet Care
  • Spectrum Feed Services
  • Taplow Ventures Ltd.
  • Trouw Nutrition Canada Inc.
  • Well Pet LLC

Is Kabo a PFAC member?

At Kabo we know that you want to feed your dog as if they were your kids, because most of us do in fact view our dogs as our furry, 4-legged children. That’s why we are proud members of PFAC! In fact we go above and beyond just simply following the basic PFAC and AAFCO guidelines. All ingredients in our fresh food recipes are human grade and sourced from reputable suppliers, so you can rest assured that your pup is getting the best possible quality in their food. All of our products, from fresh food to kibble, are also made right here in Canada!

Shiba Inu eating Kabo fresh dog food

Not to mention, while all of our diets are formulated to meet AAFCO guidelines, we actually formulate our recipes to exceed these minimum requirements so that your dog can get the most out of their meal. By feeding your dog Kabo, you can rest assured that your dog is getting all of their favorite meat ingredients and whole foods, with no added fillers or harmful additives!

Cocker spaniel jumping up to eat kibble out of their bowl that their owner is filling
Cocker spaniel jumping up to eat kibble out of their bowl that their owner is filling

View Sources

PFAC. “about”. https://pfac.com/

OVC. “Understanding nutrients and ingredients” (2020). https://ovcpetnutrition.uoguelph.ca/2020/11/06/understanding-nutrients-and-ingredients/ 

Global News. “Canada’s pet food industry is not regulated — and experts warn about the dangers” (2018). https://globalnews.ca/news/4731231/pet-food-industry-canada-not-regulated/ 

Food in Canada. “Pet food by the book” (2017). https://www.foodincanada.com/features/pet-food-book/ 

AAFCO. “AAFCO METHODS FOR SUBSTANTIATING NUTRITIONAL ADEQUACY OF DOG AND CAT FOODS” (2014). https://www.aafco.org/Portals/0/SiteContent/Regulatory/Committees/Pet-Food/Reports/Pet_Food_Report_2013_Midyear-Proposed_Revisions_to_AAFCO_Nutrient_Profiles.pdf 

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