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Cats, Dogs

Making Sense of Pet Supplement Warning Labels

Ever stood in the isle of your favorite pet product store holding a bottle of pet supplements and scratching your head over the warnings on the back? Sometimes it can be hard to understand what pet supplement warnings mean, especially when some of  caution statements seem to create more questions than they answer. A couple of examples might include, “Do not feed to cattle or other ruminants,” or “This product should not be given to animals intended for human consumption.”

The second one always gets people worrying if the contents are safe for their pet. This is actually a statement required by the FDA for products intended to be fed to pets. You may remember the BSE (Mad Cow) scare in recent years. BSE is the reason for this caution statement. What these statements mean is that the product contained within is not to be used on any animal that is ultimately going to be rendered for human consumption. This includes cattle, pigs, buffalo, sheep, goats, deer, elk, etc. The FDA definition of a ruminant animal is that it is any member of the order of animals that has a stomach with four chambers. If manufacturers of these types of pet products do not list this statement on their bottles, they could actually be in violation of the FDA regulation. It really depends on the specific ingredient contained as to whether such statements are required or not.

When in doubt it makes sense to spend a bit of time on the Internet researching a product and the warning label on it before you make your purchase.


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