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“As soon as practical”

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  1. Pet Owner

    I thought it was said, that legally, labels must be changed within a 6 month timeframe?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      That was something I’ve heard for years as well. But within AAFCO regulations there is no established rule that states any time frame (6 months or otherwise). At least not a regulation that I’ve found.

  2. Laurie Raymond

    How many more reasons must be accumulated before pet parents accept that their animals will fare much better if they devote a bit of time to learning to feed them with fresh whole foods – using some of the “for intermittent feeding only” simple meats for dogs and cats that do not pretend to be diets — than by putting their trust and their dollars into commercial pet foods? Readers of this forum should know by now that appeals to law and demands for accountability will be ignored by both this industry and its government “regulators” (enablers.) It is only daunting if you insist on perfection. Nothing on the planet always consumes a perfect diet (even assuming that the current level of knowledge could define “perfect”) and the basics can be learned by anyone capable of feeding herself and her family nutritious foods within a modest budget. When we buy this junk, we reward duplicity and a vicious disregard for the animals these companies pretend to serve. There are so many places one can learn, and so many strategies one can employ – I just don’t understand pet parents’ obsession with comparing one junk brand to another and rewarding the least terrible with support, at their pets’ health’s expense.

    1. Linda Horn

      I would like to point out that not every pet owner can afford fresh whole foods. I know quite a few cat owners who are on extremely limited incomes. Most of these owners know the so-called cat food isn’t good quality, but they literally can’t afford anything better. Many of their cats would have been killed if their owners hadn’t adopted them. What a choice to make: the risk of an early death due to poor quality commercial cat feed, or an almost certain death at kill shelters or on the streets.

      As for me, I have to believe that some life is better than no life.

      1. Pet Owner

        Sometimes a can of Swanson’s Chopped Chicken is the same price as Cat Food. As I understand it, cats are supposed to have mostly protein anyway.

    2. Pet Owner

      Laurie, you’re a great contributor!! Doing all the work out there regarding renderers and suppliers. Passionate about the topic. So thank you for all that you do. But you DO have a pet supply business, right? Isn’t that what you sell? So I’ve been down this path before. Frustrated about people not changing. It seems so simple, if just everyone would change. Problem solved.

      Keep in mind, new readers are always dropping in. Not all have the history behind them. Like us. A label change might not be a big a deal. But adulterated ingredients SHOULD BE! Whatever the timeframe, and given many dogs have critical sensitivities, yes those owners need to be cautious. Commercial PF does contribute to many conditions (skin, ears, licking, nervousness, etc.). PF should be part of the equation when Vets consider a diagnosis.

      But people don’t eat as they should either. And usually won’t feed their pet better than themselves. Time, complications, economics, inadequacy, disbelief, can all be obstacles. The right idea, is that appropriate variety over time, averages out. And the best way to get people started, is to encourage adding whole food to current diets, and rotate brands in the meantime. Readers need to stay tuned (here) not chided for not doing enough. Most of us learned, because of a pet’s issue, or a very enlightened soul, early on. (My breeder did, independent Pet Supply owners did, and my being observant of beautiful, energetic aging dogs that ate well!). Sometimes we have to lift people UP (through education AND example) rung by rung. Yes, put the fear of gad in them regarding the worst ingredients (meat by-products, bone meal, animal digest, and obvious recalls). Get them up to next layer of products Susan has vetted (ones that won’t kill the pet). And into the elite lines. Whenever I asked questions of my Pet Supply dealer, he was patient, and slowly but surely, always got me back on track, with raw. When I can’t, I put whole food into my dog’s meal. Like me have great vegetables (but okay, sometimes with a side of fries)! It’s all about what we can do, …. until we can do even better!!

  3. Casey

    So… wait.

    If they test a food and it contains an ingredient not listed, they call it an “adulteration”.

    But if there’s no requirement to change labels at any time, unlisted ingredients can just be a “formula change” and “waiting for label changes”.

    So what is the point of having ingredients listed at all? Except to be able to sporadically and unevenly enforce the rules as they see fit?

  4. Fiona

    And what is the time frame concerning states and AAFCO officials?

    1. Fiona

      Sorry…didn’t see the above comments before posting

  5. Jill

    these humans that allow this in the pet food industry should have to eat human foods prepared under the same type of regulations (or lack of).

  6. Mary Sue

    This doesn’t surprise me. In the past I have checked food labels on the cans against what is listed online and they do not always agree with each other. Then I call the company and ask which is correct and when the corrections will be made. One company thanked me for pointing that out!

  7. Margarat

    I thought AAFCO’s guideline was 6 months? FDA sure likes to pick and choose what it enforces in pet food.

  8. T Allen

    In USDA parlance that means as soon as you have used all the labels that are currently printed. You can’t place an order for more labels without the updated info after the date of the change on the “official” paperwork. I would doubt they have to much stock ordered ahead as it’s a big expense. Couple months max would be my guess.

  9. Janet

    It should be immediately, even if they have to print adhesive stickers to put over the ingredients list on pre-printed bags until they use them up. I wouldn’t trust calling the customer service reps of most companies. They are likely to have little training and will just look at something on a computer screen which may not even be updated and read that to you.

  10. Cynthia J

    My heads up that the ingredients have changed? They most always come out with brand new packaging! Anytime the bag, box or can looks different from what you’ve been purchasing, stop and compare the labels! I’ve found this to be true 100% of the time. I’ve even started noticing it with food made for humans, too.

  11. SuSue Storms

    I feed my 2 small dogs science diet chicken and vegetable stew ID. It is a perscription diet. I am currently paying almost $77.00 for 2 cases of 12. They eat 4 cases of 12 a month. I would gladly cook their food if I knew what to prepare for them. Is there somewhere where I could find a way to do this. Thank you..

      1. Pet Owner

        Hard to imagine …but not everybody has FACEBOOK.

        1. T Allen

          Then Google “Planet Paws”. Thought that was obvious, sorry.

          1. Pet Owner

            New Readers:

            Rodney Habib’s Planet Paws website is at this link:

            His video “how to” for making the recipe printed above is at this link:

            btw: Probably would’ve been just as obvious to post the links to help new readers who’re just getting started on this topic due to a pet’s issue with PF. I know many people who wouldn’t touch FACEBOOK with a ten foot pole.

    1. Dog lover

      That’s great! The best thing I can tell you is research research research! There’s a lot of good info out there but it’s not usually all in one place. My favorite sites for dog food research are They do advocate a raw diet and while I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I don’t want to scare you away from making your dogs’ food, whether raw or cooked it’s going to be way better than commercial canned, but it has awesome information about natural dog care. This website,, for pet food news, Rodney Habib’s Facebook. He does all kinds of research and explains it in an easy to understand format.
      Also to get you started you could get Susan and Dr. Alinovi’s Dinner Pawsible cookbook and here’s a completely balanced dog food recipe by Rodney Habib and Dr. Karen Becker!
      If you have any other questions I’d be happy to answer them 🙂 and of course I’m far from the only one on this site that knows this kind of information. 😉

    2. Pet Owner

      Here’s a recipe created by Habib and Becker (nutritionist & Vet). Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be served raw:


      14 oz. 90% lean ground beef (or 93% lean)
      2 tsp hempseed oil or 3 T ground hemseeds
      ½ Tsp Carlson’s cod liver oil, or 2 sardines
      ½ Tsp ground ginger
      ¼-1/2 Tsp. kelp powder (provide 0.2 mg iodine)
      1 egg
      ½ eggshell
      1 oz. beef liver
      1 oz. broccoli
      1 oz. red bell pepper
      1 oz. spinach

      Mix together. Can be heated or served raw.

      You could also alternate with ground Turkey, but the organ meat is important.

      1. Sudiee Storms

        Wow !! Thank you so much for the recipe !!
        Sudie Storms

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