How to File a Pet Food Complaint With the FDA

To report complaints about pet food (and other animal feed), please contact your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. When reporting, provide the following information to the Consumer Complaint Coordinator.

The Oregon Consumer Complaint Coordinator can be reached at (800) 353-3965.

The FDA realizes you may not have all the information requested below and they encourage you to report your complaint with whatever information you have available.  

Detailed Information About the Product

bowl of food

Consumers often transfer dry pet food into other containers for easier handling. It is important to save the original packaging until the pet food has been consumed. The packaging contains IMPORTANT information often needed to identify the variety of pet food, the manufacturer plant, and the production date.  

  • Exact name of the product and product description (as stated on the product label)
  • Type of container (e.g. box, bag, can, pouch, etc.)
  • Product intended to be refrigerated, frozen, or stored at room temperature
  • Lot number - This number is often hard to find and difficult to read.  It is stamped onto the product packaging and typically includes a combination of letters and numbers, and is always in close proximity to the expiration date (if the product has an expiration date).  The lot number is very important as it helps us determined the manufacturing plant as well as the production date.
  • Best by or expiration date
  • UPC code (also known as the bar code)
  • Net weight
  • Purchase date and exact location where purchased.
  • Results of any laboratory testing performed on the pet food product
  • How was the food stored, prepared, and handled?

Description of the Problem with the Product

Examples include:

  • Foul odor, off color
  • Swollen can or pouch, leaking container
  • Foreign object found in the product. Describe.

If you think your pet has become sick or injured as a result of consuming a pet food product also provide the following information about your pet:

  • Species (dog, cat, rabbit, fish, bird, other)
  • Age, weight, breed, pregnant, spayed/neutered
  • Previous health status of pet
  • Any pre-existing conditions your pet has
  • Do you give your pet any other foods, treats, dietary supplements or drugs?
  • How much of the product does your pet normally consume?
  • How much of the “suspect” product was consumed from the package?
  • How much product remains?
  • Clinical signs exhibited by your pet (examples: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy)
  • How soon after consuming the product did the clinical signs appear?
  • Veterinarian’s contact information, diagnosis and medical records for your pet.
  • Results of any diagnostic laboratory testing performed on your pet
  • How many pets consuming the product exhibited clinical symptoms?
  • Are there any pets that consumed the product and are not affected?
  • Does your pet spend time outdoors unsupervised?
  • Why do you suspect the pet food caused the illness?

Updated: 2009-12-09 08:00:00

Source: FDA