European Dog Food Compared To American Dog Food

We live in an age where the world seems to be smaller and smaller with the progression of technology. It isn’t difficult nowadays to get products from different continents and the same can be said about dog food. European dog food is making its way to the US promoting more diversity in the American market. People who are considering or know someone who is considering trying European dog food; there’s important information you need to know. Dog food from the U.S. and Europe are different in many ways including labeling and regulation.

Canine Caviar would like to help you better understand the differences between American dog food and European dog food. Let’s first look at the European pet food industry as a whole.

The European Pet Food Industry

Flag of the European Union

European pet foods hold some key differences when it comes to organization. Europe does not have specific legislation that tells the manufacturers what to do. Instead pet food relies on the same legislation as animal feed. Europe has 3 different authorities that help regulate animal feed standards. Those boards are The Council of the European Union, European Parliament, and The European Commission.

Pet food manufacturers create associations to help regulate themselves and govern standards in operation and quality. National authorities in the European Union are responsible for enforcing regulations. Marketing policies and labeling regulations are set by another separate organization known as the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF).

European Packaging vs U.S. Packaging


Now let’s talk about the differences between European dog food and American dog food in terms of packaging. It’s easy to think American and European dog food are labeled the same way. Sadly, that isn’t the case. Rules and terms can be different which can result in misinterpretation for either side.

Here’s an example to better demonstrate. Marketing and Label guidelines created by FEDIAF state that European pet food is allowed to label lists of additives under a single category. That means ingredients such as sodium chloride, calcium carbonate, and potassium chloride can all be bundled together and simply be called “minerals.” If a European manufacture uses a meal in their kibbles, they are not required to label it as meal. They can use a term like “dehydrated chicken” instead of “chicken meal.”

This is where confusion can lie for the American consumer. You may look at the ingredients and see less ingredients than there really are. You can read an ingredient and interpret as being higher quality than it really is. This is different from the U.S. which has stricter labeling standards.

European Dog Food Regulation

FDA Logo

Regulations between the E.U. and U.S. are also important to differentiate. Let’s take a look at meat. European regulations state that only meat sources labeled as “Category 3” can be used in dog food. Category 3 refers to meat appropriate for human consumption. It also states that only meat sources that are not eaten by humans or in excess supply can be used. That isn’t inherently bad or good, just different from the U.S. and worthy of consideration.

This is just one example of difference in how these two systems regulate. We encourage consumers to do their research even if there is no intention to switching food. We can often make decisions based on misconceptions; that makes it important for us to research in an ever growing international market.

Canine Caviar – Made in the USA

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Canine Caviar makes its limited ingredient dog food in the USA. We surpass the requirements set forth by the FDA an AAFCO because it’s important to us that we create a real quality meal for our dogs. We make sure our labeling is easy to understand and direct with you. Honesty with consumers is our priority and we don’t like to leave room for confusion. If you have questions about Canine Caviar or want to know more, call into our office at 714.223.1800 or email at

When looking for good dog food, there are a plethora of options both local and international. It may seem really difficult to choose but as long as we take the time to research, we’ll make good decisions. Taking some time to know more about dog food is a small price to pay for a happy and healthy 4 legged partner!

We hope you’ve learned something new and feel more confident about choosing a dog food. Check the Canine Caviar Blog to learn more great information. You can see what constitutes as Proper Health for Giant Breed Dogs or lean about Ash Contents in Dog Food.