File a pet food complaint

File a Pet Food Complaint

When filing a pet food complaint to the FDA, make sure you save the original pet food packaging for identification purposes. The FDA may request the exact name of the product, the product description, type of container (box, can, bag, pouch, etc.), expiration date, UPC code, and net weight, among other things.

The FDA will request you to describe the problem with the product. They will ask: Did it smell bad? Was the food the wrong color? Was the container leaking? Was a foreign object found in it? Was the lid broken? The FDA will also request you to describe the health status of your pet if you believe that your pet became sick or injured after consuming a specific pet food product. Be prepared to 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
  • Whether you give your pet any other foods, treats, dietary supplements or drugs
  • How much of the suspected product your pet normally consumes
  • How much of the “suspect” product was consumed from the package?
  • How much of the product you still have
  • Clinical signs exhibited by your pet (such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy)
  • How soon after consuming the product the clinical signs appeared
  • Your 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
  • Whether any pets that consumed the product are not affected
  • Whether your pet spends time outdoors unsupervised
  • Why you suspect the pet food caused the illness

Source: FDA’s How To Report A Pet Food Complaint, February 2012

There are two ways to make your complaint:

  1. Call Your Consumer Complaint Coordinator:
    Report via phone adverse reactions or other problems with pet food to your area Consumer Complaint Coordinator.
  2. Complete An Online Complaint Form:
    Report a complaint about pet food products through the FDA’s Safety Reporting Portal. Although it varies, reports take between 10-20 minutes to complete. Instead of completing a form as a guest, make sure you create an account for faster data entry, to track and store your report electronically, and see a list of your submitted reports. Upon completing the form, don’t forget to save your report confirmation number, or the Individual Case Safety Report ID (ICSR) for your records. You’ll also be able to save a PDF of the report you filed. Something to note: You can also attach documents to this form, so make sure you have digital copies of vet records, pet food purchase receipts, photos, etc.