The Pet Products Held To No Legal Or Safety Standards By Susan Thixton


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The Pet Products Held To No Legal Or Safety Standards​

Regulatory authorities completely ignore many commonly used pet products.

On the FDA website, the agency tells consumers the following pet products are not regulated…by anyone:

Not on the Regulatory Radar“​

Some products on the market for animals don’t fall under the regulatory authority of any government or non-government organization, including:

  • Cat litter
  • Pet accessories, such as toys, beds, and crates
  • Grooming aids
  • Bedding for pet birds and small animals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters
This means, your cat’s litter is held to no safety standard. No one is testing cat litters for safety. There are no legal limits to mycotoxin contamination in grain based litters, there are no safety requirements for clumping litters. The label of cat litters are held to no legal requirements – such as labels are not required to disclose all ingredients and labels are not verified for accurate claims.

Pet toys and bedding are held to no safety standards. Dyes and chemicals used in toys and bedding are not monitored by anyone, and those dyes and chemicals are not required to be disclosed on the label.

Grooming aids such as pet shampoos are held to no safety standard. There is no regulatory body that is testing these products to assure pet owners the products are free of dangerous chemicals or scents. And the labels of pet shampoos are free to make just about any claim – true or not. The only exception is flea and tick shampoos or medical shampoos, which could be regulated.

What can you do?

Shop at an independent pet food store. Many independent pet stores sell these products and many store owners have done the homework to product safety (as well as their homework on pet food safety). Many store owners have used the products themselves before offering it to customers. Ask them questions about the litter and toys and shampoos they sell – such as ‘have you validated the label claims of this product with the manufacturer?’

Pet owners can try to locate the manufacturer themselves – but this is easier said than done. If you can locate the manufacturer, ask about safety standards used by the company. Ask for a complete ingredient list. Ask if any testing has been performed.

Pay close attention to your pet whenever you introduce a new litter, bed, toy or shampoo. If your pet acts different in any manner, it could be they are reacting to a scent, a mycotoxin or chemical in the litter, bed, toy or shampoo. Listen to your pet.

If you haven’t read the book The Forever Dog, get it and read chapter 10. Authors Dr. Karen Becker and Rodney Habib address many chemical exposure issues with our pets and offer some great tips and advice.

Wishing you and your pet the best –

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Association for Truth in Pet Food


Become a member of our pet food consumer Association. Association for Truth in Pet Food is a a stakeholder organization representing the voice of pet food consumers at AAFCO and with FDA. Your membership helps representatives attend meetings and voice consumer concerns with regulatory authorities. Click Here to learn more.

What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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The 2022 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods. Click Here to learn more.
I totally get your concerns about pet product safety. It's essential to be vigilant. While Tortoise Owner offers fantastic insights on tortoises, it's always smart to research any pet product you're considering. Safety should be our top priority for our furry, scaly, or feathery friends!