Using pet food, animal feed, and nutritional supplements

Find out the requirements for feeding pet food, animal feed, and nutritional supplements to your animals.

Requirements for using oral nutritional compounds

Pet food, animal feed, and nutritional supplements for animals are classed as oral nutritional compounds. When you feed them to your animals, you must comply with the requirements set out in regulations.

Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011 – NZ Legislation

How to use pet food, animal feed, and nutritional supplements

When you use an animal feed (including pet food) or supplement, you must be confident that it's fit for purpose. This is a requirement under Regulation 8.

We recommend that you:

  • try to confirm the product's fitness before feeding it to animals
  • do not buy a product if you're not sure whether it's fit for purpose
  • do not use a product if you're not sure whether it's still fit for purpose
  • follow the instructions on the label
  • use the product as recommended by the manufacturer.

If you don't follow the instructions on the product's label, or if you make changes to the product, you must make sure:

  • the product is still fit for purpose, and
  • it's not likely to cause any of the harms listed in Regulation 7(a) to (h).

Note: If you make your own animal feed (including pet food), you're fully responsible for its fitness.

Magnesium products used by dairy farmers

The Ministry for Primary Industries' position on magnesium products when fed to dairy cows is outlined in this document:

Magnesium supplementation in dairy cows [PDF, 198 KB]

If something goes wrong

If something goes wrong when you use an animal feed (including pet food) or nutritional supplement, we call this an "adverse event". This might be an unwanted side-effect, or a product not working.

Let us know about any adverse events by filling out the relevant form on this page:

Adverse events with ACVMs

Who to contact

If you have questions about pet food, animal feed, or nutritional supplements, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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