Companion Animals

This site has been provided as a convenience to assist with issues related to companion animals.

**Please note that the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and its regulations do not apply to many companion animal problems.

Wholesale breeders, dealers, exhibitors and research labs are covered but not small retail breeders and pet shops selling only domestic pet animals. These are usually covered by local (state, county) anti-cruelty laws. If you have concerns about a facility covered under the Act, contact APHIS Animal Care.


Adult beagle dog Introductory course for Commercial Dog Breeders

Center for Food Security and Public Health.

Developed in collaboration with USDA APHIS Animal Care, this eleven part course provides information about licensing and regulatory requirements for commercial dog breeders.

Questions and Answers: Temperature and Humidity in Dog Kennels (PDF | 114 KB)

USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

This 2013 fact sheet answers questions about requirements for temperature and humidity in commercial dog kennels.

Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters (PDF | 494 KB)

Association of Shelter Veterinarians.

The Guidelines are intended as a tool for shelters and communities to review animal care, identify areas that need improvement, allocate resources and implement solutions so animal welfare is optimized.

Online Pet Pharmacies - Protect Yourself and Your Pet: Be Online Pet Pharmacy A.W.A.R.E.

FDA. Center for Veterinary Medicine.

A brochure about what to be aware of when purchasing pet prescription medicine online.

Boxer dog Pet Food Regulation

US Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA regulates the can of cat food, bag of dog food, or box of dog treats or snacks in your pantry. Learn about recalls and how to report a complaint.

Black and white photo of veterinarians working on a dog Veterinary History Resources at the National Agricultural Library

USDA. NAL. Animal Welfare Information Center.

A bibliography of works on the history, derivation, and development of the veterinary profession.

Images of a dog and a cat GAO Report: USDA's Oversight of Dealers of Random Source Dogs and Cats

Government Accountability Office.

The September 2010 results and recommendations from a GAO study of USDA's oversight of Class B dealers, suggesting that the oversight would benefit from additional management information and analysis.

Information Resources on Human-Animal Relationships Past and Present

USDA. NAL. Animal Welfare Information Center.

A bibliography of current, historical, and very early works on animals.

Animal Welfare Policy Statements

American Veterinary Medical Association.

Position statements covering recommendations on antimicrobial use, euthanasia, abuse, pain, and other important animal welfare concerns.

The Merck Veterinary Manual

Merck & Co., Inc.

A comprehensive electronic reference for animal care information that includes over 12,000 indexed topics and over 1200 illustrations. Rapidly searchable by topic, species, specialty, disease, and keyword.