Illegal marketing of veterinary health products

On this page

Veterinary health products

Veterinary health products (VHPs) are low risk drugs in dosage form that:

  • are used to maintain or promote the health and wellness of companion and food-producing animals
  • contain ingredients such as:
    • vitamins
    • minerals
    • traditional medicines
  • must conform to strict inclusion criteria
  • must contain only active ingredients listed in List C

The difference between veterinary health products and veterinary drugs


  • cannot claim to treat, cure or prevent disease
  • once notified, are issued a Notification Number (NN)

Veterinary drugs:

  • are used specifically to treat, cure or prevent disease
  • once approved, are issued a Drug Identification Number (DIN)

Various substances are specifically excluded from being notified as VHPs as outlined in the VHP Notification Program. For additional enquiries regarding VHPs, contact the Veterinary Drugs Directorate by email at

Requirements to advertise veterinary health products in Canada

Veterinary health products are regulated in Canada under the:

  • Food and Drugs Act
  • Food and Drug Regulations
  • Natural Health Products Regulations

All VHPs being advertised in Canada must be on the List of Notified Products.

For more information about rules regulating VHPs, visit our Veterinary Health Products website.

Poster to share

Help stop illegal marketing of drugs and devices

Print the poster

What to watch for in veterinary health product advertising

Advertising of VHPs must:

  • be within the scope of the recommended use notified to Health Canada
  • apply only to species listed in the intended species notified to Health Canada

Since all health products, including those derived from nature, carry some degree of risk, it is unacceptable to suggest that a product:

  • is “safe”
  • is “side effect free”
  • has “no known side effects”

It is also unacceptable to suggest that a product that is “natural” or “naturally-sourced” is safer than a synthetic, man-made pharmaceutical.

For more information regarding acceptable claims:

How health care providers can help stop illegal marketing

We need your help to stop the illegal marketing of veterinary health products.

Report a marketing complaint

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: