On May 1, 2019 Petco announced that it had made good on its November 2018 promise to no longer sell food and treats containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives for dogs and cats. Petco stated in a press release that it was the first and only major pet food and treat retailer to take a stand against such ingredients by removing dog and cat food products that do not meet its nutrition standards at more than 1,500 retail stores nationwide and online at Petco.com.
“Today is about more than just confirming we kept the promise we made last year to eliminate artificial ingredients for dogs and cats at Petco, it’s about celebrating better health and wellness for the pets we love,” said Petco CEO, Ron Coughlin. “Clearing our stores and site of products that don’t meet our nutrition standards is a resounding demonstration of our commitment to always doing the right thing for pets. I’m proud to be part of a company that’s willing to make bold moves to lead the industry forward, and so are Petco’s more than 25,000 team members,” Coughlin said. “And the journey doesn’t end here, this is just the beginning. All of us at Petco are absolutely dedicated to leading positive change, and we invite the rest of the industry to join us along the way,” he added.
With its new standards for pet nutrition, Petco aims to help guide pet parents to provide their beloved pets with healthy, happy lives. The company worked closely with in-house and external veterinarians, nutritionists, and pet wellness experts to inform its decision and its new standards for pet nutrition. Some of the more than 40 artificial ingredients Petco has initially eliminated from dog and cat foods it carries include FD&C Red No. 3, Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated hytroxytoluene (BHT), Glycerol tributyrate, and ethoxyquin, among others. The company expects to include additional ingredients to the list over time. A full list of ingredients Petco has removed to date can be found here.
The company has also made additional moves on its nutrition journey by launching a strategic partnership with Champion PetFoods, bringing the award-winning ACANA and ORIJEN dog and cat food brands to Petco in March. Petco has also continued to expand its partnership with JustFoodForDogs, which provides fresh, human-grade foods exclusively for pets in Petco stores nationwide and operates a growing lineup of open-to-the-public pet food kitchens. Together, JustFoodForDogs and Petco will open the first-of-its-kind in-store pet food kitchen at Petco’s flagship store in New York’s Union Square later this month.
Petco customers have already responded positively to the new changes: according to a recent survey, since the company announced its new nutrition standards in November, 62 percent of Petco customers are considering switching to a new food that meets the new standards, with more than half (51 percent) indicating that the new nutritional guidelines as a reason why.