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Petco to Stop Selling Pet Food and Treats with Artificial Ingredients

Pet products retailer Petco has announced it will not sell food and treats containing artificial…

  • December 10, 2018

Pet products retailer Petco has announced it will not sell food and treats containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives for dogs and cats by May 2019.

According to the company, the move makes Petco the first and only major retailer of pet food and treats to take a stand against such ingredients.

This isn’t the first time Petco has taken such a stance as a champion for pets. In 2014, it became the first national specialty retailer to discontinue the sale of China-made treats following consumer concerns about the safety of such products – and other retailers quickly followed suit.

With these new standards, the company said it aims to raise the bar again for the entire pet retail industry.

Going All-Natural in the New Year

In January 2019, Petco will begin removing dog and cat foods and treats with artificial ingredients, both from store shelves and ecommerce, with a commitment to complete the process by May 2019.

Some of the more than 40 artificial ingredients Petco is eliminating include FD&C Red No. 3, Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated hytroxytoluene (BHT), Glycerol tributyrate, and benzaldehyde, among others.

“We’re inviting pet food companies to join us on this journey, even working hand-in-hand with some to pursue potential ingredient changes to meet our new stringent ingredient standards,” said Nick Konat, Co-Chief Merchandising Officer for Petco. “In cases where an existing brand is unable to update some or all of their products to meet our criteria by May of 2019, we will not carry either specific products or the brand entirely – and we’ll help pet parents affected by such a change to safely transition to a new food or brand that we believe is healthier for their pet.”

The change also reflects one of the top concerns pet parents have today: nutrition.

Petco said it has worked closely with in-house and consultant veterinarians, nutritionists, and wellness experts to inform its decision and its new standards for pet nutrition.

Setting a new standard for nutrition is only the first step the company has planned in becoming the most trusted source for pet wellness.

As part of this initiative, in 2019 Petco will also launch the Petco Pet Wellness Institute: a coalition of experts from all spectrums of pet health and wellness.

Together, veterinarians, nutritionists, pet psychologists, academic researchers, and other credentialed leaders will ensure Petco is offering the best information, education, and services – not only for nutrition, but for a wide array of topics and issues impacting pets’ overall health and well-being.

Part of the institute’s mandate will be funding evidence-based research to help further understand and define industry-wide issues, including the impact of food and ingredients on pet health.

While data around pet wellness is currently limited, the institute will help provide clarity and inform Petco’s initiatives, ensuring the brand is continuing to meet the demands of modern pet parents.

For more information about Petco and its new nutrition standards, go to

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