Petco banning artificial ingredients in the food it sells

The company worked with in-house and consultant veterinarians, nutritionists, and wellness experts to make its decision

Petco will become the first major pet food retailer to stop selling food and treats containing artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives for dogs and cats starting in January.

“Some may question whether this makes good business sense, but putting pets’ health first has always been the right thing to do for Petco,” said Ron Coughlin, the company’s chief executive officer.

“This is both a major step forward for pets and a natural next step on our journey to become a complete partner in total pet wellness. We hope the rest of the pet industry will join us on this path to better health for the pets we love.”

Petco hopes to completely remove dog and cat foods and treats with artificial ingredients from store shelves and online by next May. Some of the more than 40 artificial ingredients the company is eliminating include FD&C Red No. 3, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hytroxytoluene (BHT), glycerol tributyrate, and benzaldehyde.

“We’re inviting pet food companies to join us on this journey, even working with some to pursue potential ingredient changes to meet our new 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 we believe is healthier for their pet.”

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

As part of this initiative, Petco will also launch the Petco Pet Wellness Institute, a coalition of veterinarians, nutritionists, pet psychologists, academic researchers, and others to ensure the company is offering proper information, education, and services. 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.

For more information on Petco’s new nutrition standards, click here.



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8 thoughts on “Petco banning artificial ingredients in the food it sells

  1. I want to know if they will also eliminate toxic things like flea collars and “natural,” but dangerous, items like novelty rawhide chews. Anybody know?

    1. The prongs are a worry but electronic collars can actually prevent cruelty when used responsibly. E.g. dogs that kill cats very quickly give the practice up when they associate a cat with an unpleasant experience for themselves. Same for dogs that attack livestock.

  2. This is great news! The next thing that should be banned is any pet food made with corn. Many pet food manufacturers use corn, as well as other cheap, non-nutritious ingredients our dogs and cats cannot utilized like wheat, soy, beet pulp. It is the corn that is a high starch/carb that simply turns into fat. Plus, it’s GMO. Since GMO grown foods, there has been increase in intestinal upset in pets, and allergies in children. Cats, as obligate carnivores, cannot even digest corn wheat or soy, and feline obesity is at all time high over 50%. Petco claims to be taking a holistic approach, and this is a first step. But saying it’s holistic is misleading when they still carry so many brands (SD, RK are worst high-priced offenders) that contain corn, wheat and soy (especially the corn) and meat meals. Meal is made from the meat that is not human grade. It cannot be sold to humans. It is labeled one of the 4D’s: down, diseased, dying, dead. That’s why you’re hearing so much about human grade. So, they’d have to stop selling most the products (every dry food, except Halo that I’m aware of) to be honest in claiming they are holistic and human grade.

    The other area I will comment on is how heavily the story speaks about veterinary medicine, insurance, etc. Veterinarians may be urging pet parents to avoid food with artificial ingredients, yet they stock and “prescribe” food that is full of junk and push a lot of harmful and toxic drugs and vaccines.

    On the good side, Petco does carry a lot of truly good commercially prepared foods. Home made food is always best, you know what’s in it. Great to see Petco will be offering homemade food! I would work in the kitchen–anything to be involved in helping pets be healthier. Natural, holistic healing is much safer in the long run and can detox from all the toxins in the pet food, vaccines and drugs. For thriving health, rather than just surviving.

    1. My Correction: I meant to say that I have seen the story posted other places where they heavily speak about the veterinarians being involved, claiming to be holistic, etc. And also, I meant RC brand, not RK.

  3. Kim, you’re retarded and I’m sure you take your pets to the vet a lot more than other pet owners who actually listen to science and not marketing pusher on to you by ‘holistic’ pet food companies who often dont even have vets on staff, you retard.