Caring for pets and fostering the human animal-bond is core to our business. Our decisions are guided by our commitment to do the right thing for pets, always. We pride ourselves on having among the industry’s strongest standards for companion pet care, both in our Petco Pet Care Centers and throughout our company. These standards were developed — and are continually reviewed — under the supervision of our Chief Veterinarian with counsel from independent experts in pet care, behavior, ethics, and welfare
Pets always come first. We care about all pets as if they were our own. That’s why we’re dedicated to delivering access to the health and wellness products and services pets need to live their best — and healthiest — lives.
We maintain stringent pet care policies, procedures, and veterinary-approved guidelines to help pets in our care feel secure, comfortable, happy, and loved. In addition, our policies specify that companion pet suppliers’ processes and facilities are regularly inspected and must meet the expectations of our rigorous Petco Vendor Certification and Standards of Excellence Program.
The humane and responsible treatment of pets is paramount, and we do not tolerate pet abuse or neglect of any kind. Our Petco partners complete extensive training to gain the knowledge and skills they need to tend to all pets in their care. We require our vendors to uphold the same high standards of pet welfare by meeting our stringent vendor excellence protocols. For existing vendors, we complete onsite audits of their facilities at least annually. Audits are unannounced so that we can get an accurate representation of their care standards and ensure they are meeting our requirements. Vendors who fail to meet Petco's standards during the audit are provided with a corrective action plan. If the corrective action plan is not completed to our satisfaction, Petco will discontinue the relationship with the vendor. New vendors will be subject to an audit as part of their on-boarding process, and will also be subject to another unannounced audit within the first year of doing business with us.
We prioritize pet welfare every step of the way.
Petco Pet Care Centers that do not offer in-store veterinary services work with a designated veterinary partner in their community. All Petco Pet Care Center partners must successfully complete ongoing required training and knowledge checks before working with animals.
In January 2021, we revamped our Petco Pet Care Center partner training.
New Petco partners now complete a 12-part Pet Care Curriculum as part of their onboarding process. Units include: Pet Care, Pet and Partner Safety, Habitat Needs, and Wellness Room Setup and Care. We also include individual units on small pet, bird, and reptile care. Each unit includes an extensive checklist of activities and responsibilities for Petco partners to practice and master.
Each Petco Pet Care Center has a wellness room providing critical services for ill or injured pets, overstock pets, adoption pets, and maternity pets. All are cared for through a customized list of services that Petco partners track while also monitoring their wellbeing.
Our Veterinary Advisory Council (VAC) represents our network of more than 200 vet hospitals operating at Petco Pet Care Centers. The VAC helps us provide consistent veterinary services across locations that offer them. The group meets periodically during the year to discuss medical quality standards and pet welfare during veterinary services. Additionally, Petco Pet Care Centers that house companion animals but do not offer in-store veterinary services have relationships with local veterinarians to provide care as needed.
To further our mission to continuously serve in the best interests of pets today and tomorrow, we formed the Petco Pet Wellness Council (PPWC) in 2019. The PPWC includes veterinarians and other doctoral-level professionals with expertise in nutrition, zoonotic diseases, preventive medicine, oncology, pet behavior, education, clinical veterinary medicine, and telehealth.
Dogs, cats, and rabbits are the three most popular pets in the United States, as well as the three most common animals relinquished to animal shelters. Petco has never sold dogs or cats. We stopped selling rabbits in 2008. We follow and promote a Think Adoption First philosophy, which strongly encourages prospective pet parents to consider adopting a homeless animal rather than purchasing one. Through our partnership with Petco Love, we offer dogs, cats, rabbits, and other companion animals for adoption in our stores.
We strongly believe in the use of positive reinforcement training methods, which have been shown to be more effective than aversive methods and punishments.
In October 2020, we became the first major pet retailer to stop selling any human or bark-activated shock collars in our Petco Pet Care Centers or online. We also called on the rest of the pet industry and consumers to join our movement to #stoptheshock by launching an online petition aimed at creating responsible regulation for the retail sale of shock collars to general consumers.
We wanted to remove the difficulty and confusion around ingredients in pet food, so in 2019 we became the only national pet retailer to remove all food and treats with artificial ingredients from our shelves.
The safety of our products is paramount. Our Six Steps to Total Quality assurance process is designed to ensure the safety, quality, and reliable performance of our Owned Brand products. It encompasses each stage of the product lifecycle from vendor selection and product conception, through design, development, production, and testing, to consumer monitoring and improvement.
Petco Love, formally named The Petco Foundation, is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is proudly leading the way in pet lifesaving programs. Together, Petco and our generous customers have donated $330M, enabling Petco Love to save 400,000 pets from euthanasia. These funds have also allowed Petco Love to serve families and create communities that are closer, healthier, and stronger.