Petco will stop carrying China-made dog and cat treats at its more than 1,300 store locations nationwide, including Unleashed by Petco stores and online at Petco.com, by the end of 2014.
"We know some pet parents are wary of dog and cat treats made in China, especially chicken jerky products, and we've heard their concerns," said Jim Myers, Petco CEO. "As a leader in the industry and the trusted partner for our pet parents, we're eager to make this transition and to expand our assortment of safe and healthy treats, the majority of which are made right here in the US. Very simply, we feel this decision is in the best interest of the pets we all love and, ultimately, for our business."
Since 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has periodically cautioned consumers about a potential link between reported illnesses in dogs and the consumption of jerky products made in China. However, the FDA has been unable to identify a direct link between the reported illnesses and the China-made treats, and has not recommended a recall of jerky products.
"We've been following the FDA warnings and related customer concerns closely, and we've been actively reducing our China-made assortment and expanding our American-made offerings for several years now," said Myers. "We know the FDA hasn't yet identified a direct cause for the reported illnesses, but we decided the uncertainty of the situation outweighs the lack of actual proof. It has taken some time and careful thought to get to this point, but we're proud to make the change and we believe our customers will be pleased with it as well."
The final stage of the transition will begin in September and is expected to be complete by the end of 2014, marking the end of a multi-year process in which Petco has been working with vendors and suppliers to offer more safe and healthy alternatives to treats made in China.
Pet parents looking for alternatives to China-made dog or cat treats will find a broad selection of USA-made products at Petco. The company also carries a number of safe and long lasting treats and chews from other regions of the world on its shelves, including New Zealand, Australia and South America.
By Lindsay Beaton
Giving back is a significant part of the pet food industry, and companies focused on philanthropy want to make connections, not just donations.
By Ann Reus