To support pet parents interested in transitioning away from pet food with artificial ingredients,1 Petco announced on May 16 a nationwide Artificial-Free Upgrade event. Pet parents are invited to bring in any bag or can of dog or cat food with artificial ingredients to their local Petco or Unleashed by Petco store for a free nutrition consultation with a Petco certified food specialist, and upgrade to a bag or can that meets Petco's new nutrition standards for free. The two-day event takes place May 18 and 19, and follows Petco's recent industry-leading move to eliminate food and treats containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives for dogs and cats.

Petco has been committed to ensuring the health and well-being of pets for more than 50 years. On May 1, Petco became the first and only major retailer of pet food and treats to take a stand against artificial ingredients by removing dog and cat food products that do not meet its nutrition standards from its more than 1,500 retail stores nationwide and online at petco.com.

"We know choosing between so many pet food options can be a confusing and daunting task," said Petco Co-Chief Merchandising Officer, Nick Konat. "We stopped selling foods with artificial ingredients because we believe it's the right thing to do, and we want to make decisions easier for pet parents. The Artificial-Free Upgrade event is a great opportunity for pet parents to learn about our new nutrition standards, how these standards can help address their pet's needs, and how pet parents can make this important change with us. We're proud to make the transition accessible to all pet parents in the spirit of better health and wellness for our four-legged family members."

In order to participate, pet parents interested in transitioning to a food that meets Petco's nutrition standards can bring any bag or can of dog or cat food with artificial ingredients to the in-store Petco Artificial-Free Upgrade Event. From there, they will receive a personalized nutrition consultation and a free bag or can of food that does meet Petco's standards. Limit one trade in per species per household, while supplies last.

1 Artificial ingredients initially planned for removal are those Petco defines below as artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, determined by referencing guidelines provided by AAFCO and FDA. Substances that are derivatives or mimics of natural compounds are not included. In addition, substances that may fall into categories outside the Petco definition of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives are not included at this time. While Petco reviews ingredient panels of our products in determining which products meet our nutrition standard definition, we cannot guarantee the absence of trace impurities from soil, water, air or the ingredient supply chain in any product. As Petco continues to evaluate and develop our nutrition standards with a focus on what is best for our customers' pets, Petco reserves the right to re-evaluate these standards and to continue to refine ingredients.