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Commitment to Animals

Commitment to Animals

At Petco, Animals Always Come First!

For over 55 years, Petco has been committed to improving the lives of pets, pet parents and our own Petco partners. Since our founding in 1965, we've been trailblazing new standards in pet care, delivering comprehensive wellness solutions through our products and services, and creating communities that deepen the pet-pet parent bond.

Providing quality animal care

Petco’s top priority is always the health and well-being of animals. We are committed to creating a safe environment and ensuring animals in our pet care centers feel loved, happy, comfortable and secure at all times – setting a standard for future pet parents to follow.

Our mission of improving the lives of companion animals, and our customers begins with the careful selection and retention of dedicated, knowledgeable employees (who we refer to as Petco partners). We pride ourselves on having the industry’s strongest standards for companion animal care and welfare, developed under the supervision of our own veterinary staff, along with counsel from an independent panel of experts in animal care, behavior, ethics and welfare. All new Petco pet care center partners are trained in proper animal care and handling. This includes training that reinforces our promise that at Petco, animals always come first.

Petco partners are required to adhere to stringent animal care standards, policies, procedures and veterinary-approved guidelines, including:

  • Every Petco pet care center has an independent veterinarian that provides veterinary care. Petco general managers or managers on duty are responsible for ensuring any animal in need of veterinary care receives it in a timely manner.

  • Petco veterinarians must review and approve all animal habitats, décor and substrate, and specify the number of animals that can be temporarily housed in each habitat.

  • Petco partners must constantly monitor the health and well-being of animals in our care. This is done during our hourly animal health checks, which may be augmented by further inspection and regular detailed audits by our field leadership.

All animals must be treated humanely and with compassion at all times. Failure to comply with Petco's humane animal care policies results in disciplinary action up to and including termination. To help ensure all Petco pet care centers are following our strict requirements for proper animal care, Petco partners are encouraged to use our confidential ethics hotline to report any potential non-compliance with our animal care policies.

Setting the industry standard in animal care

We believe quality animal care is ensured by continuously advancing industry standards, and constantly reviewing our policies and procedures to promote the best possible care for the animals in our Petco pet care centers. Our high standards extend to our suppliers. We require all live animal vendors to participate in the Petco Vendor Certification and Standards of Excellence Program. As part of this, all vendors are inspected and must pass a rigorous certification process.

To ensure we continue serving in the best interest of pets today and into the future, we launched the Petco Pet Wellness Council in 2019. It is comprised of independent, leading experts in veterinary science and animal care who serve as external sources of unbiased advice and counsel on best practices, products, habitats and animal care policies.

  • Educating responsible pet parents: As a pet health and wellness company, we seek to ensure companion animals are welcomed into families where quality, life-long pet parenthood is a reality and the human-animal bond can reach its fullest potential. In addition to helping prospective pet parents find the companion animals that are appropriate for their lifestyles, we aim to support them throughout pet parenthood.

  • Educating prospective pet parents is one of our primary responsibilities: We provide animal care sheets with solutions for helping pet parents meet their beloved animals’ physical, mental, social and emotional needs.

  • Supporting local animal welfare initiatives: Petco supports a broad range of programs, activities and organizations dedicated to animal welfare, responsible pet parenting and the human-animal bond. In tandem with the Petco Love (formerly The Petco Foundation), an independent nonprofit organization, we have helped find homes for more than 6.5 million animals through in-store adoption events.

Think Adoption First

Petco has never sold cats or dogs and, in 2008, we stopped selling rabbits as well. Dogs, cats and rabbits are the three most popular pets in the U.S., and the three most often relinquished to animal shelters. 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. We work with thousands of local animal welfare organizations to offer dogs, cats, rabbits and other companion animals for adoption in our stores.