Better Nutrition Ingredients

*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.

The following ingredients are those which do not meet Petco's new nutritional standards:

Artificial Color - any dye, pigment, or other substance, which is not a derivative or mimic of a natural compound, that can impart color to a food.

  • Ingredient panel that includes "Artificial Colors"
  • FD&C Blue No. 1
  • FD&C Blue No. 2
  • FD&C Green No. 3
  • Orange B
  • Citrus Red No. 2
  • FD&C Red No. 3
  • FD&C Red No. 40
  • FD&C Yellow No. 5
  • FD&C Yellow No. 6
  • Titanium dioxide*
  • Added Colors**

*We will remove most products with Titanium Dioxide by May 2019, with the exception of Purina Pro Plan and Hill’s Science Diet Urinary formulas for cats, as there is not yet a suitable artificial-free formula to address this common health issue faced by 1 in 10 cats.
** Our new nutrition standards do not allow for products which simply specify “Added Colors”, and require that the source of the added color is identified in the ingredient panel.

Artificial Flavor – – any substance, the function of which is to impart flavor, which is not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products.

  • Label Just Says "Artificial Flavors"
  • Acetaldehyde (ethanal)
  • Acetoin (acetyl methylcarbinol)
  • Aconitic acid (equisetic acid, citridic acid, achilleic acid)
  • Anethole (parapropenyl anisole)
  • Benzaldehyde (benzoic aldehyde)
  • N-Butyric acid (butanoic acid)
  • d- or l-Carvone (carvol)
  • Cinnamaldehyde (cinnamic aldehyde)
  • Citral (2,6-dimethyloctadien-2,6-al-8, geranial, neral)
  • Decanal (N-decylaldhehyde, capraldehyde, capric aldehyde, caprinaldehyde, aldehyde C-10)
  • Diacetyl (2,3-butandeione).
  • Ethyl acetate.
  • Ethyl butyrate.
  • 3-Methyl-3-phenyl glycidic acid ethyl ester (ethyl-methyl-phenyl-glycidate, so-called strawberry aldehyde, C-16 aldehyde).
  • Eugenol
  • Geranoil (3,7-dimethyl-2,6 and 3,6-octadien-1-ol)
  • Geranyl acetate (geraniol acetate)
  • Glycerol (glyceryl) tributyrate (tributyrin, butyrin)
  • Limonene (d-, l-, and dl-)
  • Linalool (linalol, 3,7-dimethyl-1,6-octadien-3-ol)
  • Linalyl acetate (bergamol)
  • 1-Malic acid
  • Methyl anthranilate (methyl-2-aminobenzoate)
  • Piperonal (3,4-methylenedioxy-benzaldehyde, heliotropin)

Artificial Preservative - Chemical substances added to or sprayed on the outside of food to retard spoilage, deterioration, discoloration, or contamination by bacteria and other disease organisms, and excludes preservatives that are derivatives or mimics of natural compounds.

  • Benzoic acid
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Calcium sorbate
  • Dilauryl thiodipropionate
  • Erythorbic acid
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Methylparaben
  • Potassium bisulfite
  • Potassium metabisulfite
  • Potassium Sorbate***
  • Propylene glycol
  • Propylparaben
  • Sodium metabisulfite
  • Sodium propionate
  • Sodium sorbate
  • Sodium sulfite
  • Stannous chloride
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • TBHQ - Tertiary butylhydroquinone
  • Thiodipropionic acid

*** We will remove products with Potassium Sorbate by February 2020.

Additional Details:
We are not removing products with synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acid supplements as these ingredients are often necessary to ensure that dog and cat food is complete and balanced according to AAFCO nutrient profiles and feeding guidelines.