Petco is the first and only national retailer to have removed all food and treats with artificial ingredients* for dogs, cats, aquatic life and small animals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs and more, from our shelves.

A cat and dog

We’ve removed these artificial ingredients*

The following ingredients do not meet Petco’s nutritional standards.

  • 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 removed most products with titanium dioxide, 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 that simply specify "Added colors," and require that the source of the added color is identified in the ingredient panel.

  • 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
  • Geraniol (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)
  • 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

*Artificial ingredients initially planned for removal are those Petco defines above 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.

Our Commitment

The steps we're taking to make our standards a reality.

A customer meeting the vet


Veterinarians, nutritionists, wellness experts, AAFCO feeding guidelines, FDA regulations—we're consulting all of them to ensure that every decision we make is informed and in the best interest of pets and their well-being.

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Our nutrition standards are a first step in a journey toward better health for the pets we all love. As we move forward on this path, we will continue to evaluate and evolve our standards and assortment to take pet nutrition to new levels.

5 pillars of health


An approach that engages all dimensions of pet health so they lead full, rewarding lives. It’s what we’d want if we were pets.

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