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Petco Stops Selling Traditional Rawhide Products

The announcement was part of the launch of Petco Whole Health.

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Petco Health and Wellness Co. Inc. announced that it has removed traditional rawhide products from its shelves.

The company (NASDAQ: WOOF) took the action March 23 “to instead promote safe, long-lasting and highly digestible alternatives,” according to a press release.

“In line with veterinary recommendations, Petco is choosing to focus on safer alternatives to rawhide and steer pet parents away from the digestibility health concerns associated with the traditional products,” said Dr. Whitney Miller, head of veterinary medicine for Petco. “While many dogs enjoy traditional rawhide, the fact that they pose even a minimal risk to pet health led to the conclusion that we should exclusively focus on products that better align with our mission and Whole Health philosophy.”

The announcement was part of the launch of Petco Whole Health.

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Read the full press release:

SAN DIEGO — Petco Health and Wellness Company Inc., a complete partner in pet health and wellness, today launched Petco Whole Health – an industry-leading, first framework that consists of five interconnected dimensions of pet health – physical health, mental health, social health, home health and accessible health – created with the focus to improve pet well-being and strengthen one another when addressed as a whole. As a part of the launch, Petco will also kick off a three-week Petco Whole Health challenge on April 5 to support and reward pet parents for taking action to improve their pets’ overall wellness.

“The Whole Health philosophy is at the core of our journey from pet specialty retailer to a 360-degree health and wellness partner,” said Tariq Hassan, Petco Chief Marketing Officer. “We know pet parents want to do the best for their pets; they just need support to know how. This provides a clear framework for pet parents to act in the best interest of their pets, further defines our mission to improve lives for pets and pet parents, and sets a baseline for what’s to come from Petco in the health and wellness space. The simultaneous launch of our new creative campaign and strategy – it’s what we’d want if we were pets – brings it all to life by confirming our commitment to delivering the same, if not better, care for the well-being of pets that we expect for ourselves as humans.”

The Petco Whole Health approach addresses the 80% of pet parents who say they feel as close to their pets as they are to their children or partner, the majority of whom also admit they have no idea how to properly care for the pets they love. It also follows the company’s moves to stop selling dog and cat food and treats with artificial ingredients* in 2019 and the removal of shock collars in 2020, furthering its ongoing commitment to setting industry-leading standards for pet care and welfare.

Pet parents can learn more about the philosophy at petco.com/wholehealth, where they will also find helpful products and services recommendations corresponding to each of the Whole Health pillars so they can begin to take action:

  • Physical Health – Providing the nutrition, activity and preventive care that keeps pets fit inside and out.
  • Mental Health – Ensuring pets can lead joyful, enriching lives free from boredom and anxiety.
  • Social Health – Nurturing pets to feel confident and comfortable around other animals and humans.
  • Home Health – Creating safe, stimulating environments where pets feel like they belong.
  • Accessible Health – Getting affordable, convenient access to everything pets need to live their best lives.

The Whole Health challenge – a three-week educational commitment – asks pet parents to join Petco’s revolution for Whole Health and go beyond the basics to deliver complete care that improves pet well-being and helps pets lead full, rewarding lives. Petco will release five tips each week intended to spark pet parent action mapping to the five pillars of the philosophy.

In the company’s latest step to ensure they are providing better solutions for pets, Petco also confirmed it has removed traditional rawhide options from store shelves as of March 23, to instead promote safe, long-lasting and highly digestible alternatives.

With pet parents spending significantly more time at home with their pets through the COVID-19 pandemic, busy bones and long-lasting chews that keep pets busy and provide needed mental stimulation have become more in demand, with related product sales rising more than 10% last year compared to 2019. According to research from Petco’s customer survey (2019), 71% of consumers have concerns with traditional rawhide, including choking, digestibility and origin of ingredients. As a result, the company has removed all 32 traditional rawhide products from store shelves in favor of highly digestible rawhide and rawhide-free meat- and plant-based alternatives, made with perforations to make them easier to digest.

“In line with veterinary recommendations, Petco is choosing to focus on safer alternatives to rawhide and steer pet parents away from the digestibility health concerns associated with the traditional products,” said Dr. Whitney Miller, Head of Veterinary Medicine for Petco. “While many dogs enjoy traditional rawhide, the fact that they pose even a minimal risk to pet health led to the conclusion that we should exclusively focus on products that better align with our mission and Whole Health philosophy.”

Pet parents in search of long-lasting chew options can consider Petco’s new Good Lovin’ HD Rawhide, launching in May of this year, or Better Belly’s highly digestible rawhide assortment and options from Good Lovin’, Nylabone, Smartbones and Nothin’ to Hide, available nationwide now at Petco stores and petco.com.

Petco offers a variety of safe, convenient ways to shop, including in-store, curbside pick-up, same-day delivery and repeat delivery, and remains committed to providing pet parents with access to everything they need for their pet’s whole health, including its latest membership program, Vital Care. For more information about Petco’s Whole Health philosophy, Whole Health challenge and decision to remove traditional rawhide from its assortment, visit petco.com/wholehealth.

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