SAN DIEGO, October 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Petco today announced that it has stopped selling specific “shock” electronic collars, furthering its commitment to positive reinforcement training methods and solidifying the company’s evolution of ‘a leading pet specialty retailer to a category-defining health and wellness partner for pets and pet parents. Recognizing the opportunity to create real change, the company is calling on industry and consumers to join its movement through a online petition to create responsible regulation for the retail sale of shock collars to consumers in general.
“Electricity may be essential to powering your microwave, but it has no role for the average parent training their dog,” Petco’s CEO said. Ron Coughlin. “Shock collars have been shown to increase fear, anxiety and stress in dogs, and we believe there is a better way – positive reinforcement training. As a health and well-being, our mission is to improve the lives of pets and we believe selling shock collars does that. It is our responsibility to ensure that we, and others, do not put potentially harmful products in the wrong hands.
The decision, which was confirmed in consultation with the Petco Pet Wellness Tip (PPWC), includes all human- and bark-activated electronic pet collars, commonly referred to as “shock” collars, that have been removed from Petco’s in-store and online assortment as of this writing. Pet parents will be encouraged to try products and services rooted in expert-backed positive reinforcement training methods, including a recently launched online training program, as well as a suite of private training courses. and at home, all led by more than 1,200 Petco-certified dogs. Trainers.
“Shock collars are misguided, outdated, and harmful pieces of equipment,” said Dr. Alexandra HorowitzMS, PhD, PPWC Fellow and Principal Investigator, Adjunct Associate Professor and Director of the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College. “It’s great to see Petco take the initiative to remove this merchandise from its stores, in support of its defense of positive reinforcement training.”
The change also reflects concerns that pet parents today have about shock collars. According to a recent study*, 70% of dog parents believe shock collars have a negative impact on their pet’s emotional or mental well-being, while 69% view shock collars as a method of cruel training. In fact, 59% of dog parents say they would rather electrocute themselves than use a shock collar on their dog. Consistent with Petco’s efforts to bring about change on this issue, the same study also found that seven in 10 dog parents (71%) believe there should be retail limits on shock collars to avoid human error or abuse, while more than half (51%) say they should really only be used by professionally trained dog trainers.
To underscore its commitment to positive reinforcement training methods, Petco offers a Free online introductory course pet parents interested in exploring positive reinforcement training.
“Science shows that animals will learn a new behavior faster and more successfully if they are allowed to voluntarily participate in the learning process and are rewarded for preferred behaviors,” said Dr. Whitney Miller, head of veterinary medicine for Petco. “Punishment is not only less effective at changing unwanted behaviors, shock collars are known to reinforce negative behaviors and create anxiety in pets.”
As part of the announcement, the company debuted a new look that boldly states “Petco, The Health + Wellness Co.” and reflects Petco’s 55+ year journey to becoming a health and wellness company. A major marketing campaign highlighting the company’s evolution is planned for early 2021.
Since its founding as a pet specialty retailer in 1965, Petco has led the industry in doing what’s right for pets and championing the health and well-being of pets. to be pets. In 2014, Petco became the first national specialty retailer to discontinue the sale of China-made sweets following consumer concerns about the safety of these products – and other retailers soon followed. In May 2019, the company became the first and only national pet food retailer to stop selling dog and cat food and treats containing artificial ingredients, raising the bar for the entire pet food retailer. pet retail industry. As an essential retailer during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Petco has served as America’s pet grocery store, doctor’s office and pharmacy, delivering on its promise as a partner of pet parents in a radically changed landscape.
In addition to today’s decision to end the sale of shock collars, Petco will continue to expand services and resources aimed at helping pet parents take care of their health and well-being. animals they love, including:
- Providing accessible, affordable and convenient veterinary care through its rapidly growing network of more than 100 full-service in-store veterinary hospitals – which the company plans to grow to more than 140 by January 2021.
- New and expanded healthcare solutions to minimize costs and encourage comprehensive pet wellness for everyone, including Vital care – a paid annual plan helping pet owners proactively cover day-to-day animal welfare needs while earning rewards – and growing animal insurance offers to ensure that pets are covered for the unexpected.
- A complete overhaul of petco.com and the Petco app to support digital health and wellness resources and solutions for pets and pet parents, including online appointment booking, curbside pickup, delivery the same day and more.
- A “digital”Find the right foodto help pet owners determine the optimal foods for their pets’ nutritional needs.
- Completion of the elimination of artificial colours, preservatives and flavors from food for aquatic life and small animals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles and more, by the end of 2021 – a commitment that the company took when it implemented the same industry-leading nutrition standards for dogs and cats in 2019. (Exceptions include certain bird and ferret foods, which will take longer to find alternatives appropriate.)
- Ongoing review of Petco’s business, products, solutions and services to ensure alignment with its mission to improve the lives of pets, pet parents and Petco partners.
About Petco, The Health + Wellness Co.
Petco is a category-defining health and wellness company focused on improving the lives of pets, pet parents, and our own Petco Partners. Since our inception in 1965, we have pioneered new standards in pet care, providing comprehensive wellness solutions through our products and services, and building communities that deepen the pet-bond. pet. We operate over 1,500 Petco locations across the United States, Mexico and Porto Ricoincluding a growing network of over 100 in-store veterinary hospitals, and offer a comprehensive online resource for pet health and welfare at petco.com and on the Petco App. In tandem with The Petco Foundationan independent, nonprofit organization, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country, and through in-store adoption events, we’ve helped find homes for over 6, 5 million animals.
* From September 15-17, 2020, Edelman Intelligence conducted a 5-minute online quantitative survey of 1,000 nationally representative U.S. dog parents ages 18 and older. Dog parents are defined as dog owners who own or share primary responsibility for purchasing products and services for their pets. The margin of error for this study is 2.8 at the 95% confidence level. Edelman Intelligence is a full-service, global market research firm that provides businesses, nonprofits, and governments with strategic insights to make their communications and stakeholder engagements as intelligent as possible.
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