Just like parents and their human children, each pet owner has a different idea of what is best for their fur babies, especially when it comes to training. Some prefer to focus only on positive reinforcement, while others use tools to punish and correct bad behavior. But now, a leading pet company is sending the signal that one method may be better than the other. On October 6, Petco has announced that it will stop selling electric shock collars, suggesting they are harmful to dogs. The decision took effect immediately, with all human- and bark-activated electronic pet collars removed from Petco’s in-store shelves, as well as their online stock, on October 6. Read on to learn more, and to find a puppy that’s right for you, check out America’s 50 Most Popular Dog Breeds.
“Electricity may be essential to powering your microwave, but it has no role in the average pet parent training their dog“, CEO of Petco Ron Coughlin said in the statement. “Shock collars have been shown to increase fear, anxiety, and stress in dogs, and we believe there’s a better way: positive reinforcement training.”
Coughlin said Petco wanted to emphasize that it is an animal health and welfare company. “Our mission is focused on improving the lives of pets and we believe that selling shock collars does the opposite. It is our responsibility to ensure that we, and others, do not put potentially harmful products in the wrong hands,” he said.
The decision was overseen by the Petco Pet Wellness Council (PPWC), an organization that was formed last year as a “coalition of independent leaders veterinary science experts and animal care. » Alexandra HorowitzMS, PhD, member of PPWC and head of the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, said in a statement. “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.”
According to a 2020 study conducted by market research firm Edelman Intelligence, 70% of dog parents believe that shock collars are harmful to the emotional and mental well-being of pets, and 69% consider shock collars as a cruel form of training.
The study also found that most people agree that electric collars shouldn’t be sold to just any pet owner: 71% of dog parents believe there should be some limiting the sale of shock collars, while 51% said shock collars should only be used by professionally trained dog trainers.
“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 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.” For more recent pet news, check out Owning This Pet May Help You Live Longer, Study Finds, and for other products that have been found to be unsafe, read on!
At the end of 2019, major retailers such as Walmart, Buy Buy Baby, Amazon and eBay announced that they were no longer sells baby reclined sleepers. This was after federal safety regulators linked the article to more than 70 accidental deaths.
Ikea and Target decided to stop selling corded blinds in 2016. By the end of 2018, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart had also stopped selling these blinds. According to law firm Wagner Reese, this was after a 30-year struggle to adjust corded blinds because they had caused nearly 500 deaths and injuries.
Until May 2018, Lowe’s was still sells strippers containing methylene chloride– a toxic chemical that has been linked to multiple deaths and is said to cause liver toxicity, cancer, nervous system damage and even trigger heart attacks. The major home retailer announced it would stop selling these paint strippers just over two years ago.
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