While the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 7 year investigation regarding China-made pet treats has not been conclusive, the nation’s largest pet retailers have made the decision to “take no chances” when it comes to customer’s and their pets’ well-being.
Both Petco and Petsmart have made the announcement that they are in the process of phasing out any treats made in China to be replaced by treats made primarily in the U.S.A.
Petco, the first of the chains to begin the phase-out, will be done by September-October 2014, a representative told us.
“When customers walk into our store, we want them to shop worry-free, knowing that everything we carry is safe for their pets,” explains the company. “While the FDA has not found a direct link to China-made products, nor mandated a recall, we know our consumers are concerned and wary about anything from China. We are responding to their concerns with this phase-out.”
Will You Lose Your Favorite Brand?
Some customers may be worried that their favorite brand will disappear altogether, due to the new shift. However, Petco assured us that is not the case.
“We have been working with these brands for a long time to encourage USA manufacturing and the companies have been very helpful and receptive in moving their productions stateside,” the company says. “We are not losing any brands, just products made in China.”
Products that these brands once made will either be recreated here in the US, or replacement products will be available. The great side affect is that these companies are not just making dog treats in the US, but they are boosting our economy with new exports and jobs.
Petco also told us to be on the lookout for brand new and exciting products from not just the US, about around the world. South America, New Zealand, and Australia are strong emerging markets with new pet products coming into out all the time. Petco has been slowly adding these new treats the past few years, with more coming by the revamp this Fall.
Made vs. Sourced
One thing I want to draw my reader’s attention to is the difference between made and sourced. Just like everything else, there is fine print when it comes to “made in” labels. Just because it says “Made in the USA,” does NOT mean the INGREDIENTS are sourced here in the U.S.A.
The Petco representative explained to me that even in those products, micro-ingredients may come from China because they are the biggest or only supplier of that ingredient. The example she gave was Taurine for cats. China is the largest supplier of Taurine and it is necessary for cat health, so most of it is, and still will be, coming from China. However, as she pointed out, there has never been any scare on Taurine cat treats or food.
Petsmart plans to have China-made treats out of their store by March 2015.
“This is something we’ve been working toward for some time, and feel it’s the right thing to do for pets and our customers,” Petsmart explains. They were unavailable for additional information.
About the Author
Based in Tustin, Calif., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and works as a full time trainer. She also owns her own custom pet products company, A Fairytail House, where she makes personalized collars, leashes, beds, keepsake pillows and blankets, and anything else your imagine can think up. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs. She smartly married a Veterinary Technician, who helps keep the fur kids happy and healthy, and provides a quick resource for articles.
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