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Petco’s Latest Move Bolsters its Wellness Approach


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Petco's leadership is turning to an independent coalition of veterinary science and animal care experts for unbiased advice and council on a range of topics across the pet-care industry. The big-box retailer launched its Petco Pet Wellness Council (PPWC) at its inaugural meeting in San Diego this week. 

In addition to serving as an external source of advice and counsel to Petco leadership, the newly established PPWC will guide the development and aggregation of credible pet care science to help educate pet care professionals and, ultimately, all who care for pets. 

PPWC will meet quarterly to discuss and review animal care topics and issues of relevance in the pet care industry including nutrition, veterinary care, behavior, animal sourcing and ethics. 

"With the PPWC, we're bringing together some of the industry's top experts and thought leaders to provide new, science-based perspectives to inform our understanding and approach to challenges and opportunities across our business and the pet care world," said Ron Coughlin, CEO of Petco, which has headquarters in San Diego. "The Petco Pet Wellness Council is a critical element to ensuring both Petco and the rest of the industry continue to serve the best interest of pets and anyone who cares for them—from professionals to pet parents—today and into the future."

PPWC is comprised of the following:

  • Dr. Sean Delaney, DVM, MS, DACVN, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and founder of Davis Veterinary Medical Consulting in Davis, Calif.
  • Dr. Thomas Edling, DVM, MSpVM, MP, a veterinarian and veterinary consultant to the pet industry regarding pet avian an exotic medicine and infectious and zoonotic diseases.
  • Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, MS, Ph.D., author and professor, senior research fellow and head of Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, Columbia University
  • Dr. Nicole Leibman, DVM, MS, DACVIM, a board-certified veterinary oncologist and director of The Cancer Institute, the Animal Medical Center in New York City
  • Dr. Whitney Miller, DVM, MBA, DACVPM, director of Veterinary Medicine, Petco; board certified in veterinary preventive medicine
  • Dr. Tammy Sadek, DVM, DAVBP, a board-certified veterinarian specializing in feline practice, author, lecturer and founder of two feline specialty hospitals and Cat Hyperthyroid Radioactive Iodine Services
  • Dr. Jonathan Stockman, DVM, DACVN, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and head of the Clinical Nutrition Service at James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University
  • Dr. Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP, CVJ, board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in canine and feline practice, and clinical associate professor, Telehealth, Dept. of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University

"Establishing the Petco Pet Wellness Council is another step forward in reaffirming Petco's leadership as a trusted partner among pet care professionals," said Miller, who will serve as the company's representative on the council. "We look forward to digging in deep with this esteemed group of experts to ensure Petco continues to raise the bar in pet care science and education."

The launch of PPWC is part of the company's initiative to set new standards for the dog and cat foods sold in Petco stores. In May, the retailer removed food and treats containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives for dogs and cats from store shelves. 

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