A survey of pet owners by PETCO in October found that 80% of owners are confident that their pet’s food is healthy and nutritious, even though only 40% of them claim to understand pet food labels. These results prompted PETCO to launch a campaign to educate customers on their pet’s nutritional needs. Only 79% of those questioned thought that the nutritional value of their pet’s food was critical or important, which is actually roughly the same as those who rated the nutritional value of their own food as critical or important.
PETCO is concerned that there is a "significant disconnect" between pet owners’ confidence in the nutritional value of their pet’s food and their ability to evaluate it using package labels. 43% of those questioned thought that they could evaluate the nutritional value of their pet’s food by looking at ingredients labels, while 41% of them report to know which ingredients are of most value or to be avoided. 39% of respondents thought they knew the difference between basic, premium, natural and organic pet food.
"The human food industry has done a great job educating consumers on how to read labels to select healthy ingredients and steer clear of unhealthy ones," said Rick Rockhill, Vice President of Merchandise Innovation for PETCO. "We want to arm consumers with the same kind of knowledge to make the best choices for their pets. We’re confident that by providing pet parents with the tools and by staffing our stores with trained nutrition experts, we can increase the number of pets enjoying the health benefits of great nutrition, and living healthier, happier lives with their human companions."
PETCO’s response to the survey includes in-depth training and certification of at least two staff nutrition experts at every store, and providing educational materials to customers. On Saturday, PETCO will host Pet Nutrition Workshops in all of their stores nationwide at 2pm.