Yesterday afternoon, AVMA staff had a very cordial conversation with Petco leadership regarding Petco’s new advertising campaign for their grooming services. Petco staff was very understanding and supportive of veterinarians’ concerns that anything out of the ordinary discovered during a pet’s grooming visit be assessed and, as necessary, treated by a veterinarian. Petco has assured us that appropriate and timely referral for veterinary services is a key pillar of training for their grooming staff in implementing Petco’s new 7 Point Pet Care Check. Unfortunately, that message did not come through clearly in Petco’s advertising campaign. Petco and the AVMA agree that grooming visits are not a substitute for routine checkups and preventive care provided by veterinarians. Petco recognizes there is an opportunity to clarify the message and is working with the AVMA on how best to accomplish that.
You should see adjustments to information provided on Petco’s website shortly, and they have also indicated they will take steps to incorporate appropriate messaging into their YouTube videos and television commercials. Due to complexities associated with those media, the latter may take a bit longer to accomplish, but we have been assured that it will happen. In addition to addressing current concerns, Petco has expressed interest in working with the AVMA to collaboratively promote the importance of veterinary care, both therapeutic and preventive, to the pet service-consuming public. Accordingly, our conversation appears to have not only raised awareness and resulted in steps to address current concerns, but has opened the door to future opportunities to protect the good health of our veterinary patients.
We thank our members and state veterinary associations for bringing this issue to the AVMA’s attention. If you have additional questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will, of course, continue to monitor this situation to ensure progress is made on the proposed solutions.