Petco adjusts advertisement after veterinary complaints


AVMA persuades pet retailer to adjust messaging after veterinarians show concern.

After a recent advertising campaign by Petco revealed the retailer's 7-Point Pet Care Check conducted by in-store groomers, many veterinarians expressed concern, according to a post from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). 

Concerns from AVMA members regarding the ads-specifically that anything out of the ordinary discovered during a pet's grooming visit should be assessed by a veterinarian and treated as necessary-came forward soon after the advertisements debuted online and on television, according to the AVMA. 

"Petco has assured us that appropriate and timely referral for veterinary services is a key pillar of training for the 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," says an AVMA@Work blog post. "Petco and the AVMA agree that grooming visits are not a substitute for routine checkups and preventive care provided by veterinarians." 

The new program was launched on May 17. In addition to asking for age, activity level, diet, health concerns, medications and vaccinations, groomers will now also be looking at the pet's eyes, ears, nose, mouth and teeth, paw pads, skin and coat and underside for any odors, irritation, or other signs that could possibly indicate health issues. 

"The 7-Point Pet Care Check is designed to assess the pet from nose to tail, making sure every pet appears healthy on the outside and also visually looking to identify any possible issues pet parents may need to address with a veterinarian," says a Petco company press release. 

Petco has since adjusted the information online for the company's new campaign, adding the disclaimer: "The 7-Point Pet Care Check is not a substitute for regular examinations and care from a licensed veterinarian." The national pet retailer will also incorporate appropriate messaging for its television commercials, though it may take longer to accomplish, according to the AVMA. 

Petco's 7-Point Pet Care Check with a revised statement at the bottom. (

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