What Is Petco? (What Is It Known for, History, Good to Animals + More)

Petco is one of the biggest pet focused retailers in the country, dealing in actual live animals as well as accessories, supplies, and care services.

If you’re looking to learn more about the company, we’ve done extensive research into the information you would need to know!

What Is Petco In [currentyear]?

Petco is a national retailer that focuses on selling live pets, as well as pet accessories and supplies like food, treats, toys, and leashes in [currentyear]. Petco’s live pets include dogs, cats, reptiles, fish and birds. Petco has over 1,500 stores, and a website for online shopping. Petco also offers pet related services like vet care, grooming, and sterilization.

Keep reading to learn all you need to know about Petco, including a deeper dive into the services offered, Petco locations, and more!

What Is Petco Known For?

Petco is known for being one of the most popular sources for live pets, pet supplies, and accessories in the country.

The company carries some of the most popular pet types, including dogs and cats that are provided through adoptions, as well as the company’s own brands of products.

What Services Does Petco Offer?

Petco offers the following services:

  1. Dog and cat grooming
  2. Dog training
  3. Vet services
  4. Adoptions
  5. Self serve dog wash
  6. Walking and sitting
  7. Pet insurance

Petco’s veterinary services include the following:

  1. Wellness and sick exams
  2. Vaccinations
  3. Dental care
  4. Surgeries
  5. Pest and parasite prevention and testing
  6. Spaying and neutering
  7. Microchipping
  8. Digestive care
  9. Dermatology
  10. Petco Pharmacy

Petco’s insurance services cover the following:

  1. Veterinary treatment
  2. Diagnostic testing
  3. Accidents
  4. Surgery and hospitalization
  5. Dental disease
  6. Hereditary and congenital conditions
  7. Behavioral issues
  8. Medications and therapies

Is Petco Cruel to Animals?

As a whole, Petco has taken steps to ensure that the company engages in ethical practices.

Probably the biggest move towards this was when it was announced that Petco was going to stop selling dogs and cats, and instead focus on working with rescue shelters to help customers adopt them.

This was mainly intended to distance the company from puppy mills that have a negative reputation for mistreating the animals they sell, and having them in bad conditions.

Petco has also received multiple awards from the Ethisphere Institute, which named it as the most ethical company in the world in several consecutive years.

However, despite all this, there are many reports from different store employees, both current and former, that say Petco is keeping the animals in less than ideal conditions.

For starters, Petco’s policy apparently requires stores to have rats and mice displayed in glass tanks.

However, this is harmful to them, because they don’t get enough fresh air like they would in a cage, and they eventually develop respiratory issues.

Other similar cases include fish being overcrowded in tanks where they died, and birds that were not being socialized, so they never learned to be comfortable around people.

There are also reports from pet owners that took their pets into Petco for different services and had a bad experience.

For example, one customer regularly took their dog in for grooming at Petco, but never stuck around for the process. One day when they did, they saw the groomer being rough with the dog.

Most reports like this that are directed at large pet focused companies say they are common.

This is because, no matter how much they try to incorporate ethical practices, sometimes they’ll have to sidestep it for the sake of profitability, whether that’s by getting things done faster or by increasing sales figures.

A lot of the people that have made such reports say that they switched to smaller alternatives, because they always do their best to retain repeat customers.

When Was Petco Founded?

When Was Petco Founded?

Petco was founded in 1965 in San Diego as a supplier of veterinary supplies where customers could request the products in the mail.

How Many Petco Stores Are There?

Petco has more than 1,500 stores in the U.S., Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Petco also has more than 100 in-store veterinarian hospitals.

Petco also has a separate chain called Unleashed by Petco that’s similar to the main business, except it doesn’t sell live pets.

There are currently more than 65 Petco Unleashed stores in 9 states.

What Is Petco’s Phone Number?

Petco’s phone number is 1 (877) 738-6742, which you can call toll free. Petco’s team will answer calls made to this number between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. PST every day.

However, you can also contact Petco through the following numbers:

  1. 1 (888) 909-4665 for press inquiries
  2. 1 (888) 824-7257 for customer relations
  3. 1 (858) 453-7845 for partners and associates
  4. 1 (212) 220-5000 for advertising

Where Are Petco’s Headquarters?

Petco’s corporate headquarters are located at 10850 Via Frontera, San Diego, CA 92121.

What Companies Does Petco Own?

Petco owns the following companies:

  1. Unleashed by Petco
  2. PetCoach
  3. PetInsuranceQuotes.com
  4. Vital Care

Petco also owns the following brands:

  1. WholeHearted
  2. Reddy
  3. EveryYay
  4. Youly
  5. So Phresh
  6. Well and Good
  7. Good Lovin’
  8. Leaps and Bounds
  9. Imagitarium

Petco doesn’t own Petco Park, the large stadium in San Diego. All the company did was pay for the naming rights in 2004 when it opened.

In this deal, Petco agreed to pay $60 million over 22 years, which works out to approximately $2.7 million a year, or $33,000 per game played at the venue.

In 2021, Petco signed a deal to extend the lease so it could have the naming rights for an extra 2 years, until 2027.

What Was Petco Called Before?

When it was founded in 1969 as a mail order service for vet supplies, Petco was called the United Pharmacal Company, or UPCO, until the name changed in 1979 to what it is now.

Who Is the CEO of Petco?

Petco’s CEO is Ron Coughlin, who has held the position since 2018. Before joining Petco, Coughlin had previously worked at HP and Pepsi.

Is Petco a Public Company?

Petco is currently a publicly traded company, after making its latest debut on the stock market through an IPO in January 2021.

Previously, Petco was owned by Texas Pacific Group and Leonard Green Partners, who had taken it private previously.

Before going public, the company was sold to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and CVC Capital Partners.

Who Took Petco Private?

Petco originally went public in 1994, but was taken private a few years after when it was bought by Leonard Green Partners and Texas Pacific Group in 2000.

In 2002, Petco went public again, but was taken private in 2006 by some private equity groups that were led by Texas Pacific Group.

To know more about Petco, you can also read our related posts on what is Petco Unleashed, Petco return policy, and when does Petco restock.


Petco is one of the biggest pet focused retailers in the country, dealing in live pets, pet supplies, accessories, and services. These services include grooming and vet care. Petco currently has 1,500 stores in the U.S., Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Petco owns Unleashed by Petco and PetCoach. It was founded in 1965 as a mail order service for vet supplies, originally called United Pharmacal Company (UPCO). Petco is a public company, but was taken private twice by Texas Pacific Group and Leonard Green Partners.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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