How Does Petsmart Treat Their Animals?

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PetSmart, a leading pet retailer in the United States, has been a go-to destination for pet owners for decades. However, the treatment of animals at PetSmart has been a topic of controversy, with various sources providing different perspectives. This article aims to provide an in-depth look at how PetSmart treats their animals, covering their policies, procedures, and controversies.


PetSmart upholds various standards for the care of their animals, including comprehensive care guides, rigorous protocols, and strict cleaning standards. They also offer veterinary care services, and their employees receive extensive training in animal care and handling. However, there have been controversies and allegations about poor treatment of animals. While PetSmart has responded to these criticisms with efforts to improve animal welfare, it’s crucial for customers to be informed about these issues.

Animal Care Standards at PetSmart

PetSmart upholds a variety of standards for the care of their animals. These standards are applied across all types of animals they carry, including small pets, fish, reptiles, birds, and dogs and cats that come in for grooming services. From providing comprehensive care guides to implementing rigorous protocols, care guides, habitat policies, and cleaning standards, PetSmart is committed to ensuring the well-being of the pets in their care.

Furthermore, PetSmart has an in-store pet policy that outlines which pets are permitted in their stores, provided the pets are appropriately secured and vaccinated. This policy also outlines the types of pets that are not permitted in their stores.

Veterinary Care and Services at PetSmart

PetSmart offers a range of services for pets, including grooming, training, PetsHotel boarding, and Doggie Day Camp. These services are designed to keep pets looking and feeling great and are provided by highly trained, passionate associates.

PetSmart provides veterinary care services through a wide range of veterinarians and pet clinics, some of which are independently owned and operated within select PetSmart stores. They also have partnerships with Banfield Pet Hospital, which has hundreds of hospitals around the country committed to long-term wellness resources for pets.

Animal Training and Handling at PetSmart

PetSmart employees receive extensive training in animal care and handling. They undergo a variety of courses that focus on different aspects of animal behavior and training techniques. PetSmart’s Grooming Academy provides over 800 hours of training with more than 200 different dogs. All associates that work with pets must complete a “Pet Care Certification” program before working in a store.

Ethical Sourcing of Animals at PetSmart

PetSmart promotes ethical sourcing of animals for sale in their stores through a variety of measures. They have a Supplier Code of Conduct that outlines their expectations for suppliers, including the humane treatment of animals. PetSmart also has an In-Store Pet Policy that outlines the types of pets that are permitted in their stores. This policy ensures that the pets are appropriately secured and vaccinated, which contributes to the overall welfare of the animals.

Controversies and Criticisms

Despite these policies and measures, PetSmart has been criticized for their handling of animals. Allegations from PETA suggest that some animals in PetSmart’s care have been deprived of desperately needed veterinary care and left to suffer in the store’s “sick room”.

In response to these allegations, PetSmart has made efforts to improve animal welfare. For example, PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal welfare in the U.S., has implemented policy changes to provide temporary relief to animal welfare organizations.


While PetSmart has policies and programs in place aimed at ensuring the welfare of the animals in their care, there have been allegations and reports of poor treatment of animals. It’s important for potential customers to be aware of these issues and make informed decisions about supporting the company.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does PetSmart sell dogs and cats in their stores?

No, PetSmart does not sell dogs or cats. Instead, they partner with local shelters and rescues to host adoption events in their stores.

What is the PetSmart Charities?

PetSmart Charities is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that aims to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together.

What is Banfield Pet Hospital?

Banfield Pet Hospital is a privately owned company that operates veterinary clinics, many of which are located inside PetSmart stores. They provide a full range of veterinary services.

How does PetSmart ensure the animals they sell are healthy?

PetSmart has rigorous protocols for the care and cleaning of their animals. They also require their suppliers to adhere to a strict Code of Conduct to ensure the humane treatment of animals.

What kind of training do PetSmart employees receive?

PetSmart employees undergo extensive training that includes a variety of courses on different aspects of animal behavior and training techniques. They also have to complete a “Pet Care Certification” program before working in a store.

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