Sourcing with Integrity
Pet Care: Before and After the Store
Responsible pet ownership is something we feel extremely strongly about: we are pet people at heart, and want to make sure that we give advice to other pet people in the most responsible way possible.
This means that when you buy a pet from Pets at Home, you can be sure it was bred in comfortable and caring surroundings, and has been looked after until the moment you pick it up.
We have a strict policy of only using pet suppliers which fulfil the five basic freedoms set out in the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and conduct regular inspections to ensure that our suppliers maintain these standards at all times.
Care in Our Stores
Since we hold our suppliers to such high standards, we naturally take great care to ensure that our pets are well looked-after in our stores, too. We have installed a qualified vet as our Head of Pets, while two qualified veterinary nurses also form part of our Pets Team. To ensure standards are consistent across our chain of outlets, we contract SAI Global to conduct independent inspections of our stores on a regular basis.
Our colleagues keep a close eye on the diet and eating habits of our in-store pets, with centrally ordered fruit and vegetables helping to provide nutritional balance. Their homes are carefully monitored, too: we recently changed our rabbit and guinea pig housing from all-wood to glass in order to reduce the risk of infection, while our reptiles are housed in the most up-to-date vivariums.
We endeavour to help potential pet owners find their ideal match, but this also means only selling pets to responsible owners. To encourage responsible ownership, we have raised the minimum age for pet purchases from 16 to 18, and each member of our Customer Service Team is given extensive training in how to determine the pet-related needs and personal circumstances of each of our customers. If for any reason we don't believe a customer will be a responsible pet owner, we refuse to sell them a pet - the well-being of our pets comes before profits.
Care after Our Stores
While we make every effort to ensure our pets go to happy homes, we are aware that not all pets have it so lucky. We started the charity Support Adoption for Pets to help raise vital funds for local animal welfare and rehoming centres, and raise funds through a variety of events, including in-store fundraising weeks and golf days. In addition, sales of our charity Christmas cards, bags for life and collection of our trolley coins help to raise additional funds.
On top of the financial assistance we provide, our colleagues work tirelessly to operate the charity's in-store adoption programme, providing homeless pets with a second chance at the happy home they deserve.
Responsible sourcing worldwide
This approach is not just limited to our pet suppliers: with the opening of our Asia sourcing office, we have taken control of our supply chain. We regularly audit our factories which means that we now have visibility of where our products are being made. We have also developed strict testing protocols to ensure to improve the quality for our customers.
We also take an incredibly hard stance on product testing on animals and only allow non-intrusive testing such as tasting trials on pets plus destruction testing on dog toys (we now have a panel of highly destructive dog colleagues who test our tough toys!).
Improving products for pets
Some of the ways we’ve improved products in the interests of pet welfare include:
- The Chinchilla Home has been improved to remove all the metal panel pins, which were highlighted as a safety hazard.
- The Play Tunnel, Wood Cheese Block, Climb and Hide and many other products have had the size of their hole openings to allow a safe entry and exit, and where appropriate non-toxic vegetable paint dyes have been used.
- The Bones Lead Large has been improved with polypropelyne webbing, strengthening the core. This change was rolled out to all similar products.
- All own brand leads have been fitted with a new clip to enhance their security.
- All collars and leads now undergo sudden impact testing, improving durability and lateral pin strength.
Do something good every time you swipe