Click the sections below to learn more about our company history.
1965 - UPCO founded as mail-order veterinary supplies business in San Diego, California.
1979 - UPCO becomes Petco.
1980 - First Petco store opens outside of California in Tigard, Oregon.
1988 - Petco's dynamic growth as a major retailer starts when the company acquires two pet supply chains, WellPoint and the Pet Department, more than tripling the number of Petco stores from 40 to 130 and expanding the company's footprint in Oregon and into Washington and Texas. Live fish are introduced in our Santa Monica, California store and other live animals quickly follow.
1991 - The company introduces Red Ruff and Blue Mews as its official logo mascots.
1992 - Petco's first East Coast stores open in New Jersey; "Where the Pets Go" is officially introduced and becomes one of the most recognized retail brand taglines in the country.
1994 - Petco goes public as the largest pet specialty retail chain with 218 stores in 13 states and sales of more than $189 million; listed on NASDAQ under the trading symbol PETC.
1995 - Petco rolls out grooming services for customers in stores nationwide.
1997 - Petco launches Petco Animal Lovers Save – PALS – the pet industry's first customer loyalty program.
1999 - The Petco Foundation is founded, formalizing Petco's longstanding commitment to animal welfare.
2000 - Petco goes private in leveraged buyout by Leonard Green Partners and Texas Pacific Group.
2001 - Petco.com is launched, offering online shoppers an expansive selection of products and services.
2002 - Petco again becomes publicly traded and grows to more than 600 stores in 48 states.
2004 - The San Diego Padres open play in the beautiful new Petco Park major league ballpark in downtown San Diego. With a strong commitment to elevating animal care standards across the industry, Petco introduces new store pet habitat designs and improved standards for animal suppliers. Petco is recognized for its animal care commitment and contributions to the pet industry with the APPA's first Gold Standards Award. The company also adds dog training classes to all stores.
2005 - Petco celebrates its 40-year anniversary and opens its first store in Alaska, the company's 49th state.
2006 - Petco grows to 800 stores in 49 states and more than 18,000 associates nationwide. The company is taken private again by private equity investment groups led by TPG.
2008 - The first Petco store opens in Hawaii expanding Petco's "paw print" into all 50 United States.
2009 - The Petco Foundation celebrates its tenth anniversary, surpasses $50 million donated to animal welfare partners across the U.S. Petco introduces Unleashed by Petco, a small format store with a limited, high-end assortment and friendly neighborhood feel. With the rollout of the Natural Shop and the largest assortment of natural foods, Petco solidifies its' position as a leader in natural nutrition. Company store count tops 1,000.
2010 - Petco and the Petco Foundation partner to launch the first National Pet Food Bank, designed to help financially struggling families keep their pets. The company becomes a founding sponsor of HABRI, the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative, which fosters research on the benefits of having pets in people's lives. Petco also introduces a new Vision: Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World.
2011 - The updated tagline, "Where the healthy pets go" is introduced and the company opens an additional corporate office in San Antonio (San Antonio Support Center) to work in concert with its National Support Center in San Diego.
2012 - Petco opens its first store in Puerto Rico in December. The Petco Foundation surpasses and celebrates $100 million raised for animals in need.
2013 - Petco introduces WholePets, a commitment to help pet parents care for pets' physical, mental, social and emotional needs. The company also opens its first Petco stores in México, with one in México City and one in Guadalajara.
2014 – Petco announces plans to open a new San Diego Support Center in the Rancho Bernardo community of San Diego, which will consolidate multiple offices and hundreds of corporate partners under one roof. Petco Park celebrates its 10th Anniversary and the Petco Foundation donates $10,000 to the San Diego Humane Society in honor of the 10-year partnership and shared commitment to animal welfare in Petco's hometown. Petco also becomes the first national pet specialty retailer to announce it will no longer carry any dog or cat food and treats made in China.
2015 - We celebrate 50 years of service to pet parents!
2016 - Early in the year, Petco is acquired by CVC Capital Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The company also launches National Pets @ Work Day on April 19 to raise awareness for the benefits of pets in the workplace. In the summer, Petco launches its first private brand food lines, Doctors Foster & Smith and Wholehearted.
2017- Petco launches new brand campaign “All About Pets”, which was designed to highlight the strength of the company’s more than 50 years of experience in the pet specialty category. The company also acquires leading pet advice website and app, PetCoach, and life stage-focused subscription service company, PupBox. In the summer, the Petco Foundation surpasses $200 million raised for animals in need. Later in the year, Petco opens its first in-store veterinary hospital in Aldine, Texas. Last, Petco expands digital offerings with the launch of Heads & Tails app.
2018 - This year is a big one for Petco! Petco announces it has acquired leading pet insurance marketplace, PetInsuranceQuotes.com. The company continues to expand its pet services offerings with additional in-store veterinary hospitals throughout the U.S. In spring, Petco introduces its partnership with the fresh, human-grade pet food company, JustFoodForDogs. In June, the company announces the appointment of Ron Coughlin as Chief Executive Officer. Petco launches two PetCoach stores in San Marcos and Poway, CA that are the first-of-its-kind pet care store concept that offers a whole new way for pet parents to provide complete care for their pets. In late summer, Petco expands to Canada through a new partnership with Canadian Tire. Last, Petco closes out 2018 with a historic announcement that the company will not sell food and treats containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives for dogs and cats by May 2019.
2019 - As of May, Petco is the first and only major pet retailer to remove all products containing artificial ingredients from its dog and cat food and treats at more than 1,500 retail stores nationwide and online at Petco.com. This move reaffirms the company's commitment to being the lifelong, trusted partner – for pets and pet parents, alike. Petco also launches the Petco Pet Wellness Council (PPWC), an independent coalition of leading experts in veterinary science and animal care, who will inform both company- and industry-wide education and evolution in support of overall pet health and wellness. In addition, the company expands its footprint of in-store veterinary hospitals with new regional partners – Global Veterinary Partners (GVP), based out of Weston, Florida; VitalPet, based out of Houston, Texas; and VetnCare, based out of Oakland, California. In November, Petco expands its international footprint with a new store in Tijuana, México, bringing the total number of Petco stores in México to 85.
Today - With more than 55 years of service to pet parents, Petco is a category-defining health and wellness company focused on improving the lives of pets, pet parents and our own Petco partners. The company has committed to providing accessible, affordable and convenient veterinary care via its rapidly growing network of more than 100 full-service in-store vet hospitals. In September 2020, the company launches Vital Care, a groundbreaking paid wellness plan providing pet parents with a convenient, affordable way to meet pets’ routine wellness needs. In October, Petco announces it has stopped selling specific electronic “shock” collars, strengthening the company’s commitment to positive reinforcement training methods. Petco also launches a new look that boldly declares “Petco, The Health + Wellness Co” and reflects Petco’s more than 55-year journey to becoming a health and wellness company. Petco also undergoes a complete redesign of petco.com and the Petco app to support digital-first health and wellness resources and solutions for pets and pet parents, including online appointment booking, curbside pickup, same day delivery, a digital food advisor tool and more.