Creating standards in the pet industry
Advocating the ethical and responsible treatment of pets is fundamentally important to us, and our passion extends to the food and accessories we provide for pet owners.
We are the only UK pet retailer to have invested in a dedicated accessories sourcing operation in Asia with a team of trained technologists who have worked systematically to ensure that all of our Asian suppliers of Pets at Home registered brands and Pets at Home branded products, irrespective of whether they supply us directly or through UK agents, have submitted evidence of compliance with our Ethical Trading Policy.
In addition to our own regular interaction, Asian suppliers are independently audited by third parties to ensure our standards are being maintained. These regular ethical audits probe in detail the standards we require in relation to:
- Hours of work
- Labour practices
- Working conditions
- Onsite accommodation
- Homeworkers and sub-contractors
- Health & safety
- Environmental compliance
- Supply chain management
There are no formal regulations specific to pet accessories in the UK so we have developed our own testing protocols for each product category, and where there are legal requirements for products such as batteries, electrical products and toys, the relevant regulations are applied to our products. More recently we have entered into an agreement with a major US pet retailer to collaborate on common testing protocols for important categories such as dog toys to help reduce costs and create better value for customers.
We have a highly experienced team of Technical Managers who keep our testing protocols and British/European Standards under regular review to ensure they keep pace with developments in our product portfolio. They also monitor carefully all product feedback provided by customers through our dedicated customer services team.
We are currently undertaking an independent review of the extent and frequency of testing in our own label food ranges.
During the year we made improvements to the range of hamster cages to help customers provide better standards of pet welfare. Also we eliminated cooked pork bones from our range, which now features only beef bones. This was a result of our detailed analysis of complaints which revealed that, whilst the number of complaints overall was low, pork bones were more likely to fragment when chewed.