While we’re talking dogs …

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They’re just like us; they are what they eat. Petco recently announced it would stop selling dog — and cat — foods and treats containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Petco CEO Ron Coughlin likens it to “taking the nutritional high ground,” with shelves and the website cleared of such items by May. Some suppliers, according to Petco, are reformulating, while others will no longer be carried.

“Some may question whether this makes good business sense but putting pets’ health first has always been the right thing to do for Petco,” Coughlin says. “This is both a major step forward for pets and a natural next step on our journey to become a complete partner in total pet wellness. We hope the rest of the pet industry will join us on this path to better health for the pets we love.”

Petco also was the first national specialty retailer to stop selling China-made treats, in 2014.

Those who do question the move might not have been paying attention. An Edelman Intelligence study of 1,300 pet owners and 100 veterinarians nationwide showed that 95 percent of the pet owners believe their pet’s diet and nutrition is essential to the animal’s overall health and wellness. At the same time, 56 percent say finding healthy pet products is confusing, and 47 percent say it’s difficult. Petco’s move helps cut out the guesswork — and leaves more time for belly rubs, games of fetch and walks.

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