San Diego-based Petco was in the process of removing all China-made dog and cat treats from its shelves following the company's decision announced on Tuesday.
"We know some pet parents are wary of dog and cat treats made in China, especially Chicken Jerky products, and we've heard their concerns," Petco CEO Jim Myers said.
"As a leader in the industry and the trusted partner for our pet parents, we're eager to make this transition and to expand our assortment of safe and healthy treats, the majority of which are made right here in the U.S. Very simply, we feel the decision is in the best interest of the pets we all love and, ultimately, for our business."
The U.S. Drug and Food Administration has periodically cautioned pet owners against the treats, though the agency has not been able to clearly link the illnesses to the China-made products. The most recent warning was issued last week.
Petco executives said the treats would be out of their stores by the end of the year.
Phoenix-based rival PetSmart says it will have Chinese-made treats off its shelves by next March.
Each company runs about 1,300 stores.
—City News Service