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PetSmart – The Facts

April, 2010

Spot-on Flea & Tick Products


The health and happiness of pets is central to our business. We select our vendors and suppliers with these values in mind. After all, we're Pet Parents, too, and use these products on our own pets.

The health and wellness of millions of dogs and cats each year depends on veterinarian- and/or Pet Parent-applied treatments to control fleas and ticks. Because pesticides are an ingredient in these products, they're regulated by federal and state agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. and Health Canada in Canada.

In March 2010 the EPA announced a series of actions designed to improve the safety of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control for cats and dogs including: reviewing product labels to determine which, if any, require stronger and more clear labeling and instructions; and developing more stringent testing and evaluation requirements for both existing and new products.

We expect our suppliers to comply with all applicable requirements.

What we're doing about it

The EPA has not ordered a recall or recommended that these products not be used.  In fact, EPA has noted that, because fleas and ticks can transmit diseases to animals and people, flea and tick products can be appropriate treatments for protecting pets and public health. 

PetSmart follows EPA's guidance and will continue to offer these products for sale.

For Customers

These products, like many medicines, supplements or pet foods, have the potential to cause an adverse reaction in certain pets. It's important to follow label directions carefully and to monitor pets that are treated for any signs of an adverse reaction after application, particularly when first using these products.

The EPA recommends that precautions be taken when using these types of products on your pets, even though many people use spot-on flea and tick products with no adverse effects. For example, it recommends that a veterinarian be consulted before using these products on "weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown signs of sensitivity to pesticide products."

Be aware that health problems can occur if these products are used incorrectly. Examples include more than one product being used at the same time, products meant for a dog are applied to a cat, or too much of a product is used.

Read and follow label directions carefully and research what is best for your pet. We encourage you to call the manufacturer with questions and to consult with your veterinarian.


Any adverse reactions can be reported to the EPA here: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/fifra6a2/

More information on the monitoring of these products is available from the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/pets.html, and also at the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/

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