Petco and My Dog Story | Danny's Universe

Have you ever been to Petco?   I was there the other day, and...  First, a little history!
Watch Video of my Visit on YouTube Here.
They have changed and evolved a lot through the years.  The store we know

as Petco was founded in 1965 by Walter Evans.

When I started to research the company history of Petco, I found a story of growth and innovation.

To some, statistics and dates can be a little boring.  However by reading, it's easy to see why Petco has been so successful for so long.

They have consistently introduced valuable products, services, and ideas to the marketplace.

Name Change, Growth and Innovation
The original name of this mega-brand was UPCO (United Pharmaceutical Company).  They started out as a mail-order veterinary supplies business in California.

In 1979 the name was changed to Petco.  Then in 1980, they opened their first store in Tigard, Oregon.

By 1988 the business had grown from 40 stores to 130 stores.  This was due in a large part to the purchase two other pet store chains, Wellpoint and The Pet Department. 

It was around this time, that Petco began selling fish as pets.  

Soon they would add a variety of other animals.

In 1992 the company continued to open new stores across the nation, and officially introduced their popular slogan, Where the Pets Go.

By 1994, Petco became the largest specialty retail chain for pets with 218 stores in 13 states, and sales of 189 million. 

In 1995 the company began their grooming services in all Petco locations.

In the first decade of the 2000s, the company launched, and opened stores in Alaska and Hawaii.  Petco is now in all 50 states.

In 2011, Petco updated their tagline to say, Where the healthy pets go.

In recent years, Petco announced that they will no longer sell food and treats that contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.  This decision makes them the first major retailer of pet food to take a stand against these ingredients.

I personally like this.  It shows that a private company is fully capable of doing a good thing without being forced to do so by regulations.

Today, Petco has more than 1500 locations across the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.  

The Petco foundation, an independent nonprofit organization has invested more than 230 million to promote and improve the welfare of companion animals.  

They also help find homes for more than 400,000 animals every year.

My Recent Trip
A few days ago, I visited a Petco location in Branson, MO.  I have been there many times in the past.

This trip was different.  They had the store decorated for Christmas.  

It was fun to see so many different Christmas items for pets, and their owners.  They had a large assortment of sweaters, hats, shirts, and more for dogs of different sizes and shapes.

They even had a LOT of items with the old red truck, and Christmas tree

I will confess, that I didn't look for much having to do with cats, as I am not much of a feline lover.  

Well unless you count Catwoman from Batman, then yeah baby! lol

Anyway, while perusing Petco's Christmas inventory, I saw something that took me back to so many childhood memories all at once.

My Story
When I was a kid, I looked forward to opening presents on Christmas Day like every other kid I knew.  

Some years there were more presents under the Christmas tree, than other years.  Thanks to my hard working Dad and Mom, there were always more than enough. 

Before we opened our wrapped gifts, it was our custom to first look in our Christmas stockings.

The location of the stockings changed a few times over the years, but they were always there.

I remember mine was the traditional red and white kind you see in old movies.  Us kids had used Elmer's glue and glitter to write our names on them, with Mom's help of course. 

Each year, as I looked at the row of stockings, I would always get special delight in the fact that our family dog had his very own stocking too.

Our dog was a full-fledged member of our family!

I have so many memories of him.  It has been many years since I last saw him, but still think of him often, and our many adventures together. 

He was my friend, my protector, my confidant, and the best dog in the whole, wide world

Btw, he didn't like cats either.  I once saw him run after a cat so fast that he ended up in a tree, and we had to get him down.

I would so love to tell you his name, but with this being the internet, I don't think it would be wise to do so.

I remember the last time I saw him.  Our parting was sad, but it was time, or so they said.

I don't think it's ever really the right time to let go of someone (yeah, I said someone!) you love, as much as I loved him.

If you've ever had a pet for a long period of time, you will probably know what I mean. 

One thing is for sure, if I still had my old friend, I would most certainly take him to Petco for Christmas.

Thank you for reading,
Love one another

Note:  In case you're wondering, Petco did not pay me to write this piece.  I did however get permission from the store manager to take pictures, and shoot video.

Disclaimer: I believe the philosophy I put forth here.  I believe my points are valid.  However, all situations are not equal.  If you are in dire need, please speak to a respected faith leader or professional counselor in your area.  The thoughts and opinions here are my own and should not take the place of professional advice.


  1. We love shopping at PETCO! And when we had dogs often took them to the store and let them pick out the treats they wanted. The only time we got "clothes" was when they had to be clipped in the winter for what ever reason. Over the years we had everything from hunting dogs to poodles. Coon hounds, Brittany Spaniels, Schnauzers, Labs, etc. One of our female mixed breed shepherds lived to be 19. She touched noses with the first East Berliner dogs that crossed the border in Berlin in 1989. My last dog was a sweet tempered chocolate lab named Precious who, like several others came to us via our kids who got jobs and moved on. She was a darling girl and loved to go shopping at the store for her necessities. When she went over the bridge a year and a half ago we decided shed be our last dog. The expense of keeping them is just too high. And we like to be free to travel to awesome places like Branson. We still have 2 indoor cats however. Aged 16 and 19. And a 6 year old outside kitty that sleeps the bitter weather away in my mud room. They too belonged to the kids and were left with us "temporarily". That was 15 years ago. Once they are more. We also have a 25 year old mini horse named Tootsie. She gets her groceries from the feed store. Now, SHE was my project. As I've also had horses all my life. I dont ride anymore but, still get my horse fix in. Petco is a great store! Lots of neat stuff for just about everyone.

  2. You are truly an animal lover. That is quite a menagerie!

    Have you ever taken your mini horse into Petco? I saw a video online where a guy took a BIG bull into a store in Texas. Everyone was nice, and said hello.

    If you do it, PLEASE take a picture! :)

  3. LoL, No, Tootsie says home when we go to the store. It's an hour and a half drive to the nearest PETCO. I doubt she'd appreciate the long, bouncy trailer ride. While I think she'd be fine with going into the store I hate to make her sore from the ride.