Petco has become the first national pet specialty retailer to completely remove all dog and cat treats made in China from its store shelves and website.

Officials have yet to determine the exact cause of the contaminated pet treats, but reports of sick pets have been logged for years as pet owners believe that treats originating from China were the culprit. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started issuing warnings as early as 2007. Through May 2014, the FDA had received nearly 5,000 reports of pet illnesses suspected to be the result of eating jerky treats--chicken, duck or sweet potato variations--all made in China.

"As a trusted partner for pet parents, we believe this is the right thing to do, and we're proud to take this step in the best interest of pets," said Jim Myers, Petco CEO. "What we feed our pets matters, and this milestone supports the company's steadfast commitment to putting our customers, partners, animals and the communities we serve first."

Prior to the removal of these products, Petco stores had chosen to not carry China-made dog and cat treats for several years. Now, the pet retailer has ample opportunity to expand their offering of safer, healthier treats made in the U.S. as well as Australia, New Zealand and South America--regions that Petco believes are committed to pet health.