Holiday Shoppers Still Going, Headed for Pet Gifts this Weekend

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PETCO Has What Pet Parents Need in Busiest Shopping Weekend of Season

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Pets are important family members, and this is the weekend when pet-parents really seek out that special something for the companion animals in their lives

'Tis the weekend before Christmas, the time when shoppers finally check off everything on their gift lists - not just for human companions, but also for their other family members - their pets. Three quarters of pet parents surveyed by PETCO yesterday said they have already purchased a gift for their pet - but more than half said they still plan to buy more.

Now through Dec. 24 are traditionally the biggest shopping days of the year, especially the final weekend when all shoppers - those who started early and those who are just getting started - head out to find the perfect holiday gifts for everyone, including Fido, Mittens and Nemo - and PETCO is well-prepared for this year's rush.

"Pets are important family members, and this is the weekend when pet-parents really seek out that special something for the companion animals in their lives," said Dave Bolen, PETCO chief merchandising officer. "Pets bring joy to our lives every day of the year. The holidays are a great time to show them how much we appreciate their unconditional love and companionship."

According to PETCO's survey, for many pet parents, their animal companions are a big part of their holiday plans. Out of nearly 800 pet parents who responded, more than 90 percent said they include their pets in holiday celebrations; 67 percent said they would include their pet in a holiday photo session, 62 percent sign holiday cards on behalf of their pets; two-thirds said they will wrap gifts for pets; and more than a third said they will dress up their pet for the holidays - and plan to prepare a special holiday meal for their pet.

"If you're unsure about what to give your pets - or that special pet-parent in your life - I invite you to stop by your local PETCO," Bolen said. "We've got a terrific selection of seasonal apparel, treats, chews and toys now priced at 20 percent off. We are the place to go when shopping for pets and pet parents."

Five Picks of Holiday Season 2008

1) Holiday toys, such as the PETCO Holiday Plush Stick Pals Reindeer, are bound to delight any pet, naughty or nice.

Toys are among the most popular holiday pet gifts, with two-thirds of pet parents surveyed by PETCO saying their holiday shopping list includes at least one toy for their pet.

2) Treats are the second most popular pet holiday gift, according to the pet parents who participated in the 2008 PETCO Pet Holiday Survey.

A wholesome treat, chew or Rawhide - such as one of these PETCO Holiday Rawhide Candy Canes - is a festive and healthy way to treat your pup to something special this holiday season.

3) Holiday chic is also in-style, keeping four-legged family members warm and stylish this holiday season.

Holiday sweaters, such as this PETCO Ho, Ho, Ho Sweater, are available in all sizes and festive fashions.

4) Ride in Style - add some style to any pet parent's accessories when carrying a small animal in a trendy bag.

Pets weighing 10 pounds or less will love relaxing in the faux fur of this Dickens' Closet Simply Sophisticated Carrier bag while being toted around town.

5) Smart cat furniture pieces, such as this SmartCat Cat Climber, save space and let cats "hang out" in the house - literally - by sitting on three ledges that conveniently hang on any door in the home.

This new playground for cats lets them play for hours on a rigid, easy to assemble platform that won't get in the way.

Thinking about a New Pet? Think Adoption First!
Considering getting or giving a new pet as a holiday gift? As part of our Think Adoption First philosophy, PETCO suggests adopting an animal from one of our local animal welfare agency partners across the country. Most PETCO stores host animal adoption events each weekend. Visit petco.com to find a store near you.

Rather than give an animal as a gift, we suggest giving the necessary supplies - habitat, toys, treats - and then visit our stores after the holidays. Our team can help you and the gift-receiver select just the right animal and prepare you to be terrific pet parents.

About PETCO
PETCO is a privately held specialty retailer that provides products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. The company operates more than 900 stores in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a leading pet products and information destination at http://www.PETCO.com. The PETCO Foundation, retailer's nonprofit organization, has raised more than $44 million since its inception in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the foundation, PETCO works with and supports more than 5,500 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 200,000 adoptable animals every year.

Contact:     Lisa Epstein, PETCO, 858.453-7845, ext. 2558;

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Lisa Epstein