Let the Pet Games Begin! In Honor of London’s Summer Games, Petco is Offering Tips for Keeping Pets in Top Condition Too

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In Honor of London’s Summer Games, Petco is Offering Tips for Keeping Pets in Top Condition Too

The Summer Games will soon be underway and fans will be following the lives of the athletes. As media puts the spotlight on these athletes, it’s important to remember what keeps them in top condition; diet, exercise, safety and training. Oddly enough, the things that prepare athletes for their chance to win the gold are the same elements that keep pets in their best condition every day. This summer, Petco™ offers tips for keeping pets in tip top condition for summer 2012 and beyond.

Nutrition: One of the most important steps in a training regimen for pets is creating the right diet to fit their needs. Age, weight, activity level and physical makeup are things to consider when creating the proper pet diet. Look for foods that have high quality protein sources, added antioxidants, and vitamins, such as Innova's dog and cat food, because quality ingredients contribute more to their health and well-being. Petco’s Certified Nutrition Experts are available in-store to offer advice on the right dog or cat food that best meets a pet’s specific needs and lifestyle.

Exercise: Just as with nutrition, exercise regimens should be tailored for each pet’s unique needs. For the average adult dog, mixed breeds and purebreds, a daily total of 40 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise is sufficient, depending on breed. Toys such as the soft Indoor Chuckit! are great for short indoor sprinting, while the Outdoor Chuckit! allows for longer runs while playing fetch.

Training: Having a keen mind is just as important as a trained physique. Training sessions, such as the positive dog training classes offered at Petco stores, keep a pet’s mind sharp and body active. Routine long walks will also help cure boredom and satisfy their exercise needs. Changing the walking route is a great way to challenge dogs because it is mentally stimulating to explore new smells, areas, pets and people, while also giving them vital exercise and time to bond with their pet parent. Retractable leashes are a great option to offer dogs freedom, while still keeping them safe. Flexi Fashion Retractable Belt Leashes are a fun option for sporty dogs because just like human athletes love to have nice workout gear, pets like it too! The Flexi Fashion Leashes come in a variety of colors and patterns, combining style and performance for even the most trendy dog.

Check Up: Just like athletes, all pets need check ups. Veterinarians always know best, but it’s important for pet parents to be knowledgeable as well. Make sure pets are tested for heartworm, parasites and other abnormalities. Along with yearly check ups, it’s important for pet parents to make sure that flea and tick prevention is part of their routine. Shampoos and monthly treatments, such as K9 Advantix II® and Advantage II®, are convenient and effective year-round options to keep pets focused on having fun, not fretting over creepy critters.

Hydration: Heat stroke, sunburn and dehydration are some of the most common summer dangers for all animals. Even healthy pets can suffer from dehydration, so be sure to keep a bowl handy, or try a more unique way of hydrating pets with the Hydro Bone Dog Toy. This toy is made of rubber but has a foam core that releases water when it is chewed by pets - combining thirst quenching with playtime is a real winner!

Travel: Athletes travel quite a bit and so do America’s animals. If pets are crate trained, they should be content to sit in their crate for the duration of the ride. However, movement can be unsettling for those who aren’t used to travel, so try to keep trips to a minimum until they become more comfortable. Pet parents can use a pet seatbelt, such as Petco’s Premium Seatbelt Harness or a Kurgo travel carrier to safely secure pets.

In honor of the Summer Games, Petco is encouraging pet parents to share their tips and tricks to keeping pets in great condition. Pet parents can show off their pet’s high-performance and unique abilities on Petco’s online community at http://www.petco.com/summer this summer.

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Holly Hitchcock