18 Days and Counting Until the Annual PETCO Hamster Ball Derby

April 6, 2010

SAN DIEGO, April 6 /PRNewswire/ — Racers get ready! We’re only 18 days away from PETCO’s annual Hamster Ball Derby on Saturday, April 24 at 2 p.m. hosted at all of the company’s more than 1,000 locations across the country. Whether you’re just getting started or halfway through the training schedule, PETCO offers helpful training tips for a safe and fun race day.

  1. Run-about balls are a good form of exercise for your pet and they are a great way to interact and spend time together – make sure you have the appropriate size ball for your hamster.
  2. A Super Pet Hamtrac is a special race track for your Run-about ball. They are available online at petco.com and in most stores.
  3. Make sure you transport your hamster using a safe, temporary habitat that can also be used between races.
  4. Provide plenty of clean water and food for your hamster on race day.
  5. After you return home from the race, leave your hamster alone for the rest of the day, with plenty of clean food and water. After all the activity, your little pet has earned some quiet time alone.
  6. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your hamster appears unwell.

“The PETCO training schedule offers a step-by-step guide to make sure you hamster is healthy and ready for derby day,” said Elisabeth Charles, PETCO’s chief marketing officer. “Practicing responsible at-home care while prepping your pet is a sure fire way to guarantee lots of fun and success on race day.”

The competition for this year’s gold medal is shaping up to be fierce. In 2009 more than 10,000 hamsters participated drawing more than 30,000 spectators to stores nationwide. This year PETCO expects that up to 100 classroom pets will join the competition as part of an ongoing education partnership with Field Trip Factory. Together, PETCO and Field Trip Factory sponsor Fur, Feathers and Fins, an in-store learning experience offering kindergarten through eighth grade students a chance to learn about basic animal care skills, animal habitat and characteristics, environmental issues, animal survival and respect for animals.

“Our partnership with PETCO has given over one million students a chance to learn how to choose and care for the right animal for them,” said Susan Singer, president and founder of Field Trip Factory. “Extending our partnership to support the Derby learning experience was a natural fit for us. The students in these classrooms are really excited about the competition and the chance to bond with their class pet as they prepare for the big race as a classroom.”

Registration for the race is free; sign-ups and practice sessions begin at 1:30 p.m. on Derby day. Participants just need to bring a size-appropriate hamster ball and their pet on race day. Spectators are encouraged to join in and cheer for their favorite little competitors.

Each race is kicked off with a brief education session from a PETCO small animal expert on how to keep your hamster or small animal healthy and happy. Topics include feeding the right food in the optimum amounts, the necessity of fresh water, the importance of exercise, chew toys and understanding a hamster’s nocturnal nature.

The three fastest hamsters at each store will win bragging rights and prizes including a Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Small Animal Starter Kit, a Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Healthy Bits Treats or a Super Pet Combo Chew.

Complete educational materials and care sheets, as well as an assortment of hamster balls and other small animal food and supplies can be found online at PETCO.com or at your local PETCO store. For more information about the Derby, to view training tips and videos and for a 20 percent off coupon valid on Derby day only, or to find a participating location near you, visit www.petco.com/hamster. Classroom participants can find more information by clicking the Winner’s Circle link on the Field Trip Factory homepage at www.fieldtripfactory.com.


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. We operate more than 1,000 stores in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a leading pet products and information destination at www.petco.com. Our nonprofit organization, The PETCO Foundation, has raised more than $60 million since its inception in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support about 6,200 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 200,000 adoptable animals every year.


Source: newswire

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