The goal of the challenge is to educate pet parents on what a healthy weight is for their pets and to raise funds for animal groups across the country, according to Petco. Pet owners can bring their dog or cat to any Unleashed by Petco location across the USA to be weighed using a special in-store pet scale. Store associates will track the number of pounds weighed from January 4 to January 26, 2014, and once a store reaches 5,000 pounds, it will donate $500 to a local animal group of their choice. With 103 stores, that's over $51,000 of potential funds nationwide, according to the company.
Unleashed by Petco's associates will also offer advice on weight management and nutrition to participating pets:
- Before starting a weight-loss program, visit a veterinarian to find out a pet's ideal weight.
- Pet parents are usually unaware that their pets' food portion sizes are too large, so portion control is key.
- Break down meals into two to four small portions throughout the day to trick pets into feeling like they're eating more.
- Serve high-protein and low-fat food to keep pets full, and remember that treats should be no more than 10% of caloric intake.
- Pets should exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
- Keep an eye on pets' behavior when on a weight-loss program.