SAN DIEGO, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Roughly six million new cancer diagnoses are made in dogs and a similar number in cats each year. Just like with humans, detecting cancer early and being healthy enough to fight the disease means this diagnosis doesn't have to be a death sentence. In honor of Pet Cancer Awareness Month, Petco and Unleashed by Petco share three simple behaviors that will allow pets and pet parents to do just that.
Regular Grooming: It may come as a surprise, but groomers are often the ones to spot physical and behavioral differences in pets, which can lead to early detection of cancer and save lives. Taking pets to the groomer regularly means groomers are logging notes on the pet's health and can alert pet parents to any unusual differences so they can take their pet to the veterinarian. Red flags are often spotted during the 7-Point Grooming Check-In that is used by Petco groomers. Some key areas groomers pay close attention to are: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, paws, skin and coat, and the underside. If they spot any unusual bumps, dry patches or other warning signs, they alert pet parents immediately so a veterinarian can assess, and hopefully treat, potential issues before they become more serious.
Proper Nutrition: Some experts believe pet obesity is linked to many forms of cancer. One way pet parents can reduce the risk of cancer in pets is to help them maintain a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise. Petco and Unleashed by Petco offer customers a wide array of natural and advanced nutrition to help dogs and cats adhere to a healthy lifestyle, which can reduce cancer risks and keep them in optimal condition to fight the disease if afflicted. For pet parents who need help transitioning their dog, cat or small animal to a new diet, both Petco and Unleashed by Petco's Certified Nutrition Experts can help identify the appropriate food for a pet.
Perform Checks at Home: It's important for pet parents to regularly check pets for any unusual signs or red flags. Eyes dull in color or that have a green or yellow discharge may have an underlying issue such as an allergy, infection or something more serious. A vet should be seen if ears are swollen, tender, have discharge or a strong odor. Look for changes in texture and color to a pet's nose. Any loss in pigmentation, scabs or open sores should be examined by a vet at once. Inspect the mouth carefully; when teeth look healthy, but gums are puffy it may signal a serious issue. Cracked paws can result from irritants, diet or rough terrain, but should be examined regardless. Run hands along the pet's body often to check for bumps, scrapes, lumps, hot spots, warts and matting. Report any lumps or other growths to a vet immediately. Don't forget to check the underside and backside of the pet as well. Swollen glands can be a sign the dog needs them to be expressed, but if a pet reacts negatively to being touched, have a vet examine this area.
Pet Cancer Research Fundraiser: Cancer is the number one disease-related killer of dogs and cats so Blue Buffalo and the Petco Foundation have teamed together to find a cure. Last year, together they raised more than $1.5 million and this year the team hopes to inspire donors to help exceed their goal of $2 million. For each bag of Blue Buffalo dog or cat food purchased at Petco stores across the country from May 3rd to June 1st, 2014, one dollar will be donated to pet cancer research and treatment. Donations of any amount will also be accepted at Petco registers or online so customers can contribute as much as they like to the cause. To donate or to share a story visit: www.petco.com/pca.
About Petco and the Petco Foundation
Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing powerful relationships between people and pets. We do this by providing the products, services, advice and experiences that keep pets physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged and emotionally happy. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,300 Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, including more than 100 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop; nine Pooch Hotel destinations for pet daycare, boarding and spa services; and petco.com. The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has raised more than $125 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 400,000 animals every year.
About Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo Company, located in Wilton, CT, is the nation's leading pet food company, and provides a complete line of healthy and holistic natural foods and treats for dogs and cats. Blue Buffalo products are sold nationwide in PETCO. For more information visit www.BlueBuffalo.com.
About The Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research The Blue Buffalo Foundation For Cancer Research was established in 2003 by The Blue Buffalo Company, a manufacturer of healthy and holistic dog and cat foods under the BLUE™ and BLUE Spa Select™ brand names. Finding a cure for pet cancer is one of the top priorities for The Blue Buffalo Company because its founders have had some personal experience with this disease. "Our dog Blue, a large breed Airedale and a great pal, had three bouts with cancer," said Bill Bishop, Blue Buffalo's CEO. "After Blue was diagnosed, we wanted to find out all we could about pet cancer, and were amazed to learn that it is the leading disease-related cause of death for both dogs and cats. So one of the first things we did after starting our pet food company was to establish a foundation to raise money for pet cancer research, and raise awareness among pet parents of the early warning signs of this disease."
Contact: Krista Lamp, 619-501-2756, [email protected]