Petco Health and Wellness Company Inc. is introducing a free virtual training seminar intended to help customers facing new post-pandemic routines.
Available at petco.com/mentalhealth for free through the end of September 2021, the new seminar is designed to help pet owners recognize signs of stress in their pets and learn relaxation techniques and enrichment solutions. The program specifically addresses changes in the routine of many customers who may be returning to work or school following 18 months at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Petco is launching a free one-hour interactive training seminar, titled "Well-Adjusted Dog: Preparing for Separation and Social Anxiety," as well as a newly-released four-week separation anxiety training for pet owners. The classes will be led by Petco's certified dog trainers in small group Zoom sessions. Within the 60 minutes, customers will learn how to recognize the escalation from excited to anxious, and will be introduced to relaxation techniques to help deescalate their pets.
In addition to the free seminar, on Sep. 1, Petco launched the "Separation Anxiety Training Course," developed in partnership with Petco national dog training manager Darris Cooper, and Fanna Easter, a certified separation anxiety trainer. Broken into four one-hour sessions, the course covers topics including mat training, relaxation protocol, product spotlights, real-life applications and more. The course is available for $99 both online and in-person at Petco stores.
On Thursday, Sep. 9, Cooper will co-host an Instagram Live livestreaming session on the official Petco Instagram channel with actress, mental health advocate and animal lover Olivia Munn to discuss pet anxiety and what resources are available at Petco. As the first official "Well-Adjusted Dog" seminar participant, Munn will answer questions about the new free seminar and her experience with pet anxiety.
As part of the new pet anxiety training offerings, Petco will also be dedicating partner resources on Saturday, Sep. 18 at Petco stores nationally to help customers find solutions specific to the mental health issues their pets are facing. The new training courses debut alongside the latest installment in Petco’s "It's what we'd want if we were pets" platform, featuring a new campaign revealing what changes in human routine look like from the pet perspective.
In April 2021, Petco launched another free virtual resource to aid pet owners. The company’s national animal welfare non-profit Petco Love started working with approximately 1,000 shelters and rescues in both cities and rural areas across the U.S. to adopt its searchable database that uses facial recognition technology to help reunite lost pets with their owners.
"Our pets, including the more than 11 million new furry friends and counting that came into our homes during the pandemic, have unquestionably been our emotional saviors for the last 18-plus months, and now it's our turn to be theirs," said Ron Coughlin, chairman and CEO of Petco. "As our routines begin to change, whether it's returning to school, work, travel or more social gathering – it's more critical now than ever for pet parents to understand how these changes can affect their pets' wellbeing and what we can do to help them adjust in a healthy way."