SOURCE: PetSmart

December 05, 2005 17:08 ET

'Tis the Gift Giving Season, But...

PetSmart Advises Consumers to Consider the Serious Responsibilities of Being a Pet Parent Before Giving a Pet as a Gift

PHOENIX, AZ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 5, 2005 -- Pets can be a wonderful addition to any family, but adopting or buying a pet is a major decision that should be made with careful consideration and research. This holiday season -- and all throughout the year -- PetSmart® advises consumers to consider the important responsibilities of being a Pet Parent before giving a pet as a gift.

PetSmart recommends that if consumers are thinking about buying a pet as a gift this holiday season, they should consider the following:

--  As the first step in finding the "perfect pet," thoroughly research
    the pet type including all aspects of its care and housing requirements, as
    well as special needs like grooming, veterinary care and training.
--  Being a Pet Parent is a lifelong commitment. Consumers should consider
    the lifespan and special needs of the pet when deciding what type of pet to
--  Before introducing a pet into the family, gift givers should consider
    how much time the future Pet Parent spends away from home, what kind of
    space they have for the pet, if there are small children or other pets in
    the household, and the pet's age.
--  If a pet is given as a gift, all of the basic necessities -- such as
    housing, food, toys and accessories -- should be given at the same time.
--  Behavioral problems are the number one reason pets are relinquished to
    shelters. If buying a pet as a gift, consumers should consider giving a
    gift card for training as well.
--  Gift givers should consider adopting a pet. Every PetSmart store
    offers an adoption center for dogs and cats, and most communities have
    adoption organizations for small pets as well.
--  If purchasing a pet, consumers should buy from a reputable retailer
    who certifies the health of the pet.
"We provide superior care for all pets while they're in our care with our exclusive Vet Assured(SM) program, and want to ensure that this continues through their lifetime," said Dr. Mike Staitman, D.V.M., PetSmart Vet Assured program director. "We want our customers to be confident that they are going home with pets that are well cared for, happy and healthy."

Vet Assured is PetSmart's exclusive program of health care for all of the small pets, birds, reptiles and amphibians sold in stores. Developed in 1997 by an in-house team of veterinarians and pet experts, it is a comprehensive veterinarian-supervised care program that includes setting standards for and monitoring the breeding, care and transportation practices and policies of PetSmart's pet suppliers, examining all pets before they are offered for sale by trained pet care specialists, and providing expert care to the pets while in stores. The program includes all aspects of pet care such as housing, environment, feeding, preventative and regular veterinary care, and transportation.

For more information about responsible pet giving during the holidays, adopting a pet, and the PetSmart Vet Assured program, visit or call 1-877-473-8762.

PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) is the largest specialty retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company operates more than 800 pet stores in the United States and Canada, a growing number of in-store PetsHotels, as well as a large pet supply catalog business, and is a leading online provider of pet products and information ( PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and supplies, and offers complete pet training, grooming and adoption services.

Contact Information

    Michelle Friedman
    PetSmart 24-hour Media Line