Petco expands digital, wellness offerings

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Petco expands digital, wellness offerings

By Gina Acosta - 10/11/2017

Petco is looking to appeal to digitally connected pet lovers with a new app and wellness services.

The pet retailer is launching Heads & Tails by Petco, the first iOS app where pet parents can both receive a gift card and donate to help animals in need by simply having fun taking pet selfies.

By posting selfies with their pets, pet parents whose photos receive 100 likes in a month will receive a free $25 gift card from Petco, with an additional $25 going to the Petco Foundation

"We know the internet can't get enough of pet selfies, which is why we're excited to introduce the Heads & Tails app celebrating the joy of pets in our lives," said Brock Weatherup, executive vice president of strategic innovation and digital experience at Petco. "Recently we've forged new digitally-driven relationships with the pet community through PetCoach and Pet Project and we're thrilled to continue building the connection between people and animals through technology. By encouraging pet parents to take more selfies with pets, we're finding new ways to reward our fans, and more importantly, creating a new way for people to help animals in need."

To use the app, users simply take a selfie with their furry, feathery or scaly best friend and post it to the Heads & Tails app. Each time a user's pet selfie earns 100 Heads & Tails likes in a single month for a specific category, they will receive a $25 Petco gift card, plus a $25 donation to the Petco Foundation will be made in their name. While the Heads & Tails app will display all approved selfie submissions in its timeline, users can also share the published selfie via Facebook and Twitter, and soon Instagram. Heads & Tails by Petco is available for free in the App Store.

Petco also announced that it is expanding pet services in its stores to include a full suite of in-store veterinary care and wellness services.

In addition to on-site grooming and training, and vaccination and wellness clinics already offered in more than 1,500 Petco stores across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico, the company's first veterinary hospital, operated by THRIVE Affordable Vet Care, opened inside a brand new store in Aldine, Texas this month. Specializing in thorough, routine and high-quality care, Thrive hospitals offer $10 exams, making veterinary care accessible to more pet parents.

Showcasing Petco's newest store design, the Aldine location will host an official grand opening celebration weekend in January. About a dozen more veterinary hospitals will open within existing Petco stores – all of which are being completely remodeled to feature the new design elements – in Texas, California and Colorado through the end of 2017.

"While pet health and wellness are increasingly important to pet parents, navigating veterinary services in particular can be confusing and overwhelming," said Petco CEO Brad Weston. "Understanding what pets need at each stage of life, what constitutes routine care, urgent or specialty care, and when to seek veterinary expertise are common challenges pet parents face. That's why we believe it's so important for every pet parent to have a relationship with a veterinarian throughout the life of their pet. By expanding our in-store veterinary services, Petco's veterinary professionals can help pet parents through every step of their pets' health and wellness needs, all in one convenient location," Weston continued. "Our Aldine location is the first of our new in-store hospital design, and we are excited about bringing more of these locations to the Houston market in the next few months."

Petco stores provide a one-stop shopping experience where pet parents can purchase anything from pet food to toys and apparel, while addressing the holistic wellbeing of pets via the grooming salon, dog training area, and an expanding array of veterinary service offerings for good pet health. In addition to new in-store veterinary hospitals operated by THRIVE and other independent, high-quality veterinarians, Petco stores also offer on-site vaccination and wellness clinics operated by Vetco, and digitally-delivered pet health advice through PetCoach.

Petco operates more than 1,500 locations throughout the world.