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Petco Encourages Pet Parents to Consider Their Pets' Mental Health

Directed by David Shafei, the Droga5 spot explores separation and social anxiety experienced by pets

Petco Encourages Pet Parents to Consider Their Pets' Mental Health

Petco, in partnership with Droga5, conceptualised a new ad spot titled 'WHAT NOW?' for pet parents to see transition from the eyes of their pets, and educate them on the separation and social anxiety issues that could arise if a proper transition plan isn’t put in place.

Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc. today also launched a free virtual training seminar intended to help pet parents support pets facing new routines after a year and a half spent mostly at home. Available here health for free beginning Sept. 9th through the end of September, the new seminar will help pet parents recognise signs of stress in their pets and learn relaxation techniques and enrichment solutions to help them adjust as the world around them continues to change.

Launched under the ongoing Droga5 platform of 'It’s What We’d Want If We Were Pets', the hero film 'WHAT NOW?' awakens pet parents to the mental health needs of their pets during this transition, and the Petco training and tools to help them prepare. Directed by David Shafei, the film explores the separation and social anxiety issues that could arise if a proper plan isn’t put in place. Our pets have been there for us through one of the toughest times in recent history. Now, it’s our turn to be there for them.

"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 saviours for the last 18+ 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."

According to a new Petco survey, 72% of dog parents and 51% of cat parents believe their pets have exhibited symptoms of anxiety, but less than 25% of them can correctly identify all the physical symptoms of mental health issues. Additionally, 60% of dog parents and 48% of cat parents say not having the right resources – like knowing where to get help and information about their pet's mental health and how to prepare them to spend more time alone – is an obstacle in helping their pet adjust to the return to normal.

Recognising this gap, Petco is doubling down on its commitment to pet mental health with the launch of the 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 parents looking for additional training education. The new training seminar will bring to life the brand's Four-Week Guide to Helping Your Pet Deal with a New Routine with actionable steps to help ease pet separation and social anxiety. The class will be led by Petco's certified dog trainers in small group Zoom sessions. Within the sixty minutes, pet parents will learn how to recognise the escalation from excited to anxious and be introduced to relaxation techniques to help deescalate their pets.

"The animals we live with essentially helped to care for us – providing companionship and cheer – in this time of the pandemic and social isolation. Many people saw their animals like never before," said Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, MS, PhD, a member of the Petco Pet Wellness Council and senior research fellow, adjunct associate professor and head of the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College. "As our society shifts to spending less time at home, it is critical that we return the favour, appreciating their point of view and caring for their mental health as they're left at home without us. Petco's initiative helps us do exactly that."

They are also teaming up with actress, mental health advocate and animal lover, Olivia Munn, to raise awareness around causes and solutions for pet anxiety and will be hosting an Instagram live with her on Petco’s Instagram here, today at 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET. I have included links to all campaign assets below, including the final press release with more details on the campaign offerings and specifics. 

Featured Companies: Parliament , Company 3

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Agency: Droga5 NY

Co-Chief Creative Officer: Tim Gordon and Felix Richter

Executive Creative Director: Scott Bell

Creative Director: George McQueen

Creative Director: Tom McQueen

Senior Copywriter: Richard Langhorne

Senior Art Director: Zach Madrigal

Senior Copywriter: Chase Kimball

Senior Art Director: Jesse Brown

Executive Design Director: Nate Scott

Sr. Designer: Lia Sfiligoj

Executive Producer, Film: Dave Stephenson

Sr. Producer, Film: Volney Guzman

Associate Producer: Lindsay Squires

Senior Music Supervisor: Michael Ladman

Business Affairs Director: Dan Simonetti

Senior Business Affairs Manager: Ramona Seunath

Talent Manager: May Chee

Senior Traffic Manager: Wendy Kaplan

Chief Brand Strategy Officer: Harry Román-Torres

Group Strategy Director: Tom Haslow

Strategy Director: Kaveri Gautam

Group Communications Strategy Director: Justin Schneider

Communications Strategist: Molly Klein

Co-head of Account Management: Lauren LaValle

Account Director: Amanda Burnett Bard

Account Supervisor: Daniel Lawrence

Account Manager: Alex Davis

Associate Account Manager: Mallie Feldman

Senior Project Manager: Simon Jolly


Client: Petco

Chief Executive Officer: Ron Coughlin

Chief Marketing Officer: Katie Nauman

Head of Brand Marketing & Creative: Olivia Doyne

Director of Creative Strategy & Design: Tobias Farmer

Director of Marketing: Alysa Frost

Marketing Manager: Kelsey Kotzebue

Program Manager: Lisa Budnik

Head of Internal Studio: Bessie Wink

Creative Studio Operations Director: Doris Peterson


Production Company: World War Seven

Partner / Director: David Shafei

Executive Producer: Josh Ferrazzano

Head of Production: Megan Pfaffenroth

Line Producer: Michael Mitchel


Editorial: Arcade

Editor: Dave Anderson

Cutting Assistant: Sam Barden

Assistant Editor: Drew Neuhart

Post Producer: Alexandra Leal-Allen

Executive Producer: Sila Soyer

Post Production

Post Production: Parliament


Music: Mr. Pape

Composer: Ben McAvoy

Music Supervisor (Freelance): Brandy Ricker


Sound: Heard City

Mixer: Evan Mangiamele

Executive Producer: Sasha Awn


Colour: Company 3

Colourist: Tim Masick

Colour Producer: Kevin Breheny

Category: Home , Pet Supplies

Genre: People