Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Initiative Unleashes the Power of Paws™

AAG Note: Kudos to Canine Assistants in Alpharetta for being a part of this adventure. We think it's great.

BUSINESS WIRE --Pets and people getting healthy together. Thats the heart of a new national initiative called Power of Paws that educates consumers about the mutual health benefits that both pets and pet parents enjoy and motivates them to spend time together and connect.

Studies show there are significant physical, mental, and emotional benefits for both pets and pet parents, said Bill Pearce, chief marketing officer for Del Monte Foods, the lead program partner. Its as easy as taking your dog for a walk. Researchers say youll walk farther with your pet than you would if you were walking alone an activity that benefits you both. Our family of brands, including Milk-Bone, Meow Mix, Kibbles n Bits, Pup-Peroni, and Snausages have always been focused on enriching the lives of pets and pet parents by encouraging them to enjoy active lifestyles together. We are very pleased to join with multiple pet partners to unleash the Power of Paws. Were excited to hear from consumers as they share the impact pets and people make in each others lives.

Research Proves the Benefits of the Pet/Human Bond

New research is proving the physical and emotional benefits of pet ownership for adults, seniors and even children.

  • Studies have indicated that pet parents have lower blood pressure and plasma triglycerides than non-pet owners.
  • Heart patients are nearly five times more likely to survive a heart attack if they own a pet.
  • Just two brisk 15-minute walks with a dog each day satisfies the standard for aerobic exercise for humans and pets. Daily exercise can lengthen a dogs life.
  • Other research has connected pet ownership with better psychological health and enhanced self-esteem and social interaction.

Power of Paws Supports New Discovery Health Documentary Premiering Sunday, July 20, 2008

Educating consumers about the health benefits of pets is a key component of the Power of Paws program. Thats why Power of Paws is supporting a new show called Pets and People: The Power of the Health Connection premiering Sunday, July 20 at 9 a.m. ET on Discovery Health. Hosted by Animal Planets Jeff Corwin, the documentary explores the impact pets have on blood pressure, how assistance and therapy dogs can help wounded veterans and autistic children and the unwavering social support pets give their owners without asking for anything in return except love and affection. Encore airings of the show are scheduled through September on these dates and times: Sunday, July 27 at 8 a.m. ET; Saturday, August 9 at 8 a.m. ET; Saturday, August 16 at 9 a.m. ET; Saturday, August 30 at 9 a.m. ET; and Saturday, September 6 at 9 a.m. ET.

Consumers Invited to Tell their Tail and Raise Money for Power of Paws Partners

Power of Paws is celebrating the power of the pet/human bond by making pets more accessible to those who need daily assistance or a loving friend. Thats why Bergin University of Canine Studies in Santa Rosa, CA, Animal Medical Center in New York City, Animal Friends in Pittsburgh, PA and Canine Assistants in Alpharetta, GA have joined this effort.

The Power of Paws partners know that pets and people are better together, said Lisa Henriksen, Del Montes vice president of innovation and business development. Whether its outreach and education, bringing pets to those in need or improving animal health, were proud to help launch the Power of Paws initiative so people across the country can learn about and experience the mutual benefits of pet companionship.

It seems that every pet parent has a story to tell about the way their doting dog or cuddly cat makes their life more fulfilling and enhances their physical, mental and emotional health. Now consumers can watch more than 100 inspiring video testimonials about pets that have helped their owners get healthier, recover/cope with an illness, deal with grief or live independently by visiting These heartfelt stories told by diverse people from across the nation share one common thread: each persons life is better and healthier because of a pet.

More devoted pet parents can tell their tail by logging on to For every eligible person who signs up to share their story, request a Power of Paws DVD and brochure or receive a Power of Paws newsletter, the Power of Paws brand partners will donate $1 to the initiatives charity partners (up to $225,000). Visit for the terms and conditions of this offer.

Pets are Paws-itive for Kids and Seniors

Kids and seniors often benefit most from their relationships with dogs and cats:

  • Reading books to pets make kids more self-confident and improves their reading skills.
  • Kids who suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD) learn to concentrate by focusing on a pet.
  • Children who own pets score significantly higher on empathy and pro-social orientation scales than non-owners.
  • Kids ages 11-16 with pets have better ability to understand non-verbal communications.
  • Autistic children reap the rewards of daily interaction with their furry friend. A pet helps facilitate social interactions plus it creates an emotional and educational bridge between a child and other people by becoming a modality for communication.
  • Seniors who have pets visit physicians 21 percent less often than those who do not have pets.
  • Elderly pet parents are less likely to feel lonely.

Pets Enjoy Health Benefits Too

Dogs and cats enjoy health benefits as a result of their relationship with their pet parents:

  • Studies show that 30 percent of dogs and 25 percent of cats are overweight which contributes to a shorter lifespan and an increased risk of arthritis, cancer, diabetes and other health concerns.
  • Walking is a great way for your pet to get exercise and achieve ideal weight. Studies show that dogs and cats who maintain their weight live a longer life.
  • Pets thrive with daily physical and mental stimulation from their owners because it builds confidence and trust.
  • Food and treats are great ways for owners to connect and bond with their pets.

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