The Power of Pets

Mars Petcare invites dog owners to go for a walk.

Pet food maker Mars Petcare of Nashville, Tenn., announced plans today to sponsor a series of dog walks this fall across the United States as part of its The Power of Pets program.

These Woof Walks will feature a two- to three-kilometer community dog walk. In addition to the walk, the events, which are being co-hosted by local YMCAs, will include pet-friendly fitness activities, such as dog obstacle courses, dog Frisbee-catching contests, dog yoga and free pet health screenings by Banfield veterinarians.

“Taking your dog for a walk is an easy, fun and affordable way to get the entire family moving,” said Debra Fair, vice president of corporate affairs for Mars Petcare US. “It’s not only great for physical and mental health it also strengthens the bonds of neighbors and communities.”

The first event is slated to take place Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, in Chicago. Other Woof Walks are scheduled for Washington, D.C.; Staten Island, N.Y.; Nashville, Tenn.; San Diego; Austin; Miami and Portland, Ore.

The Woof Walks are an initiative under Mars Petcare’s The Power of Pets program, which celebrates the health benefits of pet ownership. The 2011 program is focused on promoting dog walking as a way for families to increase their physical activity levels while spending more time together and outdoors.

“At the YMCA, we believe healthy, active families are the key to building strong and vibrant communities,” said Katy Leclair, executive director of the Lake View YMCA in Chicago.

“Innovative programming like The Power of Pets by Mars Petcare helps us encourage people of all walks of life and fitness levels to be more active.”

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