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I have no idea what I really think of this. However, we here at P&C are a judge-free zone (unless I deem something worth judging) so here you go. This is brought to you via Petco.


It’s “Derby Season” and trainers across the country are gearing up for another exciting year of competition. But in this case, the trainers are kids and the athletes are their prized pet hamsters! Petco will host its annual Hamster Ball Derby at all of the company’s more than 1,000 locations nationwide on Saturday, April 24 at 2 p.m. Last year’s race drew more than 10,000 racing hamsters and their cheering pet parents.

Racing in run-about balls, hamsters and other small pets will speed down tracks in heats of four toward the finish line for a chance at the winner’s circle. The event is designed as a fun family event and an opportunity to reinforce proper pet care principles with kids. To extend that education further, Petco partnered with Field Trip Factory to provide pet care materials to elementary school teachers and their students and encourage participation in the Derby by classroom pets.
(For more information about the Derby, training tips and videos and a 20 percent off coupon valid on derby day only, or to find a participating location near you, visit www.petco.com/hamster. Classrooms can also sign up at www.fieldtripfactory.com.)

Pet parents are encouraged to start training their pets now in order to be ready for the stiff competition. Run-about balls provide a safe form of exercise and racers can purchase a Hamtrac like the one used for the race for up to three 15-minute “workouts” per week with rest days in between. The training offers a great way for kids to spend time interacting with their hamster as they prepare together for the big race.

Registration for the race is free; sign-ups and practice sessions begin at 1:30 p.m. on derby day. Participants just need to bring a size-appropriate hamster ball and their pet on race day. Spectators are encouraged to join in and cheer on their favorite little competitors.

Each race is kicked off with a brief education session from a PETCO small animal expert on how to keep your hamster or small animal healthy and happy. Topics include feeding the right food in the optimum amounts, the necessity of fresh water, the importance of exercise, chew toys and understanding a hamster’s nocturnal nature.

The three fastest hamsters at each store will win bragging rights and prizes including a Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Small Animal Starter Kit, a Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Healthy Bits Treats or a Super Pet Combo Chew.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 at 7:00 am by Laurel Babcock. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Animal behavior, Animal care, Animal safety, Hamsters, Small animals



About this blog
For most animal lovers, pets are members of the family. They carry around pictures in their wallets and schedule vacations with pets in mind. This blog takes a look into the world of a pet owner: the good, the bad and the just plain obsessive.

About the author
Laurel Babcock is the Community Life editor for The Journal News, Express Publications and LoHud.com. She grew up with a beloved mutt and was surrounded by dogs into young adulthood. She liked cats enough, but didn't really think of them as true pets. That changed when her brother brought an abandoned 4-week-old kitty into the family, dooming us all. Laurel currently serves as staff for two completely adored cats, Stanley and Cup, both girls.


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