Natural Pet Store: How Can You Benefit Your Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets?

Natural Pet Store: How Can You Benefit Your Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets?

A Natural Pet Store is a retail establishment that places more emphasis on more natural and often higher quality products than your average pet store. Generally, the owner of such an establishment will have a more holistic philosophy and realize the importance of healthy eating, quality supplements and safe pet toys. Preferably at a natural pet store where the pet parent can get answers to questions about nutrition and help with common health issues their pet may be experiencing. All of this can greatly benefit your companion animal’s current health and help extend its life while reducing unnecessary vet visits.

For consumers, their venture into a natural pet store usually begins with the search for a better diet for their dog, cat, bird or other pet. In general, they will find a wider range of what is considered natural pet food, which can include raw, dehydrated, grain-free, and high-quality canned and kibble diets. Staff should be able to explain the benefits of feeding different diets, provide knowledgeable information about ingredients and how each different type of diet may benefit any health issues your pet may currently have.

The information obtained by the consumer should go beyond the information found in the pet food manufacturer’s brochure and instead focus on current research. You can tell when you’re in a quality natural pet store because you won’t just be told what food to feed based on the owners’ opinions, but instead you’ll be informed about what diet might be best for your pet. using reasoning derived from the currently available knowledge base.

Because a natural pet store usually takes a more holistic view, a pet parent can expect to find a richer selection of natural pet remedies. These may include herbs, in powder or tincture form, flower essences, glandulars, homeopathics, and nutritional supplements (foods with medicinal value). The user can often get knowledgeable help on how to choose the best product for their animal and get answers to questions about ingredients, manufacturer, contraindications, etc. It’s pretty easy, especially after asking a few questions, to tell the difference between a knowledgeable owner or well-trained employee and a business that’s just stocking these products to cash in on a current trend.

A variety of healthy vitamins and supplements for pets can also usually be found at a natural pet store. Because the owner is expected to be more knowledgeable in general, the pet parent can also anticipate a higher quality selection compared to the typical pet store. In keeping with the natural philosophy, supplements will preferably have more natural ingredients, usually derived from whole food sources such as herbs, fruits and vegetables, and will be free of artificial additives such as synthetic vitamins, colors and sweeteners and other flavors. You can tell a bona fide natural pet store from the rest by simply twisting the bottle and reading the ingredient panel of a particular supplement. If you just find a list of cheap, isolated, synthetic vitamins and minerals and other synthetic additives like colors or flavors, and the product selection is small, move on and try to find a better store, because quality, healthy products are clearly not the focus of this establishment.

There will often be a wide variety of pet treats and dog chews at a natural pet store. Pet treats are usually formulated with healthier, whole food ingredients, unlike pet treats found in other establishments, which are usually formulated mostly with cheap grain fillers like wheat flour. The specialty natural pet store will avoid products imported from China due to ongoing illnesses seen in products purchased from national retail chains that were manufactured in that country. In addition, the owner should be aware of the source of pets chewing store supplies and avoid those that have been chemically treated like most rawhide products or chemically preserved to extend shelf life. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about sourcing, employees should have quick answers and seem passionate about the research they put into the products they offer their customers.

Other products found in a natural pet store typically purchased by pet parents, such as pet toys and shampoo, will also have a focus on healthier materials and ingredients. You can expect pet toys to be made with non-toxic materials, often from manufacturers right here in the US, and pet shampoos to be free of ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, and artificial fragrances that can be so unhealthy for animals and harmful to their skin. If you see the typical vinyl pet toys found in big box stores that have that horrible chemical smell (courtesy of phthalates), you are not in a real natural pet store, so look elsewhere because there are better ones , more specialized stores that would appreciate your patronage.

So are all natural pet stores the same?

No chance! Unfortunately, a term like “natural” is one of the hottest marketing terms of the day and one of the most popular that more and more companies are taking advantage of. However, do not despair because using the information I have provided above will help you distinguish the real natural pet stores from the pretenders. Good luck!

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