5 Places for: Pet Treats
Posted on August 18, 2021 | By Ashley Fitzpatrick | 0 Comments
The “dog days” of summer felt like the right time to look at a few stops where you might treat your pooch, or other pet. Why should dogs get all the attention? Let’s hear it for the budgies, the guinea pigs and goldfish too. The cats aren’t bothered either way, but sure, the cats too. Summer is the time for runs in the dog park, but a good grooming, bit of catnip, seed bell or new shoes (horseshoes) can bring a little joy. This region is home to its fair share of solid pet shops, including multi-location names like Pet Valu, Global Pet Foods and Pet Zone. The Bone & Biscuit Co. has shops in most provinces in Canada, with the Moncton location being the only one you’ll find in Atlantic Canada. Here are a few other names for consideration, if you’re looking for a late-summer pet treat.
The Doghouse, St. John’s, N.L.
An unmistakable fixture in downtown St. John’s, The Doghouse turned 20 in June, with two decades in business. Manager Faith Warren says the shop continues to see regulars who were there from day one, often dropping in for a visit with their pets. Visiting dogs and cats alike will get a treat just for stopping by, while their owners can check out the latest in food, toys, leashes and more, the focus being on dogs and cats. “We sell a lot of local product,” Warren noted, with the hunt always on for healthy treats and unique options, down to the local moose jerky. The Doghouse is actually a two-in-one stop, with Jake’s Grooming Parlour under the same owner at the same location. “It’s one-on-one (sessions). So especially if you have a nervous dog, you don’t have a bunch of dogs there. Your dog comes in, the grooming takes an hour or two hours depending on the dog and the coat, then your dog goes and the next dog some in,” Warren said. “It’s a very relaxed atmosphere.” Employees are joined on their shifts by their “staff dogs,” who have their own area. The shop dogs and dog owners can certainly attest to the best of what’s in store.
Sunnybrook Farms Pet Supply, Summerside, P.E.I.
The family-owned business has you covered for pets big and small. The company is still building online but drop in to talk anything from dog chews to cat food to horse tack. The shop is also home to the latest pup fashions, carrying locally made accessories—bandanas, bowties and collars—from Salty Dogs by Carl. French bulldogs Carl and Gigi are the go-to models and social media stars. In the shop and online, new food options like “cat-a-stroni stew” or fish tank add-ins like a Finding Nemo line of toys also pop up from time to time. The shop sells some horse basics, from a hoof pick to lotion to relieve sore muscles after overexertion. Ask the staff and if they can’t immediately provide, they can start an order or point you in the right direction for ideas.
All About Animals, Fredericton, N.B.
The best part of All About Animals is not just your average dog grooming on site, but also “spa day” options for cats, small animals and even lizard grooming if you’re so inclined. The shop is focused on being environmentally responsible in their grooming work and items for sale. Things like all-natural shampoos and treats are featured daily. Sometimes as a pet owner, the sea of options of bits and bobs for sale can be overwhelming. On their website, the shop offers ideas for the perfect dog treat, by dog type. Shop dog Violet, for example, happens to be “The Snob” and “can be quite selective,” preferring easy-to-chew options. The staff have recommended Purebites Freeze-Dried Cheese to try for similar dogs, because it’s Violet’s favourite. Other dog types include but are not limited to “The Dumpster Diver” prone to weight gain or “The Gassy Gut” with a sensitive stomache, each with their own recommendations. The bottom line is if you drop by, they can surely point you in the direction of a couple of selections for any dog type.
Best Friends Pet Supplies, Upper Tantallon, N.S.
Established in 1989 in Halifax, Best Friends Pet Supplies opened a second shop in Upper Tantallon in 1994. Operating for over three decades, the company focuses on tried-and-true products and looks for quality in new additions to the shelves. What else would you want in a gift for a best friend? Canadian products are carried wherever possible in the shop. All pet types and not just species are considered. If your dog is a great destroyer, for example, ripping apart all toys set before them the day they’re received, Best Friends has the “Tuffy toy” options, with three layers of material and seven rows of stitching. Looking beyond any toy or pet foods sales, or other day-to-day business, the company gets a cheers for its donations to local pet shelters and animal rescue groups, from Hope for Wildlife to Pierre’s Alley Cat Society, the latter aiding stray and feral cats in Halifax Regional Municipality.
Critters & Things, Mount Pearl, N.L.
Owner Mark Winsor has been able to mark 35 years of business for the Critters & Things pet shop in Mount Pearl, started by his parents Gerri and Corbin Winsor. As he told The Telegram newspaper recently, he believes the shop was the first pet store in the community adjacent to St. John’s and the second pet store on the island while his father was working for a pet supply company and then decided to try his hand in a storefront of his own. The Winsors have been doing their best for area customers ever since. Summer is a time to watch for notice of special events and pet friendly frozen treats at the store. On social media, they’ll let you know when the fresh crickets are in (if you know, you know) and will give you a nudge on those special days like World Cat Day and National Spoil Your Dog Day. The company is set up with an online shop, so don’t hesitate if you’re not up for going into the main location for a browse.
About our “5 Places” series
It’s been a difficult period for small businesses, particularly in tourism and hospitality. While it’s not deep investigation, we wanted to encourage the sector by taking a moment each week to shine a spotlight on some of these small businesses in Atlantic Canada, “5 Places,” with the hope of encouraging people to make some staycation plans and get out to support local (albeit with COVID and related restrictions in mind). We’re featuring spots in no particular order, but with representation from all provinces. The series will continue at least until fall 2021, looking at some hidden gems or popular stops for ice cream, kayaks, comics and more. Any tips on BIPOC-owned businesses, ideas for future themes or general feedback are welcome: [email protected].
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