Two pet store owners share their philosophies on natural pet products.
PET PRODUCT NEWS: How do you define “natural”
in your store? What qualities do you look for in
natural pet products?
Pattie Boden: “All natural” is such an ambig-
uous term, so we look for more descrip-
tive terms like “human grade,” “certified
organic,” and “complete and balanced.”
We teach our customers how to read
labels and choose products that follow
these descriptions. Heck, even byprod-
ucts are “natural,” so for us, education
is ongoing. Our customers are confused
about “holistic” and “organic” and use
these terms liberally even when the prod-
uct is not certified organic.
Eric Mack: We define “natural” by the least
amount of processing that goes into a
product. We’re a big advocate of raw,
freeze-dried and dehydrated food and
treat items. We apply this to all forms of
edible items in the store. One of our “ear”
snacks still includes some hair from their
lower amount of processing. We look
for foods with simple ingredients, a final
product that actually resembles food.
We’re big advocates of raw—especially
PATTIE BODEN, owner of Animal Connection in Charlottesville, Va.
ERIC MACK, owner of Purrrfect Bark in Columbus, N.C.