We’re so grateful to have met so many of you and your pets! What brings you in to see us is as varied as you can imagine. For some, it’s a simple and quick transaction, for others, an exploratory mission to learn about products. For others, we are a lending ear for support when times are difficult for a pet of yours. We often find ourselves straddling the different worlds of scientist, nutritionist, customer service representative, motivator, researcher and liaison-maker. We go home every night knowing we’ve listened, hopefully helping you navigate the responsibility of having a pet under your care.
We know that your pets are your family, that they hold a special place in your lives and it’s our place as your local pet supply store to provide you with products and suggestions that enhance this in a positive way. It’s our responsibility to research trends, deciphering facts from fiction, and present to you in our best ways, products and knowledge to better your lives.
Here are some of the most common questions and concerns that we hear from pet owners:
1). What is the best food to feed my pet?
There is not one best food! We recommend and help you become an expert label reader, understanding WHAT is actually in food and how to make awesome decisions. We also recommend rotating types (dry, canned, freeze dried, air dried, lightly cooked and raw) and brands. We will always steer you away from foods with by-products or poor sources of protein, fillers and artificial ingredients.
We will do our best to make you aware of changes to the foods we carry, be the changes positive or negative so that you can make decisions for your pets.
2). My pet is itchy, what do you have for that?
Most veterinarians and pet supply stores agree, this is one of the biggest health concerns for pet owners, so you’re not alone! Understanding the root of the cause will help up help you. Simply putting a remedy on your pet won’t get to the real reason for the itch. Often times it’s environmental, such as fleas or pollens. Other times, it can be symptomatic of a food sensitivity (which is different from a food allergy and a lot more common that an allergy). For some pets, it’s a way to self-soothe through anxiety. What do you sense it is for your pet?
3). My cat or dog is a picky eater. What do I do?
Aaahhh, picky eaters are so frustrating for you! When food=life and we see our pets not eating, we get scared! Rightfully so! However, think about what could be causing the picky eating. Is your pet normally a good eater and then all of the sudden not eating well? This may be a very valid reason to see your veterinarian. Think back about timing…did it seem gradual or sudden? If it’s sudden, watch for their behavior and if they seem otherwise normal, just give them a day to get back to balance. If your pet wants to eat but seems disinterested and seems to feel fine otherwise, they may simply be bored with their food (read #4 below). If it’s sudden and they just don’t seem like themselves, see your vet. If it is gradual, it’s another reason to make an appointment. Assuming poor eating is due to pickiness may have you missing something more serious.
4). I’ve ruled out illness, my pet is just being picky, what do I do?
Dogs and cats eating a dry (kibble) based diet is equivalent to us eating breakfast cereal for every meal of our lives. Although quite tasty at first, and fortified with all the fats, proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals to sustain life, it’s quite easy to imagine that boredom is bound to set in. In addition, there is nothing alive with this food. Without fresh, unprocessed proteins, fruits and vegetables, their bodies will begin to crave and need something else. Please remove that tape playing that says “Do not change their food, it’s better to keep them on the same food. Dry food is good for their teeth”. This is now known non-sense. This myth is what we try to de-bunk every single day. Your pets are not “spoiled” for needing fresh, your pets require fresh to live long, healthy lives.
Look for part two in next month’s issue of Tigard Life!