Let me introduce you to our pack: Hilde, Gracie and Harper (it was a family merger). Three dogs makes for a significant portion of our budget, so it’s an opportunity to really make a local shopping impact.
(Photo: Hilde, Gracie and Harper with pupcones from Sasquatch Shaved Ice)
If I’m being honest, for a good chunk of my pet parenthood, I took the easy route and bought it all at Petsmart. However, as our dogs have aged combined with my efforts to shop local, we made the switch last year.
One challenge was the lack of local pet stores near our home. I heard about Swaim Serum in Stockyards City. It’s a vet, vet supply and retail store, so it was nice that our dog toothpaste was available to purchase there along with a decent brand dog food. One Saturday when I arrived, a huge line of people were there for their low cost vaccine clinic. I really liked to see their outreach to the community by providing this care for people and pets in need. However, they weren’t consistently carrying the dog food brand I was using so I needed another option. Lately, I had been taking Hilde to jog a lake Hefner, so in order to make the trip efficient, I started jotting over to A1 Pet Emporium for dog food. This has also been nice as a motivation to go jog, because if we need dog food I might as well work a jog with the trip. A1 has a large selection of foods and any pet supply you need. They’ve given me great recommendations on foods as our dogs have all moved into senior status.
I’ve always used a local vet, and we go to Warr Acres Animal Clinic where my husband’s family has gone for several years. We really love Dr. Katie Kughn, she is wonderful with our dogs and so empathetic. Harper has arthritis and has recently gone on medication, so I’ve elected to purchase from our vet instead of 1800PetMeds, so it’s another opportunity to keep it localer.
We can’t afford to regularly groom three dogs and we’re pretty active outdoors so it wouldn’t last long anyhow, but Harper needed a good grooming and I tried out the Mutt Hutt near our home. She did a really great job and was sensitive to his old hips. We hate cutting their nails, so I also recently took Harper to Bo’s Dog Grooming on Penn and got a walk in $7 trim. Bo did a great job and I’ll definitely be back with the other 2.
(Photo: Harper after a fresh grooming at the Mutt Hutt Pet Salon)
So all in all, my lessons learned here are to just figure out ways to make pet supply runs efficient. Planning my week and knowing when I will need dog food or medication allows me to fit in other plans to make it efficient. In May, 94% of our pet budget was spent locally. The non-local 6% was only after an emergency visit to Petco on our way home from camping (tick shampoo, beware ticks are very bad this year). I feel good about our efforts in this category and I think our dogs do too! What are some of your favorite local pet stores and vets?
What does shopping more local mean for a millenial(ish) couple who are striving to have a more minimal lifestyle when it comes to material things?
While our dogs are part of our family, we don’t really spoil them with much in the way of things. Our dogs really enhance our experiences by taking them camping, hiking, jogging and on walks through our neighborhood.
What is the feasibility of a commitment to shop local for those that do not have much flexibility or resources? For the single mom, the family living paycheck to paycheck, the person without access to reliable transportation?
I think most of the local pet shops have a basic brand of pet food, but that probably doesn’t compare to a value brand from a big box store. Although I know these brands aren’t the best for pets, it would be nice to see local shops offer more value options as a way to provide access for customers who may not be able to afford better brands at the moment. It can be a sticker shock to go from value brand to quality brand, but more exposure and education about the products could ease people into purchasing better quality foods over time.
Tweet your recommendations, tips, tricks or questions for Kristen to @kristenvails with hashtag #keepitlocalok or #keepitlocaler