Pets Gone Healthy: Shop offers gifts for pets, wide range of natural foods
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Marlborough– Only a few more days to pick up the perfect gift for pets – and the people who love them – at Pets Gone Healthy, the specialty shop on the Marlborough-Northborough line.
While this shop has toys, accessories, treats and gifts to please the finickiest pets and owners, its year-round focus is providing natural, high-quality pet foods and pet care products.
“We educate our customers about the care and well-being of their pets,” said Sandie Wheeler, who started the health food store for pets seven years ago with her husband, Ken.
“All of our products are natural, with no byproducts, chemical-free, no artificial colorings. I have foods with and without grains, without wheat,” she said. And while the store does not stock foods for small animals like rabbits or hamsters, Wheeler will be glad to order any such foods that her suppliers carry.
“Dogs like different textures, and we have raw, crunchy, soft and chewy foods. In addition to frozen raw foods, we carry dehydrated raw food that's easier to store and to travel with.”
Pets Gone Healthy is like a Cheers bar for pet owners??”the Wheelers know their customers and their owners by name and favorite foods. “Friendly, leashed pets are welcome in the store,” she noted, and may sometimes be welcomed by Tori, the Wheelers” golden retriever.
Typical of the personal service, Wheeler greeted one customer stopping by for a brand of dehydrated raw dog food the store doesn's stock, but which it orders for her. At first, Wheeler thought it had not come in and the customer was leaving on vacation, but a quick call to her husband, and Wheeler found the order in the back room.
Another long-time customer phoned to say she's just adopted a new puppy.
“Send us a picture and bring it in soon,” Wheeler urged.
In addition to the wide selection of foods, Pets Gone Healthy offers an “a-paw-thecary”
of vitamins, supplements and treatments for healthy skin, ears, paws, joints and eyes.
“We can help you understand your pet's needs,” she said. Wheeler urges customers to try natural flea and tick products instead of harsher chemicals.
She even suggests Quiet Tea by Honest Kitchen to calm hyperactive dogs and cats. The powdered tea is mixed with hot water and substituted for the pet's water.
Whenever she can, Wheeler stocks her shelves with products from local suppliers, such as a line of cranberry, blueberry and pumpkin dog treats from a Newton baker.
As for that holiday shopping list, Pets Gone Healthy has jewelry, picture frames, books on pet care, ornaments and figurines to delight pet owners.
For the dogs and cats, the shop is literally a toy store. You can pick stuffed toys with natural fiber covers, catnip-filled toys, Christmas-themed toys, even a dog toy with a squeaker dogs can hear but humans can's.
There are leashes and collars in a wide range of colors, materials and styles, as well as bandanas for that special flair. Coats and sweaters will ward off the chill. Or perhaps a new bed or bowl would be just the thing. You can pick up a pet stocking to stuff with treats and small toys.
In a special display case are iced cookies that look like they came from a specialty bakery. And they did, but these treats are baked for dogs. (Wheeler delights in the story of a customer who frequently came in for the gingerbread cookies, finally confessing that they were for her, not her dog. She was a diabetic, and the sugar-free dog cookies were tasty and less expensive than specialty bakery products.)
Pets Gone Healthy is located at 505 Boston Post Road West (Rt. 20) in Marlborough in the TwinBoro Crossing Shopping Center. The store is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's closed Sunday and Monday. For more information, call 508-485-3881 or visit the website at www.petsgonehealthy.com.
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