Neighborhood pet stores are the backbone of Earth Animal. They are wonderful partners, and we would not be who we are without their support. We know that there are so many great reasons to shop local, from strengthening communities to building up local economies. We have loved celebrating just a handful of our indie retailers with you throughout July. We highlighted Petagogy in Pittsburgh and their support of bully breeds, and Four Muddy Paws in St. Louis, MO and Edwardsville, IL and their commitment to the environment both in their products and their practices.
Our 1% partner for July was the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), which works year-round to support locally owned independent businesses and to encourage local purchasing. They remind us that of a typical $100 purchase at an independent retailer, nearly half remains in the community, supporting the local economy. But that same purchase at a chain retailer leaves only $14 in the community, and only $1 goes to the community from an online purchase. So, buying supplies for your furry best friend at your local independent retailer both gets your animal a wonderful product and helps maintain your local community.
Beyond the economic advantages of shopping locally, walking into your neighborhood pet store gives you the benefit of expertise that you won’t find anywhere else. The people who own and work at these stores love what they do, and they know their stuff. They are pet parents with a passion for animals and the environment who are thoughtful about what products they stock and committed to only putting good stuff out into their communities. Like Maine’s The Loyal Biscuit, where they stock only the best in healthy, holistic, all-natural food and treats, and where the staff hand-selects the finest toys, collars, leashes, and other gear for your animal companion. As if this level of care wasn’t enough to make them an outstanding indie retailer, they also give back to the community through their Fenway Fund, which donates proceeds from their sales to grant initiatives that support animal welfare in the seven Maine communities they serve.
Perhaps the best aspect of shopping indie is the personal connections that you and your animal make every time you go into a local shop. The more you shop local, the more the staff will get to know you and your pet, enabling them to make personalized recommendations for products and teach you about the benefits of holistic health practices for your animal companion. Plus, you’ll meet neighbors and make new friends for both you and your animal companion by shopping in your community. When you visit a store like Pets Naturally in Northern Michigan, you and your animal can bond with other pets and their parents over some of their small-batch, fresh-baked pet goodies while you learn about the many ways that a healthy diet makes a healthy animal.
It has been a great month celebrating independent retailers and small businesses. We have loved sharing the stories of these businesses and their commitment to animals and the Earth with you all month long. These entrepreneurs do so much for local communities, the economy, and the planet, that they deserve to be celebrated all year long – and we do.