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Why Shopping at a Big Box Store Is Not a Good Choice

Big box stores

Inferior Quality Food & Marketing Gimmicks

  • Companies may list meat first on the list of ingredients, only to be followed up by several sources of carbohydrates which in total greatly outweighs the amount of meat in the food.
  • Many of these foods contain ingredients ranging from inappropriate to harmful, such as: corn, wheat flour, animal by-products, BHA, and other toxic, unnecessary additives. Animal by-products can include roadkill, rendered horses, euthanized pets and any other animal parts left over after processing for human consumption, such as beaks and feathers.
  • Many foods that are labeled healthy, breed specific, natural or premium do not actually contain better ingredients. For instance, Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind for Large Breeds claims it “promotes alertness and mental sharpness.” But, after chicken as the first ingredient, the next 6 ingredients are brewers rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain corn, & oat meal. This is a food full of by-products and starches which are not biologically appropriate or healthy for cats or dogs, who are carnivores.
  • Some pet food companies use celebrities to lend a healthful image to a product that otherwise is higher in carbohydrates than meat, and is overall not a healthy choice for our carnivorous pets.
  • According to Dr. Karen Becker: “Some of the most fabulous packing and advertising you’ll ever see is behind some of the poorest-quality pet foods on the market.”

Puppy Mills & Poor Treatment of all Animals

  • Unless the store is in a partnership with a local animal rescue or shelter, there is a high chance the puppies are from puppy mills. Researchers have estimated as many as 90% could be from puppy mills.
  • Dogs and their puppies at puppy mills do not always have their basic needs met. This can range from not having walks, exercise, toys and treats to not enough food, water or adequate veterinary care. They often live in small, cramped and unsanitary spaces.
  • Puppies from puppy mills may not have the same opportunities to socialize with people or other pets, which is necessary for healthy mental, emotional and behavioral development.
  • Sometimes these puppies can even come with AKC Certification. While AKC Certification may seem to indicate a greater degree of credibility or a higher standard of care, it does not guarantee health, temperament or that a puppy has not come from a puppy mill.
  • The title of “USDA licensed breeder” does not mean a dog is not from a puppy mill. Anyone selling puppies to a pet store must have this license.
  • Birds, fish and other small pets may also come from places with similar conditions to those found in puppy mills.

The Wild:Your Locally Owned Holistic Pet Store

  1. Unlike big box pet stores, we do not support or enable the abuse or sale of animals from pet mills.
  2. All of our pet foods, treats, supplements, toys and products are well researched and only brought into our stores if they meet our standards.
    • At The Wild we guarantee that all of our foods are free of: corn, wheat, soy, dyes, chemical preservatives, by-products and other harmful or unnecessary ingredients.
    • As a small, local business we have the benefit of being completely in control of all the foods and products we carry. The people who decide on each and every product are here in our stores, making these decisions and continually educating the rest of us about each one.
    • We have a meticulous screening process for all of our foods and have even visited some of the processing facilities where these foods are made.
    • We keep a close eye on foods that have been bought out by larger companies or been introduced into big box stores. If we find that we can no longer monitor and guarantee the same quality of sourcing and ingredients, we will no longer carry this food and happily find a new, smaller company that meets our high standards.
  3. We have a passionate, highly trained and well-educated staff when it comes to information about pet health and wellness.
    • All of our employees undergo extensive and continual training and education on not only our foods, supplements, treats and all other products we carry, but more broadly to encompass all nutrition and the overall well-being of pets.
    • Our staff is passionate and very involved in what we do. In our free time, you will find all of us reading, watching videos or otherwise learning more about our passion for pet well-being.
    • We’ve updated all of our handouts in an effort to provide more information about helpful and frequently discussed topics with our customers. These are available in both of our stores, or online at www.thewildpetstores.com through our “Pet Well-Being” link.
    • Most importantly, being a small, locally owned pet shop enables us to have a personal relationship with you and your pets. We are not just here to sell you a bag of food, we are personally invested in your pets’ health and well-being. When you shop at The Wild, we get to know you by name and learn about your pet’s specific needs. Our goal is to support you in making the best choices for your pets by providing the resources, education and tools that you need.