Business

A natural alternative for pets

Naturally 4 Paws owners Jim Woody, left, and Tim Hall with their three store greeters (from left) Rascal, Rusty and Rowdy. The new store in the Ross Plaza on Silverdale Way features all-natural pet supplies. - Photo by Kassie Korich
Naturally 4 Paws owners Jim Woody, left, and Tim Hall with their three store greeters (from left) Rascal, Rusty and Rowdy. The new store in the Ross Plaza on Silverdale Way features all-natural pet supplies.
— image credit: Photo by Kassie Korich

Countless hours of research have gone a long way for Jim Woody and Tim Hall, owners of the new Naturally 4 Paws in Silverdale.

When their beloved Shetland sheepdog Goephyr fell ill with Cushing’s disease, the two researched what exactly was in the national brand of dog food they were feeding him.

It was then that Woody and Hall realized they would never feed another one of their pets a brand of food that wasn’t made of all-natural ingredients.

Now four years and plenty of research later, the pair have opened a new store for pets featuring all-natural pet supplies for dogs, cats, birds, fish and small animals including holistic and organic items.

“The majority of the food is 100 percent human grade and natural, the whole back (of the store) is organic,” Woody said. “Another part of the business is educating people about what they’re feeding their animals ... You may be paying a little more for dog food, but a lot less in vet bills.”

Naturally 4 Paws specializes in raw frozen dog food as well and offers four varieties. And because every animal is different, the majority of the food offered also is available in a free trial size sample.

“Pets are like people, they’re individualistic, they have different personalities and likes,” Hall said. “We try to offer a wide variety.”

The Seabeck residents are happy to base their business on customer service as well as educating their customers about their products.

“We want to be very service-oriented,” Hall said. “We’re going out of our way to greet people and help them any way we can.”

And although the pair are especially well versed in dog products, they wanted to make sure they carried items for other animals as well.

“We’re not experts on birds or small animals, but we wanted to provide a natural alternative for most of the small pets,” Hall said. “We wanted to provide an alternative to what’s out there.”

When planning their new business, they realized it is nearly impossible to compete with the national pet store chains so they made sure to carry many of the items that are not found in the larger stores.

“We can’t compete with big box stores so to fill that void we have stuff that they don’t carry,” Woody said.

He adds that they do carry some of the toys that some of the large stores carry, but the majority of their inventory is unique to Naturally 4 Paws.

They feature an array of interesting and hard-to-find pet items including Soggy Dog — an absorbent drying towel featuring hand mitts so that the pet owner’s hands don’t get wet. Naturally 4 Paws also features all-natural and organic toys made of organic fabric and dyes.

With all of their products, Hall and Woody are looking for customer feedback and are hoping to gauge customers’ interests.

“This is trial and error,” Hall said.

The new store carries organic cat litter as well as Scientific Professional Cat Litter which features a sickness indicator to help detect feline lower urinary tract disease. The litter is not sold in supermarkets or national retail stores.

Naturally 4 Paws also features state-of-the-art self-service grooming stations — a means to an end of hovering over bathtubs at home.

“We have two fully enclosed stations and the most ergonomic equipment,” Hall said.

The stainless steel tubs feature stairs which means no lifting of heavy dogs and a pre-set water temperature.

“It’s a pre-set temperature so no one can freeze their baby or scald their baby,” Hall said. “We also have a variety of shampoos.”

All of the cleaning supplies, towels and grooming equipment are provided as well as clean-up. The regular flat fee is $15, but is 50 percent off through the end of this month.

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