Officials with the Food and Drug Administration recently proposed rules that would regulate production of pet food and help prevent food-borne illnesses in people and animals.
And owner of local pet food store Nooga Paws said consumers need to be more educated about what they feed their animals.
Owners just bought a third freezer and have signed a deal with a raw food dealer.
The deal allows owners better buying power. They can buy in bulk and get better prices.
So Bob said he’s reducing the prices on his raw, dehydrated and freeze-dry formulas by a couple of dollars. He is aiming to get those prices closer to the cost of kibble food, he said.
He acknowledged that some people might tell him not to drop prices and keep the profit. But he’s passionate about providing good food to area residents, he said.
He’s trying to maintain competitive prices and provide a good, affordable service for consumers.
“We are doing great,” he said. “The store is growing. Each month is bigger than the previous month.”
He also expects the holiday season to be busy. The store will have prepackaged gifts that customers can buy for friends and families who have pets. And customers will also be able to come use a pet photo booth to get pictures of their animals for free.
“Like anything else today, as consumers, we have to be extra-diligent,” owner of Nooga Paws Bob Poore said.
The proposed FDA regulations would help keep animals from getting sick from eating contaminated food and people from getting sick from touching pets that have eaten it or handling it, according to The New York Times.
Six years ago, after many animals died, officials dealt with the largest pet food recall in history after a Chinese manufacturer made contaminated dog and cat food with melamine, a compound used in plastics, also according to The New York Times.
Bob said that part of the reason he opened his store, which is at 313 Manufacturers Road, Suite 111, was to help local residents have access to healthy pet food.
Bob and his wife, Courtney Poore, started the store after their dog developed fatty tumors.
Their veterinarian said it was a common ailment. So the duo started doing more research on what they were feeding the animal.
They didn’t like what they discovered, so they created a store that offers natural pet supplies and food.
Recently, after the news of the proposed FDA regulations, Bob said he bought some popular treats from a grocery store and put them at the counter.
Some of his customers were so excited and asked if he was carrying the products.
But he isn’t.
“All three treats are highly marketed on TV and across print publication,” he said. “All three are made in China but don’t say it on their packaging. They say stuff like, ‘Distributed in the USA.'”
Bob said that he wants consumers to be educated. And he said the FDA provides benefits to consumers, but he is a little worried about what might come from the new regulations.
“My concern is they will try to make up for what they haven’t done by doing some blanket regulations and cutting out great products we have,” he said, using raw goat’s milk as an example.
He said that raw goat’s milk helps malnourished animals and pets with digestive problems. Unpasteurized products aren’t allowed for human consumption, but the raw products are all clearly labeled to show they are for animals only, he said.
“I think the best thing for people to do is pay attention to what you’re feeding your animals,” he said. “Look at the package like you’re going to eat what’s in that package.”