For some people, pets are part of the family.
As part of the family, animals should be treated with love, respect and nourishment, according to Hope Williams, co-owner of Best Friend Nutrition health food store for pets. “You should do for your pets what you would do for your baby,” she said.
Best Friend Nutrition, located at 61 Valley Center Place in Carlsborg, opened a second store, in the east end of the Safeway shopping plaza in Sequim, March 7. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, with activities planned for both canine and human customers.
Free “goodie bags” filled with products for cats and dogs will be given to the first 50 customers. Prizes will be awarded hourly from drawings featuring store merchandise, certificates for professional dog walking, a geriatric pet exam with blood work, toys and cash prizes.
Representatives of Therapy Dogs International will present a 45-minute presentation on “Having Fun and Making a Difference as a Therapy Dog,” at 9:30 a.m. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Greyhound Pets, Inc., will have rescued greyhounds available for adoption.
The Sequim store will host pet adoption groups every Saturday, in addition to featuring a “Talented Friends of Pets” series led by peninsula animal experts. Topics include alternative care for cats and dogs, animal acupuncture, massage and hospice for older pets.
Best Friend Nutrition sells food, supplements, nontoxic grooming products, identification tags and toys for cats and dogs. Product lines for small animals, birds and fish are in the works.
Best Friend Nutrition is known for its holistic pet care approach.
“The most frequent comments made by our human customers are that ‘My dog has never been so healthy’ and ‘It’s so much fun to feed my cat and dog nowadays because they’re so excited about the variety and quality of what I’m feeding to them,’” Williams said. “Humans get very excited about doing the right thing for their beloved pet family members.”
Products are handpicked by Williams to assure quality, integrity and palatability.
Holistic pet care, according to Williams, means to view and treat pets as the individuals they are. Ten fundamentals of holistic health pet care are a nutritious and digestible diet using variety and supplementation; pure water in fresh, plentiful supply; a toxin-free environment both indoors and outdoors; limited intake of drugs and limited vaccines; behavior training to provide security and confidence; an indoor life free from stress; routine exercise, both aerobic and play-oriented; routine grooming and dental care; routine veterinarian exams; and a consistent abundance of love and respect.
Best Friend Nutrition strives to abide by and promote those 10 fundamentals. “The more you practice these principles, the more balanced and healthy your pet is,” Williams advised.
Holistic pet care slows aging, extends life, creates happier and healthier pets and lowers pet bills, she added.
Williams entered the pet care field 10 years ago. As a wedding present, Williams and her husband adopted a malnourished, 7-year-old golden retriever named Max.
“I started out using the most expensive food with the best commercials,” Williams remembered, “but it didn’t help him. So, I started making my own holistic pet food. Within six months, he was a radically different dog.”
“I became very intrigued by holistic pet care at that point,” she continued, “giving the body what it needs and taking away what it doesn’t need, to create a balance in which the body can heal itself.”
Before long, pet owners began seeking Williams for her recipes. Though she only makes her own pet food once in awhile now, Williams dedicates her days to learning about pet health and investigating foods on the market.
“When the pet food recall happened, not one thing was recalled from our store,” she bragged. “We do the research here so you don’t have to worry.”
Williams lives in Sequim with her husband and business partner, Jim Williams. They own five cats, one dog and one bird. They are “grandparents” to four horses living next door and plan to adopt two more dogs this summer, a golden retriever and a Welsh corgi.
Box: Promoting holistic pet care
Best Friend Nutrition, a health food store for pets, has two locations, 61 Valley Center Place off U.S. Highway 101 East and 680 W. Washington Ave., Sequim. Business hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday for the Carlsborg store and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday for the Sequim branch. Both shops are closed Sunday. For more information, call 683-4651 or 681-8451, or go online to www.bestfriendnutrition.com.
Box: Homemade dog food recipe
In her spare time, Hope Williams, co-owner of Best Friend Nutrition, makes her own holistic pet food. “Lizzy’s special yam pudding for dinner” is a recipe Williams created and makes for her dog on special occasions. Use one serving for a 50-pound dog. Add kibble to increase the calorie count for a larger dog.
1 medium organic cooked sweet potato with skin
1 raw organic egg yolk
2-3 tablespoons fat free organic yogurt
Directions: Bake the scrubbed yam until soft. Leave the skin on the potato, cut and then whip with a fork while hot. Mix in the yolk well, then the yogurt. Serve to dog.