Growlies for Pets – About Us

We are Jo-Anne and Neal Cropper, and we started Growlies near the end of 2007, just after — and for many people, in the middle of — the biggest pet food recall North America has ever experienced. We were unsure as to what we should buy for our three furry companions, and there was a serious lack of available options.

Jo-Anne had previous experience working with animals as an animal health technologist for a number of years, where she acquired a foundational understanding of the traditional offerings available from the pet food industry. My experience was in the IT realm, but I was passionate about what we fed our pup, and we began researching heavily to find out what was right for the health of our pets.  Up until this point, our pets had always had a diet of kibble. Jojo proposed a raw pet food diet to me, and as we started reading and learning about traditional pet food options, and their possible ingredients, we were flabbergasted, to say the least. The more we researched, the more important it was to find a well-balanced, fresh-food option.

Trust – but Verify. We think it’s important for you to question authority and find the truth for yourself. We’ll provide our perspective and share our knowledge, but ultimately you’ve got to be comfortable with the choice you’re making for your pets’ health.

Our local community had many places that claimed to be pet-focused health food stores, but based on the unhealthy items we saw on their shelves, we couldn’t be convinced they had our pets’ best interests at heart. We decided our neighborhood needed a pet food grocer dedicated to the health of our pets, so we found a local retail spot that made sense and, despite our lack of any previous retail experience, jumped right in, opening our own store.

The food we sell must meet certain criteria:

  • The company name on the package is the one that puts the food into the package. Part of the reason for the big pet food recall was there are only one or two large companies who make a large percentage of the food available through standard pet food channels
  • Grain-free or low GI. Here we have to admit there are some gluten free, low glycemic index grains in our store but no wheat, corn and very little rice.
  • Sourced within our region. We work with local suppliers to keep our shelves stocked with nutritious, delicious, and diverse proteins, but we do have a selection of choices from select providers in New Zealand and Australia, as they have rules that are similar or better than Canada’s. They provide us the ability to offer alternative protein diets for pets with allergies
  • Do it right. We had to make sure we could do it and have people enjoy working with us as a partner in their pet’s health. We are always working to improve your experience so please, do tell us how we can better meet your needs and expectations

Advocates for your pets

We still advocate the raw food diet overall; we have seen how good this diet is for our pets, and we proudly offer it to our community. We encourage people to use dehydrated, freeze dried or canned as either breakfast cereal, or for short periods while travelling or when a lack of refrigeration is a concern.

We also promote the use of bone-bearing meats for good oral hygiene. Depending on the size of your pet, a good raw chicken, whole tripe, turkey neck, or pigs foot is the perfect toothbrush for them. It works their jaw and neck muscles while cleaning their teeth.

Variety is the spice of life

We, as humans, eat something different typically three times a day, and yet we feed our pet the same food, from the same jumbo bag, every day of their lives. We recommend you offer different proteins, and we have chicken, turkey, bison, lamb, beef, pork, elk, llama, goat, venison and more are all available, providing a good mix of proteins for your pet’s diet.

Tripe is like yogurt for your pet, promoting healthy flora in your pets’ intestinal tract. We offer buffalo (bison), lamb, and beef tripe, available as either whole or ground.

Dietary Supplements

Supplements can be included in your pet’s diet, and we carry some very good and well respected products for your pet. Ask us about the options and benefits of the supplements we offer, or contact the companies directly and ask questions. Adored Beast products, Organic Ocean Kelp, Hokamix, WellyTails, Honest Kitchen, Nature’s LogicOlie Naturals, and Biologic Vet are just some of the many options we carry, be sure to check them out as they really can make a difference.

Growlies: For Pets

Our store has been open for almost ten years now, and we are still growing every day. We started a Growlies points program to thank our loyal clientele for coming back and supporting what we do. Without great suppliers like Just Raw, Buddies Natural Pet Food, Red Dog Blue Kat, Pet Lovers’ Choice, Mountain Dog Food, IrRAWsistible, Nature’s Variety, Carnivora, Iron Will Raw, Pet’s Go Raw, NRG, Smack, Honest Kitchen, K9 Naturals, Naturawls Pet Foods, Pets 4 Life, and Mega Dog we wouldn’t be able to do what we do and we want to ensure they are not forgotten, thank you.

Your Fresh Pet Food Connection. If we can help one family have a healthier pet for a longer period than was otherwise possible, it’s all worth it.

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon. Bring your pet!