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We are Jo-Anne and Neal Cropper and we are passionate about the health and welfare of pets. In 2007, as the largest pet food recall in North American history unfolded, we felt the same fear and anxiety for our four-legged family members as countless others across Canada.
We began to discuss the best dietary options for our three furry companions. Like you, we view our pets as part of our family and we want them to lead long and fulfilling lives. It didn’t take long to realize the real lack of available healthy food options.
Until this point, our pets had chowed down on a diet of kibble. We had assumed this food was safe and nutritious. After all, it was widely sold in grocery stores and we hadn’t heard of any movement against it. As we started reading about traditional pet food, the ingredients used, and the standards (or lack thereof), we were horrified with what we found.
Jo-Anne, who has previous experience working as an animal health technologist for several years, suggested a raw pet food diet as the answer. As a start, we decided to visit local pet food stores that offered healthier items.
Unfortunately, for stores claiming to be “healthy,” the shelves were still stacked with unhealthy food choices. We just couldn’t be convinced these stores had our pets’ best interests at heart. That’s when we decided we could do better. With no retail experience, we jumped in wholeheartedly and opened our own store. With a small storefront and a mission to improve food choices for pet owners, Growlies was born.
Growlies’ number one priority is the health and welfare of our customers’ pets. That’s why we’re proud to share our principles with the store mission:
When we researched the big pet food recall of 2007, we discovered the pet food world is dominated by one or two big companies who make a large percentage of food available through standard channels. By contrast, we only deal with providers who can prove the quality of their ingredients and where they came from.
Most vets will recommend pet owners minimize carbohydrates and grains in their animal’s diet. The vast majority of our products contain no wheat, no corn and very little rice. When it’s unavoidable, we do stock certain products with low glycemic index grains in our store.
Unfortunately, a lot of pet food is produced in parts of the world where regulations are lax. We are committed to working with local suppliers to maintain our stock of nutritious, delicious and diverse proteins. We also offer choices from select providers in New Zealand and Australia, as their rules around pet food production are similar to, or even better than, Canada. This allows us to offer a diverse selection of alternative proteins for pets with allergies.
We view our customers as partners in boosting and promoting animal welfare. We are committed to working with them to provide the best experience for them and their four-legged family members. If you have feedback, good or bad, about the Growlies experience [Contact Us] and tell us how we can improve your customer experience!
It’s up to every individual pet owner to decide what’s best for their pet. Sure, we’ll provide our perspective and knowledge, but it’s important for you to question common wisdom and discover the truth for yourself.
At Growlies, we advocate the use of a raw food diet for several reasons. We have seen the positive impact it has had on our own pets and are proud to offer it to our community.
In 2003, the Lippert-Sapy study on domestic dogs’ well-being and life expectancy found animals fed with home made food (or raw food) reached an average of 13.1 years of age. Animals fed with canned industrial food reach an average of 10.4 years.
A 1976 study (O’Connor-Summerhill) highlighted the improvements in kidney function seen in dogs with a raw food diet. This type of food contains a high level of easily absorbed water content with minimal toxins.
Countless studies have highlighted how the teeth, acidic gut and rapid digestive system of dogs are that of a meat eater. Feeding dry, cereal-based food can lead to discomfort over time and cause dogs to become stressed. Raw food is also low in salt, meaning pets will drink less and pee less. With the easier digestion of raw food, there will also be a noticeable decrease in amount of feces.
Imagine having to eat the same thing every day. Wouldn’t that be boring? Yet, most pets are fed the same bland food, from the same jumbo bag, every day of their lives. At Growlies, we carry a range of different proteins for pets. We have chicken, turkey, bison, lamb, beef, pork, elk, llama, goat and venison.
Whether you’re looking for advice on animal nutrition or you’re curious about the products we offer, stop by and visit our store. We look forward to seeing you soon—and don’t forget to bring your pet!