WYOMING — A store that puts clients’ health and nutritional needs first recently opened in the Midway Shopping Center.
Those clients may have long ears, plenty of fur and a wagging tail.
Pet Valu, a pet food and supply company based in Canada, opened its 308th U.S. store in the shopping center next to Dollar Tree on Jan. 7.
The chain focuses on holistic and premium brands of dog and cat food and treats, according to the company website. The store also sells items for small animals, reptiles, birds and fish.
Store manager Amie Byle, former assistant manager at Pet Valu’s Moosic location, said business has been steady since the location opened about two weeks ago.
“We’ve been busy since day one,” she said.
In addition to pet food, treats, supplements, toys and accessories, the store also offers an indoor, self-serve dog wash station with elevated tubs. Shampoo and towels are provided, as is clean up, but customers should bring a brush for sanitary purposes. Cost is $10 per wash and the store has a Frequent Buyer Program for the service, too.
“People with bigger dogs really like that,” said Byle.
The staff is required to earn a certification in pet health and nutrition from University of California-Davis Extension of Veterinary Medicine program. Byle said it’s important for staff to not only learn about the products, but also be able to help customers with their pets’ health concerns.
“It’s important to have that friendly interaction with the customers, but we also want to make sure they are getting the right information about products, especially if an issue can be bad or even fatal to pets, like flea and tick dosage,” she said.
Byle also noted that, while her seven-member staff is knowledgeable in pet health issues, its advice does not replace veterinary care.
“We always say, ‘Talk to your vet,’” she said. “They are entrusting us with their pets, and (pets) are like their babies. It’s something we take very seriously.”
Byle also said the company focuses on pet adoption and animal charities throughout its stores. The Wyoming store plans to work with local animal rescues, including Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge in Orange and Tracey’s Hope Hospice Care & Rescue in Duryea.
The next company-wide adoption event will be held Feb. 10-12, and Byle said the store will soon have cats from Blue Chip available for adoption.
A grand opening will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 18 and will feature product samples, free refreshments, raffles and adoptions.
In addition to the Wyoming and Moosic locations, Byle said the company plans to open a store in Honesdale this week and one in Mount Pocono in March.