Natura Pet Expands Food Recall

Natura Pet Products expanded their voluntary food recall late Friday over salmonella concerns.

“In the course of further examination, additional products have tested positive for the presence of salmonella,” a statement posted on their website said. “All of these products were made on a single manufacturing line. As an additional safety measure, we are broadening our voluntary recall to include all dry dog and cat food products made on this single manufacturing line in the Jan-Mar, 2013 timeframe.”

The recall includes pet food sold under their Innova, EVO, California Naturals and HealthWise brands. A link to the recalled items may be found on the recall page of their website, or by clicking on the names of each brand.

“Your pets’ health and safety is our #1 priority.” the latest statement read. “We assure you that we are extensively investigating, inspecting and taking all actions necessary to ensure that our products meet both your expectations and ours.”

Natura first voluntarily recalled batches of their pet food March 18 after the FDA confirmed salmonella present in one of their products during a random sampling.

It was the first recall in the company’s 21-year history.



APPA Forms Pet Leadership Council

The American Pet Products Association‘s board of directors voted unanimously to form the Pet Leadership Council, consisting of approximately 20 company leaders from all segments of the industry and will focus on strengthening and consolidating key objectives and initiatives to keep the pet industry strong and vibrant.

“This new organization will provide a forum for a broader spectrum of senior-level industry leaders to participate in discussing and addressing all aspects of the industry to protect its greater good and ensure its success as a whole,” Jim Heim, APPA board chairman, said.

The council will consist of mass retailers, pet retailers, non-food manufacturers, pet food/treat manufacturers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, trade associations, industry organizations and live animal suppliers. Their goal is to consolidate the involvement and funding for key initiatives needed in order to promote, develop and maintain the advancement of the pet industry.

“There are a lot of great things happening in the industry today as well as some potential challenges,” Jim Myers, president of Petco, said. “Under the previous structure, issues have all been initiated or addressed independently by individual companies and organizations. This will now give us a big picture view and better understanding of how to work together.”

Joe O’Leary, PetSmart executive vice president, added, “by having all sectors of the industry at the same table we’ll have the unique perspective necessary on the subjects that matter most to protect this great industry.”

The Pet Leadership Council will serve to foster research, development and training, promote a better understanding of the various segments of the industry, cooperatively address concerns of mutual interest, maintain a liaison between government and the industry, and provide joint publicity and public relations for the pet industry.

“This is a tremendous advancement for the industry and has taken a lot of work to get here,” Bob Vetere, APPA president and CEO, said. “This truly can take everything to the next level but to meet its full potential, it is going to require strong participation, input, time and energy from those leaders with the experience, knowledge and ability to continue to move this industry forward. I am confident they will step up to the challenge.”

Vetere will oversee the new council as well as serve as a (non-voting) member  of APPA’s board of directors. The APPA board of directors will now consist of nine voting members including: new Chairman Jim Heim of Central Garden & Pet; Secretary/Treasurer Robert Merar of General Pet Supply; Michael Farmer of GlobalOne Pet Products; Steve Ware of Ware Manufacturing; Brent Weinmann of Vitakraft Sunseed; Roger Morgan of PawTree LLC; Rodolfo Spielmann of Nutro and the addition of two new members.

Getting the Bank to Say Yes

The American Bankers Association shared five tips to help small business owners best position themselves to obtain small business bank loans.

“Five Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Small Business Bank Loan,” are the first in a series of tips the group releases throughout the year that provide a rare glimpse into how bankers think, and is intended to help small business owners develop a mutually beneficial relationship with a bank, prepare to get loans and evaluate offers.

1)  Get to know bankers at several financial institutions in your community.

Before requesting a loan, find out which financial institutions in your market make loans to firms like yours.  Not all banks specialize in business loans.  Some specialize in lending only to firms in certain industries.  Others lend only to those in certain stages of the business life cycle (no startups, for example).  Work with bankers who understand your industry and find out how the current financial crisis has affected credit availability in your community.  Not all banks have been equally affected by today’s financial crisis.

Another reason to deal with banks experienced in your industry relates to the financial advice they can offer.  Because these bankers work with firms facing the same industry-related problems that may challenge you, they’re in a better position to provide helpful advice and financial products tailored to your firm’s needs.  Many times the advice a banker gives is far more important than the product or service they sell.  Seek a banker who can give financial advice that will help you survive and thrive in today’s economy.  In turn, you should reward that banker with your business and your loyalty.

2)  Be able to articulate your firm’s “value proposition” to its target markets and your business plan to reach them.

If you can’t clearly articulate why other companies or customers should do business with you and how you’ll effectively compete in your chosen target market segments, the chances of getting a loan are slim.

Develop a business plan that has three different scenarios: best case, most likely case, and worst case.  You want the banker to understand all three since you’re asking for support through good times and bad.  Also, be prepared to discuss in detail the assumptions that underlie each of these scenarios.

3) Think like a banker.

Understand the risks of operating in your industry. Have a plan to mitigate those risks and share it with your banker.  Bankers are going to do a risk analysis anyway, so it’s important to help them.  Most likely, you can provide a perspective that the banker hasn’t considered.  It’s important for the banker to see that you recognize the risks of operating in your industry and that you have a plan for dealing with them.

4)      Develop at least two ways to repay the loan.

Bankers look for primary and secondary loan repayment sources.  For the sake of your business, you should, too.  You are in the best position to determine possible repayment alternatives.  Be sure to discuss these options with your banker before the loan is made.  Secondary repayment resources could include the pledging of business or personal collateral as well as the addition of a loan guarantee by the firm’s owners, suppliers or customers. 

The more certainty that the banker has that the loan will be paid “as agreed,” the more likely it will be that you not only receive a favorable loan decision, but also the best interest rate.  Smart business owners understand that now is the time to think about alternative repayment sources, not when their business gets into trouble.

5)  Don’t ask for loans that should be funded with equity injections. 

Bankers aren’t paid to take equity risks; they get paid to make loans that will be repaid on time.

The amount of equity you need to operate your business will depend on several factors.  One of the most important relates to your industry and what role your business plays in that industry.  The amount of equity required for a manufacturer will be different from that required to run a wholesale distribution business.  Retailers in the same industry will also have different equity requirements.

The stability of the industry is also an important factor influencing the amount of equity needed.  Firms in stable industries need less equity than firms operating in industries undergoing rapid change.  The reason is that firms in stable industries can carry a higher level of debt due to the greater certainty of their revenue streams.

Another factor that determines the amount of equity required for your business relates to your firm’s business model.  Some firms offer easy credit terms to build market share and increase sales.  Other firms operate on a cash-only basis.  The sales terms your firm offers its customer base has an important impact on the amount of equity that your business will need to operate.

If your product or service is in great demand, consider asking your customers for upfront deposits on pending orders or extending favorable pricing terms to customers who pay their invoices within 10 days of receipt.

Another option is to ask suppliers for favorable terms of sale.  Ask if they’ll let you pay invoices later with no interest or give you discounts for paying invoices early.  Any additional customer or supplier financing reduces the amount of permanent working capital that needs to be funded with equity contributions from your firm’s shareholders.


Advertise in Pet Age’s June Natural Supplement

Corporate: 220 Davidson Ave., Ste. 302 • Somerset, NJ 08873 Phone (732) 246-5709 Fax (732) 249-8952 E-mail

West Coast: Ariyana Edmond, West Coast Account Executive Phone (323) 868-5038 E-mail

East Coast: Brianne Molnar, East Coast Account Executive Phone (732) 246-5708 E-mail

Pets Add Life Video Wins Award

The American Pet Products Association‘s  non-profit public awareness campaign, Pets Add Life received the 2012 “Best Viral Video” Strategic Video Award for its “Pet Interviews: Guinea Pig” video.

“We are so excited to receive this award,” Bob Vetere, president and CEO of APPA. “Our main goal with the ‘Pet Interviews’ video series and the campaign as a whole is to promote multiple pet ownership and we could not be happier to see what a huge success the series has become.”

The Strategic Video Awards were created for companies and organizations that use video to communicate for corporations, associations, non-profits, public institutions, colleges and universities, PR firms and ad agencies, and custom publishers. Video submissions are judged by expert practitioners and are evaluated based on how thoroughly they have met communication objectives. One winner, along with honorable mentions, is awarded in each category.

Featuring “talking” animals in a series of videos to help promote multiple pet ownership, PAL’s ‘Pet Interviews’ videos are produced by the  creator of the wildly popular ‘Ultimate Dog Tease’ YouTube hit, Andrew Grantham. Grantham’s videos have received more than 100 million views and were named No. 2 on YouTube’s Top 10 videos of 2011.

Founded by APPA, the non-profit PAL campaign is designed to demonstrate the joys and benefits of responsible pet ownership and encourage increased animal adoption.

Watch the winning video below:

Whole Life Pets Among BlogPaws Global Pet Expo Winners

BlogPaws, the original social media network and conference designed by and for pet bloggers, announced the winners of the 2013 BlogPaws Best of Awards from this year’s Global Pet Expo, held Feb. 20-22 in Orlando, Fla.

Members of the BlogPaws team scoured the floors of the Expo to find the latest and greatest products from more than 950 pet product exhibitors.

The BlogPaws Global Pet Expo 2013 Award Winners include:

Best Aquatic Product: No Clean Aquarium by No Clean

Best Pet Bed: Stadium Beds by Game Day Ventures

Best Bird Product: Senior Bird Nutrition by Labeber Cares

Best Boutique Product: Dog Snorz Pillowcases by Dog Snorz

Best Cat Product: Hanging Cat Condo by K & H Pet Products

Best Dog Product: Line of Dog Travel Products by K & H Pet Products

Best Conservation Product: Hermit Crab Glass Shells by GlassShell

Best Pet Enrichment Toy: Dog and Cat Toys by Nina Ottosson

Best Functional Product: Gobble Stopper by Loving Pets

Best Natural Pet Product: Smoothie Dog Treats by Ubuntu Pet

Best Odor Eliminator: Zero Odor by Zero Odor Pet

Best Overall New Pet Product: Pet Cam by Samsung

Best Leader in the Pet Industry: Bob Vetere, President & CEO, APPA

Best Small Animal Product: Tronk Ham by Aikiou

Best Technology Product: Rechargeable LED light by Floppy Ears Design

Best Pet Travel Product: Carriers Version 1, 2, and 3 by Wacky Paws USA

Best #BlogPawty Treat: Meowtini Treats by Omega Paw

Best Treat Presentation: Puptato Chips by Puppy Cakes

Best Toy Product: Urban Stick by Bionic Play

Best in Show Awards from the BlogPaws Global Pet Expo Team:

Chloe’s Best in Show: Freeze Dried DogFish by Whole Life Pets

Carol’s Best in Show: CarDek Cargo Space by PetDek

Felissa’s Best in Show: Pet Food Bowl by Simply Fido

Tom’s Best in Show: Top Dog Inn Beerhounds by The Expression Factory

Yvonne’s Best in Show: Dog 4D Bookmarks by Dimension 9

Caroline’s Best in Show: Poogo Stick by Poogo Stick


Natura Pet Recalls Dog, Cat Food

Natura Pet Products voluntarily recalled certain batches of their Innova, Evo, California Natural and Healthwise pet foods after the FDA confirmed salmonella present in one of their products during a random sampling.

It’s the first recall in the company’s 21-year history.

“We take this extremely seriously, because your pets are like ours – they’re part of the family – and we aren’t taking any chances,” the company said in a letter to customers on their website Monday night.

The letter continued in part, “words cannot express our disappointment with this finding. … Unfortunately, salmonella and other contaminants pose a great challenge to the food industry, and no company is immune.”

The impacted products have an expiration window between Dec. 17, 2013 through Jan. 2, 2014. A detailed list of affected products can be found here.

There have been no reported animal or human health issues associated with these products. According to the company, they fully investigated and identified the cause of the incident.

Those with questions or concerns, can contact the company at  1-800-224-6123.



SuperZoo Attendee Registration Open

SuperZoo, The National Show for Pet Retailers, opened online attendee registration for the 2013 event, to be held July 23-25 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

SuperZoo, which is produced and managed by the World Pet Association, offers educational programs, New Product Showcase, special opportunities for groomers and show floor­ known for celebrity special appearances and placing orders at exclusive show prices.

For the first time, SuperZoo moved its show pattern from September to late July  in response to feedback from SuperZoo’s retail buyers in order to better align with merchandising cycles and provide more time before the holiday season.

“Our buyers have conveyed to us that they need more time for buying before the holiday season and that some key suppliers are out of stock by September,” Doug Poindexter, World Pet Association president, said. “Moving SuperZoo to July aligns with our mandate to promote the responsible growth and development of the companion pet, product and services industry.”

They have also extended its show hours to accommodate for the growing show floor. The show will now open at 9:00AM on all three days of the show.

For more information about SuperZoo or to register, visit their website.

Spring Into Donations

Since debuting on the market in January of 2012, Spring Naturals has donated over $10,000 to various animal organizations and have worked with over 10 animal welfare groups, shelters and rescues.

“Spring Naturals is dedicated to helping place more pets in loving homes and making a difference in the lives of animals,” Rob Cadenhead, vice-president of sales & marketing at Spring Naturals, said. “We’re doing what we’re good at and that’s creating adoption awareness and feeding pets a healthy, well-balanced meal.”

They have done this through a variety of programs planned to engage their customers on all levels, including through social media.

Their “Share The Love” campaign allowed fans to submit their info and the rescue group of their choice for a chance to win one of two Spring Naturals prize packages. Collectively, Spring Naturals donated over $3,250 in food and treats to the Boston Brigade, the Atlantic Bulldog Rescue and the respective nominees.

“Spring Into Action,” launched last May, was an ongoing campaign dedicated to honoring animal advocates and the work they do within their community.  Each day, people were encouraged to visit the brand’s Facebook page via the “Spring Into Action” tab to vote for, and share, the story of their favorite animal advocate. The nominee with the most votes at the end of the month is then spotlighted on Spring Naturals’ Facebook Page.

As part of their “Spring the Dog” campaign, the company sponsored a 2-year-old mixed breed female pup, appropriately named Spring, and pledged a year’s supply of Spring Naturals’ dinners and treats and the costs of the dog’s initial medical care.

Artist Looking to Partner With Pet Stores

Retailers that are looking to display and sell artwork in their stores should consider a pet portrait artist.

Beth Weiner Lipson is an award winning artist and published author/illustrator who is looking to partner with pet store owners to display her work with a point of purchase easel back sign and printed cards with portrait ordering information.

Also, she will be adding greeting cards, calendars and pet related items. For more information contact Beth at, or at

Absorption Corp Sold to JRS

Absorption Corp, a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium pet products, was sold to international strategic buyer J. Rettenmaier & Söhne Group, according to Harris Williams & Co., who acted as the exclusive advisor to Absorption Corp.

Details of the transaction, which closed  March 14, were not released. Prior to the sale, Absorption Corp was a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries.

Headquartered in Ferndale, Wash., Absorption Corp develops, manufactures and markets small-animal bedding and other pet products made primarily from natural wood fiber.  The company’s portfolio of premium brands includes CareFRESH, Healthy Pet and CritterCare and its products are sold at pet-specialty stores, mass merchandisers and grocery chains throughout North America.

JRS is a manufacturer of high-quality organic fibers, made from plant raw material, for use in a broad range of applications within the pet care, food, nutrition, pharmaceutical, chemicals and construction industries.  JRS’ pet care offerings include pet litter and pet bedding products.  The company supplies products to customers worldwide from its 21 facilities.  JRS was founded in 1878 and is based in Rosenberg, Germany.





A Little Spritzing Can Go a Long Way

One of the best ways for groomers to know what tools and products really work is to pull up a chair at any grooming competition across the country and watch to see what the competitors pull out of their tack boxes.

Along with standby combs, brushes and scissors, each groomer will have bottles of their favorite “liquid tools” which they use to bring out the best of the coat they are working on.  Observe for a while and you will see a whole lot of misting, spraying and spritzing and wiping going on.

We asked stylist Jodi Murphy, of The Puppy Spa Mobile Grooming in New Jersey, to explain the benefits of using a coat spray.

“The biggest thing is that a good coat spray like Crown Royal helps to protect the coat from dirt, urine and future tangling,” she said.  “After the dog has been bathed and towel dried, a light application of the spray will add a conditioning layer to the coat.  Then, when you are scissoring, an additional spritz will cut down on static, as well as lift the coat to make it easier to scissor.  If you have never tried a scissoring spray, you will find your end results are much nicer when you do use one.”

Crown Royal spray comes in three varieties, so there is one to suit most any coat type.

“Historically our best selling grooming spray has been Crown Royal Formula 3,” said Debbie Rowe, co-owner, Frank Rowe and Son. “When we travel to shows we bring cases of it.”

Michelle McCord, assistant vice president of marketing at Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies, agrees.
“This product has a very dedicated following,” she said. “It seems to be heavily recommended by grooming speakers and instructors, and many new buyers learn of it through word of mouth.”

Spray It On

Another wildly popular product is Stazko’s Spray.

Created by grooming industry legend John Stazko, this product also has a loyal following.

“The Stazko spray is by far the most popular one we sell,” said Alison Franklin, of The Groomers Mall.   “Our customers love it and buy it over and over again.  It is antistatic, detangles and even repels dirt so that dogs stay cleaner longer.  It comes in professional sizes, and even in small bottles for retail sales.”

Some coat sprays are designed for very specific needs.

Murphy said she discovered Laser Lights Wow detangling spray when she was having difficulty with one particular cocker spaniel’s soft coat.
“I bought a bottle at a show,” she said. “It was expensive so I figured it had to work. A product has to really wow me before I’ll recommend it. This detangling spray was like nothing I have ever used before.  For instance, if a Poodle or a Bichon is a little clumpy I’ll spray it on the legs, tail, ears and feet after I’ve washed and towel dried the dog.  I work it in a little bit, and then when I use the high velocity dryer, those matted areas just blow right out.”

New to the U.S. is another spray that is receiving rave reviews, Knot Sure detangling spray by Animology. First introduced at the Groom Expo 2012, this line of pet care products is endorsed by Groom Team of England and is being widely chatted about in pet forums on the Internet.

There are even sprays designed to help dogs dry faster.

“Quick Dry is far and away our best selling spray,” said Sheila Louie, of Davis Manufacturing. “It breaks the bond that water has on the hair shaft, and cuts drying time in half. Groomers just need to spray it on, let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then dry the dog as they normally do. It works so well I have had groomers call me in tears because they are almost out and need a shipment, fast.”

Many groomers keep pre-moistened wipes within easy reach of their grooming table.

There are specific wipes designed for ear cleaning, dental care, eye care and odor elimination.

“The Thornell AOE Animal Odor Eliminator wipes sell well,” said Franklin.  “They help neutralize any scent from a last minute ‘oops’ potty accident or anal sac issue. The Gimborn Eye Cleansing pads seem to be in demand, too.”

When it comes to cleaning a dog’s ears, Louis suggested looking at their Earmed wipes, which come in 160 sheet professional packages or in a canister of 40 wipes for retail sales.

“They have the same active ingredient as our ear wash and they are very popular with groomers,” Louis said. “Our customers tell us they like to be able to sell the same product they use professionally to their clients for routine home care.”

Coat sprays and wipes are handy tools that can save busy groomers a lot of time, energy and effort.

Grooming experts suggest experimenting with a variety of sprays and wipes to find what works best in their individual grooming environment.

Daryl Conner, MPS, Meritus, CMCG, has loved grooming dogs and cats for nearly 30 years. An award winning photo journalist, she shares her meadow-hugged Maine farmhouse with her patient husband and a lot of animals.

Enriching a Bird’s Life

Whether naturally hatched or hand fed, birds are innately wild and inquisitive creatures, therefore creating a stimulating habitat is crucial when deciding to become a bird owner.

Once the proper cage size is determined, it will need to be accessorized appropriately. It is important to keep birds of all sizes mentally stimulated and physically active. Without proper engagement in exercise, they can easily become bored and develop negative behaviors such as nipping, screaming and feather plucking.

Toys not only provide an outlet against boredom, but also offer psychological security. Like humans, birds are social animals and require physical relationships. It is common for a bird to bond tightly with one toy it finds particularly appealing and spend its time huddling close to it when it is resting or sleeping.

A bird’s size and personality play key roles when determining which toys are most beneficial to their environment. Large birds require toys that will not break when being manipulated with claws and feet, as broken or small pieces can pose a choking hazard.

Smaller breeds need toys that will not intimidate or scare them. Observing a bird and noting what it likes or dislikes provides insight to what toys the bird will find engaging. Preferences in color, texture and shape will assist bird owners when purchasing accessories.

Types of Toys

The choices of toys are almost as vast as the breeds of birds they are made for, but most fall under specific categories depending on their main purpose. Categories include foraging and treat, chewing, manipulative and exercise gyms. All cage toys can be classified as enrichment toys.

“Enrichment toys are anything that causes an animal to think or have to interact with its environment,” Donna Garrou, owner of Bird Stuff in Orange, Calif., said.

No matter the specific function, they will all allow the bird to learn from its habitat.

A variety of toys should always be at the bird’s disposal and should be repositioned, or replaced weekly.

“I recommend at least three toys that can be rotated; one, a tear-up toy that can be shredded or chewed, one a “beater” toy, and finally a foraging toy,” Garrou said.

She refers to the toy that becomes the bird’s “baby” as its beater toy.

“A beater toy is often a bird’s favorite toy as a baby, and they continue to love it all their life,” she said. “My 27-year-old African Grey still “beats” his stainless steel ball and ball toy each morning when he gets up.”

Treat toys reward for the bird periodically for play by dispensing a treat or by encasing one the bird can see but has to work in order to extract it. This keep birds engaged, even if they do not particularly enjoy playing. A foraging toy has the same basic premise, but uses the bird’s natural instinct to search for its food.

“A foraging toy will give the bird many hours of pleasure, work to get treats and/or its main diet out, helping with dexterity and reducing boredom,” Garrou said.
Garrou suggests Caitec’s line of “creative foraging systems” such as the Buffet Ball and the Foraging Wheel.

Treat and foraging toys are beneficial when returning the bird to its cage after outside activities. Barbara Heidenreich, a behavior/training consultant at Good Bird Inc. in Austin, Texas, uses a variety of treat toys available when returning birds to their cages. She rotates in new toys each time the bird is removed.

“This novelty can keep toys interesting and it makes going back in the cages more fun,” Heidenreich said.

She prefers to use the Fiesta Foraging Box by Kaytee.

“The bird gets the enrichment factor from destroying the box and also gets reinforced by treats hidden within the box,” she said.

A bird’s natural instinct tells them to chew. Many breeds have hooked beaks used for breaking open fruits and hard-shelled nuts. Including a chewing or shredding toy in their cages will satisfy their natural urges.

Popular choices of chewing and shredding toys are made from cardboard, wood such as pine or balsa, or knotted ropes. The purpose is for a bird to destroy these toys by ripping and shredding the cardboard or untying the knots in the rope, so replacing these types of toys will be necessary.

Garrou recommends the line of shredding toys from Planet Pleasures.

“One simple example is simply woven strips of palm called ‘Shredders’ that can be woven between bars or added to any toy to increase interest” Garrou said.
Garrou also suggests Oxbow’s ‘Timothy Twists’, which are similar to the ‘Shredders,’ but are made from Timothy hay.

-Erin Salley

Love Them, Love Their Dog

When marketing and selling to women, the store layout is just as important as anything else to keep them coming back.

Susan Bartholomew was in the fashion industry for 25 years before becoming the co-owner of Zoomies 9 years ago in New York City.

“When a woman buys any product they want their dog to feel special and want the dog to feel fashionable,” Bartholomew said. “They want to take care of their dog as they would their child. Also, it needs to be in tune with what’s going on with the fashion industry here in New York City.”

Bartholomew’s store is set up to feature different products at different heights, the product is always in tune with the season, as well as the colors that match the season, and she also burns a fig fragrance to give off a pleasurable smell in the store.

“We want to give the consumer an experience when they walk in,” Bartholomew said. “We care about how it smells, we are known for our fig scent in the store. Sound is also very important. You want upbeat music that isn’t overwhelming. If it’s silent, you don’t want to be there. You want it to be very colorful and eye catching.”

“Also it’s important how you merchandise, you want people to touch everything. If it’s flat on the wall as you walk by it, no one will stop to look at it. If it’s at different levels and all over, you want to touch it more. You also want to mix and match your store so all the merchandise is together and not sectioned off.”
She also suggests giving the customer a great experience when they come to the store. Not only with how it’s set up but also with customer service.

“You have to not only give invaluable customer service to the people but also the pets,” Bartholomew said. “You have to also show and really feel the same admiration and love for the person and the dog. You want to learn about the dog just as much as you do about the person; customer service is key. Let people shop but within two seconds of them walking in you should at least say, ‘hi.’ Along with customer service give people quality products, be consistent and it will be a wonderful experience.”

The store focuses on its image from not only the inside, but also outside.

“We want you and your animals to feel good,” Bartholomew said. “It’s a very alive place. We have key lighting on the inside to really light up the place and make it feel alive. Even from the outside we have two big benches and two Christmas trees. It’s a happy place that makes you feel happy. Even if people are in a lousy mood they are happy when they come in.”

Bartholomew also stressed that selling isn’t everything.

“We love when people just come in off the street or it’s the same people that come in every day,” Bartholomew said. “We don’t care if you come in and don’t buy anything. The only thing we ask of our customers is to tell someone about us.”

Bravo! Recalls Certain Dog and Cat Food

Bravo! is voluntarily recalling its 2 lb tubes of Bravo! Raw Food Diet Chicken Blend for Dogs and Cats, product code: 21-102, batch ID code 6 14 12, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recall involves 2 lb. Bravo! Chicken Blend frozen raw diet tubes (chubs) made on June 14, 2012 only; no other products or sizes are involved. The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets.  This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers; however, routine testing by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture of product collected from a single retail location tested positive for presence of salmonella. While the testing discrepancy is unclear, in an abundance of caution Bravo is issuing this recall.

The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with this product.

The recalled product is distributed nationwide to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers, and can be identified by the batch ID code 6 14 12 located on the white hang tag attached to the bottom of the plastic film tube.

Pet owners should return unopened frozen tubes of food to the store where purchased for a full refund.  Pet owners should dispose of opened tubes of product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle) and return the washed plastic batch ID tag to the store where purchased for a full refund.

In an effort to prevent the transmission of Salmonella from pets to family members and care givers, the FDA recommends that everyone follow appropriate pet food handling guidelines when feeding their pets.  A list of safe pet food handling tips can be found at:

For more information on the Bravo recall, please visit, or call toll free (866) 922-9222 Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (EST).


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