“Why don’t you carry the product I’m looking for?!?”
Well, once upon a time (in 2007) Hero’s Pets opened with a challenging mission to create a new type of pet supply store. Our idea was to use our pet health interests to carve out a niche for “better” products.
Our mission is to use our tiny space and our huge personal commitment to promote products that we believe in. . . Products so new, unique or customized that they require one on one personal explanation for selection and use. Many of the companies we carry have no marketing strategies or press packages. They are not focused on profit or big business plans. What they do have is the desire and ability to make outstanding products, for a variety of personal reasons (Our manufacturers each have a story, and we will tell it if you ask us.) Many of them built their recipes and crafted their products for the love of one particular pet with a health problem, or an allergy, or a preference they couldn’t satisfy with mass produced products. Some simply wanted to use their local resources to make unique or environmentally friendly alternatives to common products.
What do all these companies have in common?
Well, a personal investment in the quality of their products for one thing. . . But more relevant to you when you first walk into Hero’s Pets is that they were probably NOT what you came looking for. Many of them you’d never even know existed if you hadn’t visited our store. You haven’t seen them on TV, in any magazine ads or even merchandising displays at a big box stores.
Here at Hero’s Pets we have enjoyed the blessing of many resources. People committed to education, service, design and product research all contribute to achieving our mission of not only selling high quality, natural pet foods and supplies, but actually going above and beyond the standard of what is “natural.” We start with the word natural and then we dig for more information. Then, we try to put it into formats useful to you.
Choosing only the best of the best products for your pet is not always easy for us or for our customers. Hero’s Pets patrons are certainly some adventurous, open-minded and quality seeking types of people. We really respect and admire our customers for these values which bring us together in search of good things.
There are many products that we would like to carry because they are well promoted by their manufacturers and popular because of their advertising and wide distribution. Those are the kind of products that come to a store with the work already done, ready to sell themselves. There is no promotion or explanation necessary, and they don’t need any dedicated educators to sell them. Many of these familiar products are ones that we appreciate because they are a great introduction to “better” options than conventional offerings one might find in big box and grocery stores. However, our mission is to seek out the very best product in every niche: every type of product for every budget.
We have so much gratitude for our customers, for taking this journey with us, as we explore the best natural, sustainable, local, ethical and healthy products that we can possibly find for your pet.
Thank you so much for reading this and letting us tell you our story.
We have created the following article to cover a few of the main points that prevent most products from finding a place on our shelves. Please ask in the store or use the form at top left on our website to inquire further. We are always happy to answer questions or give free consultations about specific health questions.
We look into every company (including those we don’t sell):
- Recall history
- Quality control
- Manufacturing standards and practices
- Quality, ethical sourcing
- Charitable donations
- Ethics, and more
~See below for a list of products we don’t sell~
One example of a question we might require a company to answer might be: “Is your “natural” Vitamin E preservative preserved with propylene glycol or sourced from GMO soy?”
Yes, it’s true, they may have actually used a chemical preservative to preserve their natural preservative! This is a good example of why we have to pry obsessively into the manufacturing and sourcing processes for each product. We have spent decades in the pet supply industry learning which questions can determine if you’re actually getting the product that the label seems to describe.
Labeling a protein as a “meal” can be deceiving and is actually less important than the source and processing of the protein ingredients. Factors such as “is your fish preserved with ethoxyquin prior to your purchase of it?” may have much greater consequence, because if the company didn’t add the ingredient themselves they are not required to list it on the label.
We take the time to educate ourselves, and consumers, about WHY many popular brands aren’t as healthy as they make themselves appear to be. We’re here to help you find the right products for you and your family. We specialize in helping to maintain health and working with illnesses via nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, flower essences, aromatherapy, and moderating environmental factors we tend to forget about. We encourage you to do as we do, which is to not only ask the retailer, but also the company and manufacturer tough questions. We also believe that ultimately it is our responsibility to make sure you are informed before you decide on a product that we have presented in our store. If we know there is ANY chance that your pet might get sick, not thrive, or otherwise not benefit from a product we won’t carry it no matter how well advertised it is.
Ask questions about your (human) products too. Labeling is deceiving. Companies want to sell their product with the highest possible margin, so they may make it as difficult as possible to compare the true qualities of products by using confusing terms that are meaningless or legally undefined like “supreme”, “premium” or “natural”.
See our chart of standards for more details. We are always happy to snoop around and get more answers to your questions. We recognize that things change, and even product lines that we sell sometimes end up sadly changing practices and being removed from our store. For questions or comments about specific products please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on our consultation box.
After all, your money and your health are valuable, and every time you spend a dollar you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.
Products we don’t sell:
The following Brands and products are placed in order.
At the top are products labeled “natural”
As you get toward the bottom you will find products where “there are no words for the horror”, in our humble opinion. (We are passionate about health, so we get extremely disappointed when factory farming and mass production finds clever ways to cut costs at the expense of your pet’s health.)
If you have no access to any of the brands we recommend, and you cannot order online, then we recommend to try to use a brand closest to the top of the list.
Great Life (Recently sold to Lone Star/Texas Mills)
I and love and you, Only Natural Pet
Grandma Lucy’s Artisan (we carry Pureformance)
Nutrisource, Natural Planet Organics
Party Animal & Cocolious (until they are no longer manufactured by Evanger’s)
Stella & Chewy’s
Primal (Poultry only)
Pet Guard, Lifespan, Lifepath
Owned by Catterton Partners:
Wellness, Core, Eagle pack
Nature’s Variety, Instinct
Sojos (Sojourner Farms)
Owned by Central Garden & Pet Supply:
Avoderm, Breeder’s Choice, Pinnacle
Products made by High Tek:
High Tek Rations, High Tek Naturals, Leonard Powell Signature, Perfectly Natural Dog, Life 4K9, Intimidator, Premium Blend, Tom Boy, Good Dog, Defender
Products owned by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition:
Rachael Ray – Nutrish, Just 6, Back to Basics, Source
Diamond Pet Foods: (Diamond has been responsible for numerous recalls and CDC Outbreaks)
Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Taste of the Wild, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Diamond, Kirkland, Nature’s Domain
Products made by Diamond Pet Foods:
Solid Gold, Blue Buffalo/ Wilderness, Premium Edge
Biljac, Biljac Frozen
Canyon Creek Ranch
Dr. Foster’s and Smith
Products owned by Colgate-Palmolive (yup, the toothpaste company):
Science Diet, Hill’s, Ideal Balance, Nature’s Best, Prescription Diets
Products owned by Mars (yup, the other candy company):
Nutro, Natural Choice, Nutro Max, Nutro Ultra, Greenies
Cesar, Pedigree, Whiskas, Temptations, Crave, Sheba, Excel
Royal Canin, Sensible Choice, Waltham
The Goodlife Recipe
Products owned by Proctor & Gamble (yup, the shampoo company):
Natura, Innova, Evo, Kumpi, California Natural, Healthwise. Mother Nature
Eukanuba & Iams – All products in italics are being discontinued due to excessive recalls and lawsuits
Halo (but we love Ellen DeGeneres) Spot’s Stew
Products owned by Nestle (yup, the candy company):
Purina and sub-brands: – (Prescription Veterinary Diets, Alpo, ProPlan, ONE, Fancy Feast, Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Beneful, Friskies, Purina, Mighty Dog, DeliCat, HiPro, Kit’n’ Kaboodle, Tender Vittles)
Merrick Pet Foods (Sold to Nestle Purina):
Merrick, Whole Earth Farms, Castor and Pollux Organix, Natural Ultramix, Good Buddy
Products owned by Delmonte- Heinz (You got it, the ketchup!):
Kibbles n’Bits, Natural Balance, 9 Lives, Nature’s Recipe, Meow Mix, Milkbone, Milo’s Kitchen, Puperoni, Gravy Train, Snausages, Canine Carryouts, Pounce, Wagwells, Cycle, Skippy