As an entrepreneur and local businesswoman, I see investing in other local businesses as an investment in the long-term well-being of our community. I try to avoid spending my hard-earned cash in chain pet stores whenever possible, which is easy to do because we have some great local businesses here which are convenient, affordable, and usually offer a higher quality product line than their “big box” competitors. Here are some of our favorite local pet retailers, please consider supporting them the next time your dog needs a new collar, leash, toy, or some new dog food! At all of these locations, I have found the staff to be exceptionally knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful.
The Houndstooth Bakery and Boutique is a bit outside of central Broome County and is located in between Bainbridge and Afton. Not only does the Houndstooth have a fantastic boutique offering home-made cookies, high quality kibble, canned, and pre-made raw foods, great books and gifts and toys, but Cassie and Jim are also probably the most knowledgeable pet retailers in the area. Cassie is a devoted reader of The Whole Dog Journal and other natural health care publications and it certainly shows in the attention to detail and assistance which she offers her customers.
Another bonus of The Houndstooth is their four-acre, fenced in dog park. There are separate sessions for large and small dogs. While the park is open to the public and free to use, you must pre-register in the store and get your number before using the park. Behavior at the park is monitored by other users and the owners – the rules are clearly posted, please follow them!
In addition to a great shop, and a great dog park, Cassie offers occasional seminars from experts in both holistic health and positive training. When the weather is nice, you may also find puppy classes and lure coursing being offered.
Finally, this is a great place to board your dogs. If I had to board my dogs, I would board them here. For more information on their pet cottages, check out The Houndstooth Bed and Barkery Page. Clients are treated to their own temperature control cabins with personal fenced in yards. They don’t have many cottages, so book early!
Creature Comforts, located on Upper Front Street in Binghamton, unfortunately does not have a website I can refer you to!
This is a fairly good locally owned pet store. I’m not a huge fan of animals or fish for sale, but they do carry a lot of great products and, I’m excited to report, now offer a limited supply of pre-made frozen raw foods for dogs. They also have a nice selection of kibble, canned foods, treats, toys, chews, beds, collars, harnesses, and leashes for dogs. Nice staff, always happy to answer a question or give your dog a treat (best of all, they ask first!).
If you shop here frequently, be sure to get a Creature Comforts card so you can receive discounts on your purchases!
Binghamton Agway – located on Broad Avenue on Binghamton’s East side. I go to this place a lot because I live on the East Side. They do not have an extensive selection of pet supplies, but they’re convenient for me, have reasonable prices, and do carry some great kibbles, canned food, Red Barn chews, and have some nice toys.
They are also the only other supplier I know in the area (besides our classroom) that offers the Red Barn food rolls we recommend at class. I’m a big fan of the Chicken and Chicken liver formula but have found that the Beef and Lamb formulas crumble into dust too easily in my treat bag!
I admit, I haven’t shopped at other local Agways, so I can only comment on Binghamton’s store. If you have experience with other local Agways, please leave them in the comments!
Endicott Feed & Tack
Endicott Feed and Tack You can find directions on their home page. I admit I haven’t been to Endicott Feed and Tack in a while but when I left last I was impressed with their selection of high quality commercial pet foods.
I used to like this place because they carried a lot of Natura products, which I once loved. Since Natura has been bought out by Proctor & Gamble, a company known for manufacturing notoriously low-quality pet foods, I can no longer recommend Natura products. It seems as though they carry Canidae, and I know a lot of people feed that successfully. If you’re ok with Diamond as a pet food manufacturer, Taste of the Wild can be a great, affordably priced grain-free food which many dogs do very well on.
Did I miss any local pet retailers that you love? If so, please post in the comments. Happy shopping!