Health Mutt, a Tampa-based natural pet market and dogwash, was our interviewee this week. Kendra Bailey and her team offer a wide range of healthy products for four-legged pets, along with Wondercide. They also provide holistic knowledge.
Let’s hear her thoughts
What made you decide to open a Health Mutt?
Kendra: Health Mutt was founded because of the love and appreciation our customers have for their pets. I believed it could also be a benefit to the entire community and all our pets. It was a wonderful opportunity, and it felt like the right fit.
That’s great! Your video talks about using a natural approach to pet caring and making sure that everything is health and wealth in your store. What’s your opinion on caring for pets?
Preventative practices are what we believe in. Kendra: We prefer to avoid problems than trying to fix them once they have become a problem. This is especially true for common diseases like cancer. You can help prevent illness by eating right and exercising. This is very important to us. Every product we import is carefully researched and taught to us. We are confident that every product we offer to customers will be a solution for their pet. Customers don’t need to be concerned that their pet might not benefit from the contents of our store.
There is a big difference between big-box stores and independent retailers. There are certain things that can be found in chain stores that are safe for pets. But if you don’t know what you’re doing you could end up with something harmful for your pet or something that is likely to be recalled.
Even if we worry about products, we let our customers know and we don’t hide any happenings in the pet industry. We believe sharing knowledge is important and receive a lot of positive feedback due to the high-quality products we offer. Customers are very happy when they see a difference in their pets.
We love the idea of sharing our knowledge and using nutritious products! What is your experience in pet nutrition?
We get a lot of our knowledge from holistic veterinarians and sharing experiences with like-minded people. Before opening Health Mutt, I worked for a while in an independent pet shop. All of our employees receive training on the food we sell. I also give a brief explanation to the staff on the reasons we brought that particular product in and why it is important.
It is great that the community can trust you to meet their nutritional needs. Many people tell me that vets are not given a complete education in nutrition. Also, a lot of the classes they attend are sponsored by major dog food brands, so this can lead to some skewed information.
This is something we seem to be talking about with our clients almost every day. Our goal for nutrition was to make sure that your pet insurance is fed a diet that is less processed than kibble. This would be in place of a veterinarian giving you a prescription diet if there are already issues. We are definitely different from the vets.
Your customers and their pets are important to you. How can you all get involved in your community?
I’m the founder of The Heights Collective. We do lots of fun things and we want to get people excited about living in The Heights. We organize fundraisers and other activities that bring the community together. Last year’s fundraiser was for the displaced workers of a restaurant that had been destroyed by fire. In just four weeks, we raised $30,000. That was awesome! We have another planned for March, which will benefit Urban Art Attack. They will create captivating wall murals in the neighborhood.
The store hosts adoption events and has partnered up with low-cost vets, for example. In the past, we have also set up at local markets and hosted yappy hour with local bars and restaurants. We held a singles night for “must love dogs” last Valentine’s Day. It was great fun! We offer anesthesia-free dental cleaning and a mobile vaccine clinic. We offer services that community members can use, regardless of whether they want to purchase dog food from us.
These sound like great fundraising ideas! It’s amazing that you are helping customers with so many issues. Pests are a major problem in Florida. I wanted to find out how Wondercide products work for you and your customers.
It is actually used in the store. We offer grooming and a dog wash. There are so many dogs that come in every day. My two dogs are also treated with Wondercide flea and tick control. They are now free from oral flea pills so I give them heartworm pills and Wondercide. It is extremely effective. Your products have also been used for mosquitoes and wasps. It works well on many other things, so it’s not just for ticks and fleas.
I recommend that people obtain a sample size to test it on their dogs. They can then keep it in their pocket for mosquito repellant. This allows people to use the product on their own, as well as sharing it with their Craigslist Pets.
The formula for our flea and tick product for pets is the same as that for pest repellants for people. That makes sense!
Wondercide works really well in this area. It gets great feedback, and we get many repeat customers, which is quite remarkable for a flea product. Customers who have fleas will also benefit from the skin tonic to reduce their pet’s itching. Your skin tonic has shown great results in pets with rashes.
We are so glad to hear that! We are glad Wondercide has been of assistance to you. Do you have a favorite Wondercide experience that your customers remember?
A man came in once who was having trouble with his dog’s hot spot for over a month. He had also been to the vet many times. He was prescribed many things, and he claimed he tried them all. We recommended Wondercide’s skin care product. Three days later, he returned to the store to inform us that the hot spot had almost disappeared.
Hot spots are often horrible, so I’m certain he was relieved! What is your favorite part about running Health Mutt
Oh my gosh! It’s most likely the customers. They are truly amazing people. We have the most amazing customers. We do. Today was a busy day. We were understaffed and overwhelmed. It was incredible to see our customers. They were always helping me out. They were so patient with me. One lady was so patient with me that I caught her cleaning up the mess on my floor. It’s crazy. There will be people waiting in line. One person will notice that I’m busy and will offer to help the customer. They don’t work for Health Mutt, they are just kind enough to give a bag of food to someone who needs it. They are the most wonderful people. That’s what I think is the best thing about working with them.
What advice do you have for pet dental insurance owners looking to make their pet happy?Kendra: Any good independent pet shop will be able help them get on the right path and provide the information they need, rather than trying to figure it all out by yourself. It is nice to know that there is a trusted and safe place you can turn to. It’s worth looking for one in your town.
Do you have any other ideas that Health Mutt we should know?
The only thing I have to add is that I tried a variety of natural flea products for my dog, as I wanted to get them off flea tablets. After a lot research and testing and trying many different products, I finally settled on Wondercide because it works. It is amazing. It’s now used by all our employees and our groomer. It can be sprayed on your dog to kill fleas almost immediately.
Yes, I think so. Some people may be concerned that it is not natural if they hear it.Kendra: Right! Many people don’t believe it, but in Florida you can get rid of traditional flea treatments and have no fleas. It works! That’s why I was so confident about bringing it in to the store.