Organic food is the healthier choice for people, so it stands to reason it’s better for your pets too.
Lee’s World Pet Supplies (7322 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of 74th Street, 718-836-5482) carries a complete line of organic food for cats and dogs.
Owner John Lee decided to go the organic route about three years ago when he had to empty his shelves at his Staten Island shop because of the pet food recall. “I didn’t want to get involved in that again,” he says. At that time, it was determined that some food being sold could actually harm pets.
With organic food, Lee is confident that the food is not going to find it’s way on the “recall list,” because of the natural ingredients that are used. He adds cautiously, “But if there was something wrong, we would be contacted” by the company long before the food made its way to Fido’s bowl.
Organic food is free of preservatives, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Studies suggest that many owners, concerned about their own diets, want to be sure their pets are eating right too.
Aware of these trends, Lee expanded his business into Brooklyn to meet the needs of this growing population who appreciate the benefits of organic pet food. Among the organic food products that he sells are Paul Newman Food, Weruva, Nature’s Variety, and Nutro brands.
Weruva is a natural food that Lee describes as a “luxury” for dogs and cats. It looks very much like the food we eat. In fact, Lee says, “You can see the real pieces of calamari and baby shrimp,” which must make it very appealing to these animals.
Nature’s Variety, he says, uses tapioca “to hold dry food together.” Then, they add “bio-coding,” which he explains as a process that involves spraying nutrients back on to food. These nutrients are usually “lost in the process of making dry food,” so this brand puts them back in. Natural oil from salmon and fish are also added to the ingredients, as these are known to carry great health benefits.
Raw meat, “with the bone still in it,” is another way dogs and cats can eat healthy. They contain “100% of the nutrients,” Less says. He carries hamburgers, for large dogs, that contain vegetables and fruit.
For smaller dogs, he has “little buttons of raw meat,” that contain these same nutrients.
He points out that raw meat, when handled properly, is not a health concern for animals. First of all, “Dogs can handle more bacteria than people,” he says. Still, raw meat must be served to dogs and cats in a stainless steel bowl because “porcelain and plastic have cracks in them,” he says, and the food can become stuck inside these cracks, spreading bacteria. Just like with humans, raw food must be handled carefully.
Many people may be under the impression that organic food is too expensive, but Lee says that some natural food brands are “cheaper than some name-brands that are sold in grocery stores.” With the economy in its present condition, “a lot of people are looking to save money,” he says. Buying organic may be one way of doing so, and the added benefit is that you’re helping your pet, too.
Incredibly, there is also a demand for Kosher food for dogs and cats. Lee carries this, too. “It’s roast beef,” he says, and his shop sells it in about “11 different flavors.” How’s that for variety?
Lee was raised in an environment in which he was immersed in the care of animals. His family owned a pet store business in Staten Island, and Lee, an only child, helped out there all the time. As a result, he is very knowledgeable when it comes to animals. He enjoys chit-chatting with his customers, and has been overheard discussing topics such as providing the proper amount of protein to dogs and how to make sure they are getting enough exercise.
The environment of the shop is a very friendly one. When dog walkers come in for a visit, their dogs in tow, Lee sometimes provides the animals with a treat such as a new biscuit or jerky treat. Although no animals are sold on the premises, he will help with “neighborhood adoptions,” seeing that animals get placed in loving homes.
In addition to organic food, Lee’s World Pet Supplies sells beds, clothes, dog carriers, leashes, collars, cat towers, toys, hamster and bird cages. Bird food, rabbit food and bedding, hamster food, and fish food are also available. Lee points out that bird food is made by nature, as it’s “natural seeds.”
To learn more about the care of dogs and proper nutrition, Lee recommends websites such as www.wholed
Visit Lee’s World Pet Supplies seven days a week, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.