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Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012

The Health of Our Pets

Carrie Marble of Bark N’ Scratch

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Located on Milwaukee’s West Side, Bark N’ Scratch Outpost (5835 W. Blue Mound Road) sells pet food and supplies, provides regular product and wellness demonstrations and was inspired by a remarkable bichon frise named Snowbelle. Owner Carrie Marble encourages her loyal customer base to challenge some of the traditional practices of western veterinary medicine and to recognize, for example, the importance of “species-appropriate diets.”

 

Why did you open the store?

My dog Snowbelle started developing allergies. I noticed her turning around a lot and biting her side and her health just went downhill from there. I started giving her steroids and different pills and shots, but after a year of the regime the vet was recommending she wasn’t getting relief, and I wasn’t getting relief, because when they’re sick, you’re sick to your stomach. The vet told me, “She’s no good; you’ll never be happy with her health.”  But then a groomer introduced me to natural foods. Long story short, I couldn’t get out to Pewaukee to get the food as often as I needed. I opened up the store because I was going crazy trying to get to Pewaukee and I figured a lot of other people were giving up like I was going to do. I saw the need in the area for the food, and I felt the need to educate others on what I had learned.

 

What’s been the secret to your success?

I think that we’re different. We do a lot of community work, and we donate a lot of products and time to different rescues. I think Buster’s Fund [Veterinary Assistance Program and Pet Food Pantry] in Milwaukee and Waukesha is really important. Brew City Bully Club is another organization that I think is very important, and we work with Bichon and Little Buddies Rescue in Waukesha County.

 

What are the most common concerns customers have regarding their pets?

Digestive and urinary problems, kidney failure, adrenal disease—problems that I feel are food related. We always have someone on staff to help with those types of questions. You can call and ask the same question 15 times and you’re pretty much going to get the same answer over and over again, because the staff is trained and very educated.

 

What types of demonstrations do you offer?

We have demonstrations on Young Living oils and how to use them with your pet. Young Living oils are therapeutic-grade medicinal oils that can be used to clear conditions that western medicine can’t seem to clear. People come in with pets that might have ear mites continually and the pesticide isn’t working. My dogs have allergies and we’re doing a demonstration with them. We also have a lady that teaches pet message, and we have a “communicationalist” who will teach you how to communicate with your pet.

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