Grooming, day care and birthday parties are just a few of the activities going on at the Green K9, located at Urban Green, where owner Marni Lewis hopes to create a community. “I want to change the way people see pet stores,” she said. “More people come in the store with their dog than without. It’s a destination for you and your dog.” The store offers pet foods that are not highly processed, including local products.
Lewis also features the work of local artisans in her shop, including pet artists like Sherry Kendall and Rebecca Scott. She is selling locally grown paw balm and is bringing on a line of bandanas made by a local high school student. “I’m still open to bringing in other local artisans,” she said. “I’m looking for artisan handmade collars and leashes.”
“Soon there are not going to be any more single-unit pet stores—just chains,” said Lewis. “I call this a ‘pet specialty’ shop.” With online shopping and box stores, said Lewis, “you lose that personal connection, that neighborhood feel or (personalized) education, because the owner isn’t there. I want to give people a reason to come.”
To compete with online sales, the Green K9 will soon begin to offer curbside pickup. “We’re an outfitter,” Lewis added. “With an online store, you can’t try on collars—especially Martingale (training) collars. We can help (customers) fit them.”
Lewis said that many people think that only dogs that are under 40 pounds are able to use the shop’s services, but 40 pounds is the maximum for day care. “Grooming and self-wash are for any size,” said Lewis. “Everyone is gaga over the self-wash,” she continued, “as well as the treat bar for the dogs and the cappuccino bar for the humans.”
Victoria Danner has been with the Green K9 since its opening in early November. “I enjoy watching it grow,” she said. “(We just held) a birthday party. … It was a lot of fun!” Local Instagram dog influencer Ginger Devine, a shih tzu that regularly visits day care, celebrated her second birthday playing with her puppy friends. “They had treats (and) they all played—it was like a normal kid’s birthday party.”
Future activities at the shop include a Paint Your Pet’s Portrait class on March 14, and a doggy yoga day. For more, visit greenk9urbana.com.