If it had not been raining, I would have walked the six blocks to interview the owners of Four Dogs Pet Supplies in NoDa. I pass by often and have been curious about what was inside. I don’t have a pet, but I stepped inside to check it out anyway.
When Todd and Betsy Hintzmann and Dan and Betsy Owens formed Four Dogs Pet Supplies two years ago, they wanted to offer a pet store featuring nutritional food and personal service.
During my time with Dan and Betsy, I received quite the education about supplies for dogs, cats and urban chickens (as opposed to those country living chickens) in a surprisingly inviting space.
The dogs behind the business
Woody, Jake, Chance and Freya are all rescue dogs and the beloved pets of the Four Dogs owners. The largest of the four, a Mastiff, weighs in at 210 lbs with a 36” neck. The next largest, a Great Dane, is 180 lbs.
It is easy to see that Four Dogs Pet Supplies was born out of need. The two couples found shopping for collars, toys and bowls for their own giant-breed dogs difficult. Essential items were not available at the typical box stores.
With extensive business experience and a love for dogs of all sizes, the couples hammered out a business plan that included healthy food for dogs while providing extensive knowledge about their products. Since opening, they have expanded to cat food and supplies and organic feed for those city chickens.
The products are chosen carefully by the owners. The food is considered high-end. This means the meat content is high and the list of ingredients is short and natural.
Most products like collars, blankets, crate mats, bowls and beds are handmade by NC and SC artists. Animal artwork by Charlotte artists and UMAR artists is for sale.
No parts wasted
Betsy and Dan were excited to show me one section labeled “Body Parts.” These edible treats made from animal body parts can solve dog issues naturally. Joint problems can be helped with chicken and turkey feet. Chewing on a bully stick (bull penis), cow kneecaps or deer antlers can decrease chewing issues. They said more about gullets and bones, but I must admit I heard nothing after “bull penis.”
Syncing with the community
Four Dogs has become an integral part of the Charlotte community. They are a drop off point for Steve’s Coats for Kids and School Tools. They support The Coalition to Unchain Dogs, Great Dane Friends and Pet Harvest.
I left feeling good about my visit to Four Dogs Pet Supplies. I may not own a pet, but if I did, I know Dan and Betsy would be there to answer my questions and steer me in the right direction.
Photos: Four Dogs Pet Supplies, ABS Photo, Vanessa Infanzon