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Shopping news: A natural take on caring for your pet

I admit it. I ate a dog biscuit.

Don't worry: This carob sandwich cookie was made with real food-grade ingredients that are safe for human consumption. That is how all pet food should be made, according to Tim McDonnell, 44, and Bruce Nemeth, 58, owners of 4 Paws Holistic.

4 Paws Holistic is south Charlotte's newest natural pet-food store, opened by two men committed to helping the community improve the quality of life for their pets through good nutrition. The staff is ready to answer questions regarding pet food choices, and they do so without the judgment or pressure that sometimes can come with the territory.

4 Paws Holistic carries a range of natural pet food brands not made from animal byproducts or grains sprayed with pesticides. Specialized foods can be ordered for animals with dietary restrictions. The store offers brands including Orijen, Natural Balance and Blue Buffalo, just to name a few.

4 Paws Holistic also stocks foods for the increasingly popular raw diet for pets. The store features a rawhide bar, a bakery case filled with fresh-baked treats and a Great Wall of Fun stocked with toys for your pet's entertainment. 4 Paws Holistic also offers pottery pieces such as doggie dishes and cookie jars, as well as brightly colored "no-stink, no-rot" collars and leashes made locally from recycled PVC pipe.

The store carries a variety of supplements, holistic remedies (think Storm Stress and Travel Anxiety) and grooming products.

At checkout, customers are offered the option of donating a can of food, at $1.25 per can, to the Second Harvest Pet Food Bank. The 4 Paws staff delivers the donated cases of food to Mellow Mushroom every Monday night for Trivia with Wilson, starting at 7 p.m. Bring a can or bag of pet food to the Mellow Mushroom on Selwyn Avenue on Monday nights and receive a free appetizer.

4 Paws Holistic

2907 Selwyn Ave.