When golf pro Don Blaske closed his business, Kauai Golf Repair, he was ready for a change. Following his passion was important. Pets! He followed his love for man’s best friend into the naturally healthy pet business.
Don met with a Downtown Camas building owner and discovered a location along 5th Avenue. He and his wife, Dore, agreed it would be the perfect home for their new business, Naturally Healthy Pet. “We really appreciated the small-town community feel of Camas,” Dore said.
In April of 2009, they opened the doors. They were delighted to find a customer base focused on healthy lifestyles for themselves, and for their pets. “Our customers exercise, eat well, and understand the value of supplements,” Dore said. “They’re proactive in their approach to wellness and vibrant health.”
When starting out in Downtown Camas, Don and Dore were determined to set themselves apart from big box pet stores. “The support of the industry was key,” Don said. “Attending trade shows and meeting with vendors really provided the training and confidence to grow. Several vendors even helped us stock shelves and set up displays. Our standards were high. We knew from the beginning we were committed to being an educational resource and to supporting the health and well-being of pets providing quality of life without compromising longevity.”
Dore was surprised how many customers came in for more than pet food, they needed advice. She said many of their customers expressed frustration with short-term solutions only focused on treating symptoms in pets. They are looking for alternatives to the mainstream approach. They want long term solutions.
“The use of steroids and harmful pain medications can take precious years from our pets and cause a multitude of side effects and other health issues. Our customers understand the value of healthy supplements like probiotics, omegas, glucosamine and CBD, they are impressed with our large selection of remedies, supplements and our knowledge,” said Dore.
Don believes in getting to know the whole family, not just the pets. He prides himself on recalling the names, owners as well as pets, and takes a sincere interest in their lives beyond the water bowl.
“A family is a living entity, it includes pets and people,” Dore said. “There are times when we have the luxury of just one customer at a time and getting a chance to really know someone. We often find, when a pet passes, we are the first ones who know. They come to Don knowing he will just listen and be empathetic. Losing a member of the family is so much deeper than people often understand. So often people say things like, ‘maybe you should get another dog,’ they know they will never hear this from Don.”
Customers of Naturally Healthy Pet, as well as visitors to Downtown Camas, find a plethora of fun toys and healthy treats to bring home to their beloved pets. They can find gifts for their “grand pets” or gifts for friends and family including specialty items for two-legged friends, such as a local products, honey from Sithean Acres, Theo Chocolates, Fire Brew apple cider vinegar tonic, and an extensive line of CBD products for people and pets.
The couple both promote the benefits of all-natural food including feeding raw for pets.
“Think about it,” Dore said. “We have domesticated our pets and brought them into our families. They live indoors, sleep in our beds, help care for our children. They provide companionship and unconditional love. However, biologically, they are the same as their ancestors … wolves. Requiring quality protein, organ meats, limited fruits, and vegetables. When you feed them as their ancestors ate in the wild, pets thrive. The closer to nature the better.”
“Just like our children who are happy with a happy meal, every day, our children and pets look to us for protection and guidance for healthy habits. As within, so without. Eating natural food promotes health and longevity. Our pets never live long enough … everyday counts,” Don said.
Naturally Healthy Pet has a selection of remedies which Dore has curated specially, “sometimes we can save expensive vet visits. We are quick to remind our customers, we are not vets. You always need a trusted vet, emergencies and serious illness need their expertise. But a daily focus of healthy choices, well-chosen supplements and remedies can reduce the occurrence of milder issues.”
One of their most popular resources is the “Life Stress Pet Scan.” A simple test of saliva and a hair sample can identify pets’ sensitivities, intolerances, stressors, and triggers which create allergy type symptoms. The holistic pet scan provides feedback on hundreds of foods and is less expensive and invasive than traditional blood allergy tests.
“We can then make recommendations on food and supplements to align with what works for the pet,” Dore said. “@Glacier Peak Holistics provides the test and supports balance with 100% organic herbs grown on their organic farm in Montana. Our own pet, Baxter, has had great results with his skin allergies. We knew he didn’t do well with chicken and were surprised to discover he cannot tolerate carrots.”
Dore says, “We understand it’s only natural to want to spoil your pet, we show our customers how to do it naturally.”
You can find the store at 335 NE 5th Avenue in Downtown Camas, on Facebook, or call (360) 609-3505. Naturally Healthy Pet