Sunshine Pet Supplies started in 1989 in Sechelt B.C. A very traditional pet food store at first, we sold all the basics or staples of the pet food industry at the time. Foods like Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet and Nutro were our retail products. We had very limited knowledge of the Pet food industry and gladly took advice from our sales reps on which products we should carry. Pretty much right away we started to notice that our customers pets seemed to have reoccurring problems. Things like constantly shaking their heads, licking and chewing their paws, biting the base of the tails etc.. At first we thought it was a reaction to the fleas which are very common on the Sunshine Coast but these symptoms did not go away in the winter when fleas are not usually around. Once in a while we would get in a customer who fed a raw diet to their dog or cat and I remember asking why and what benefits their was. Their dog never seemed to have any of the issues that was stated above, their energy level was exceptional, stool size non existent and to top it off thier skin and coat were amazing! These customers told me pretty much that i was poisoning peoples pets with the food that I was selling and if I was not selling raw, then I should be selling better dry food! I started to take their advice and look into the products that I was selling and what an eyeopener! Almost all of them contained By-products, Bad Fats, Separated grains etc... It seemed like they put more money into their packaging, advertising, and marketing, than they did the actual food. The real sad truth is that there was so little choices when it came down to "healthy pet food" we were getting very disheartened to going about our daily business.
One night in 1995 I was surfing on this fairly new concept called the internet looking at Pet foods and came across a brand called Innova. This food read like nothing I had ever seen before with none of the above mentioned products. Real Chicken, Turkey, and Herring, not to mention a lot of it as well as having apples, carrots, and real whole grains! This was what we were looking for for the people who would not buy raw pet food. The next morning we got in touch with the manufacturer who advised me that they had just started a distributorship for B.C and the rest was history. Within 2 years, Science Diet, Eukanuba, and Iams were gone from our store to be replaced by healthier foods like Innova, California Natural, and the just recently released Healthwise. We also started our first 5 rules to Pet food which in the last 4 years has become 6 rules. These self imposed rules have saved us from some of the biggest recalls in the Pet food industry that has effected some of the well known names in our industry like Royal Canine, Medi-cal, Science Diet, Nutro Natural Choice, Iams, Eukanuba, Hills, and Kirkland, just for starters. ( For further information on Pet Food recalls both past and present go to
http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/recallswithdrawals/default.htm OR https://www.avma.org/news/issues/recalls-alerts/pages/pet-food-safety-recalls-alerts.aspx
Some of the rules are more important than others and are just another safety measure to ensure a good quality pet food.
1. No By-products 2. No Seperated grains: When you seperate a grain, you leech much of the value out the grains, also allowing for the grain to be used a protein(Wheat, Corn Gluten etc..) The 2007 recall was caused by the use of wheat gluten. 3. No Bad fats, no bad preservatives: Bad Fats are fats where the source of the animal is unknown ie(animal fat, poultry fat) Bad prservatives are BHA, BHT, Ethoxiquin, Propylene Glycol to name a few. To learn more about these just google their respective names. 4. The 1st ingredient should be a good quality, protein specific meal: Meal is meat after the water has been cooked away. Foods that say Chicken or Lamb, Beef etc without meal have been weighed before the water being removed given the appearance of more meat which in fact is incorrect. 5. Just because it is expensive, does not mean it is good: 6. If they do not make their own product, do not support them:
In 2002, we sold our Sechelt store and relocated our family to the sunny Okanagan where we opened our store located at the Westridge shopping center where we brought our Pet food concepts to an eager market that was looking a change from the traditional Pet food ideas. Based on the strengths of our Westside store and the numbers of people from Kelowna who would travel across the bridge to shop with us. Finally in July of 2010, we opened our last Sunshine Pet Supplies and Grooming which is located at the Governors landing building across Staples.