It is easy to lose sight of how much your dog does for you. Even if you don’t count on them to corral sheep or retrieve ducks, and even if they’re only equipped to deter a home intruder by deafening him with impassioned yapping, they will always love you unconditionally.

Your cat is less hung up on the concept of “being useful.” Perhaps there really are times when having all your potted plants swatted off their shelf could be considered helpful, but for the most part your cat’s purpose is strictly limited to loving you as well. (In between naps, if there are no birds outside to glower at through the window.)

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Love is a scarce commodity these days. You must cherish any source of it that you have. In the case of your dog or cat, this means giving them superb things to eat.

“The food you give to your pet is your greatest contribution to their overall health,” said Michelle Smith, who has owned Natural Pet Center since 2005. “Your cat’s or dog’s happiness ultimately stems from many different sources, but none of them are more important than what they find in their bowl every day.

“Back when I was a kid, shopping for pet food meant going to the grocery store and picking one of three different cans with a picture of a dog or cat on it. But our understanding of animals’ bodies has evolved a lot since then! This doesn’t just mean there are far healthier foods available for your best friend. It also means high quality pet foods have become much more affordable in recent years.

“The wide variety of pet foods we offer will let you keep your best friend healthy on any budget. Even if you select a lower-priced kibble, our staff can help you add a little variety with a ‘bowl booster’ like goat’s milk, bone broth, or freeze-dried meat. Our customers are often surprised to see how quickly their pet’s skin and coat improve – and how much their energy level increases – with the addition of a few fresh, whole ingredients to their diet.

“After so many years in business my staff and I have identified the highest quality brands of pet foods. We’re continually impressed by Primal Pet Foods, who offer a huge selection of natural bowl boosters. We love Fromm Family Foods, who are family-owned and based in Wisconsin where they make both grain-free and grain-inclusive foods. And Orijen, whose foods are inspired by a natural diet of whole prey animals, never use meals. They’re a great choice if you want a larger portion of your pet’s diet to come from meat.

“Weruva has become especially popular among the cat owners who come to our store. Their shredded portions look like something you would actually want to eat yourself, making them perfect for finicky eaters.

“We put just as much thought into taking care of pets when mealtime is over. We have toys for every size dog, like Fluff & Tuff whose stuffed animals look just as good as something you would give to a child. Our customers love Fluff & Tuff toys because they stand up to even the most vigorous chewers. Cats are too often overlooked in the toy department, but we make up for that with a really good offering of things that will get their minds and paws racing. We just started offering Natural Cat Toy products, which are made of natural materials like honeysuckle – a wood that has similar properties to catnip.”

Natural Pet Center’s experienced staff won’t just help you get acquainted with the world of pet nutrition. Their onsite groomers will make your dog or cat look as pretty as a postcard with freshly coiffed fur, sparkling ears and neatly trimmed nails. (Cutting certain cats’ nails without getting scratched is about as easy as dodging raindrops, but they manage!) Natural Pet Center also offers overnight boarding for cats, during which time they are always monitored in case they need someone to meow to.

If you don’t have a pet to buy food for, then Natural Pet Center can still help you. Go and visit the resident kitties from Cats Cradle Shelter, play with them in the dedicated socialization space, and then adopt one right on the spot. Me-wow!

Michelle and her team are available for in-store shopping and curbside pickup at 3037 13th Ave S in Fargo. You can learn more about Natural Pet Center online at


By David Scheller