Total Pet offers a wide range of services for all types of animals

Staff at Total Pet in Castlegar have expertise in a wide range of animals. - Craig Lindsay
Staff at Total Pet in Castlegar have expertise in a wide range of animals.
— image credit: Craig Lindsay

Even in a short visit, it's evident that the staff at Total Pet loves their animals. A recent photo opportunity brought out not only a few dogs and birds, but also a couple of chickens and even a snake.

Store manager Kris Koop has been with Total Pet chain for 15 years, and at the Castlegar store since it's inception in 2009.

"It's a B.C. family-owned chain with 14 stores throughout the province," he said. "It's still expanding."

Total Pet is a full service pet store serving a variety of pet owners' needs.

"We offer everything from cat and dog food and supplies to small animal supplies, bird supplies, reptiles, fish, pond stuff, agricultural feed," said Koop. "Everyone with a pet is a customer or potential customer. Whatever the need - we'll fill it."

Koop says the store has customers from not only Castlegar but also Trail and Nelson and beyond, and everything in between. The store doesn't just service the smaller animals.

"We have horse food, cow food, chicken feed, goat, hog, everything," he said.

Total Pet features over 20 different brands of pet food for dogs and cats.

"All of the brands that we carry are premium, top of the line brands," said Koop. "These are brands that you won't find in mass market places and grocery stores. Those types of pet foods can be quite inconsistent and use lower quality ingredients whereas ours are premium and super-premium."

Grain-free pet food is currently very popular, says Koop.

"If your dog or cat has sensitivities either stomach sensitivities or skin and coat issues, allergies, that's when you'd want to look at grain-free pet foods. If it's not a protein issue," he said. "Alternate protein foods are big too. Rather than going with the regular chicken there's rabbit meal and kangaroo. Pets are less likely to be allergic to those foods because they've never been exposed to them before."

With an expert staff on hand, Total Pet is ready to help diagnose any pet problems regarding diets and other areas.

"A lot of our customers - we help them out with problem they have (with their pets)," said Koop. "So if they want to switch foods because of an issue with a certain food, we'll give them advice on what to look for in the ingredient list to try and help solve the problems."

Koop says the biggest problems they see in pets are overweight animals and pets having allergies.

Total Pet sells many different kinds of animals, although they do not sell dogs or cats.

"We have a really good working relationship with KAAP (Kootenay Animal Assistance Program)," said Koop. "They hold regular adoption clinics here where they adopt out kittens, puppies, dogs, and cats. We also do lots of charity fundraisers with them. We also work with BEAKS (Bird Emergency and Kare Society) with all the injured birds that they help out."

Koop says Total Pet has been very busy this past year and he expects the store to get even busier as Christmas approaches and people start to hunt for pet gift ideas.

"Pet beds are popular," he said. "Pet treats as well as toys for the cat or dog - those are always very popular. For people, fish tanks are very popular. From the small desktop aquariums all the way to 55-90 gallon aquariums. Those are all great gift ideas."

Total Pet is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Fridays are open until 8 p.m. Sundays and holidays, the store is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The store will also be having the very popular pet photos with Santa sponsored by KAAP at the end of this month.





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