Green Biz Spotlight: Going Green Is For The Dogs!

After having been a dog trainer for nearly a decade, and having had much discussion around dogs’ nutritional needs with her clients, Kathleene (Kat) Berger decided to open a pet supply store that offered the good, wholesome products she was so often recommending to those clients.

Kat works hard to be green in her personal life by shopping locally, eating locally and/or organically grown food, and choosing vacations that combine travel with volunteer efforts. In the store, she is careful to recycle paper and cardboard packaging, reuse paper products and packaging, and watch energy consumption.

One thing that really stands out for this business, however, is the stringent “test” that Kat puts her suppliers through. Among other things, suppliers must offer products that are made with natural, pesticide-free ingredients and/or earth-friendly materials, and must be concerned about their employees, their communities, and most importantly the well being of pets. Additionally, and in keeping with her overall holistic philosophy, Kat also looks at how her suppliers source their ingredients, and package and deliver their products. She also offers a recycling program within the store whereby customers can bring in used supplies that are still in good condition and receive store credit. The used goods are then re-sold in the “used” section of the store.

The store is as much about educating consumers as it is about selling products. Kat is thrilled to be able to help people and their pets along on their journey toward a greener, healthier lifestyle. Says Kat, “I believe we need to accept everyone at the level they are at…we are all ‘in process’. We need to give people credit for at least moving forward.”

So far, Kat has done well to stick by her high standards. The store has prospered even in this down economy. The Furry Nation is a classic example of the ability to achieve success by focusing on the “triple bottom line” (people, planet, profit). And that is nothing to bark at.

The Furry Nation is located at 15800 Detroit Ave in Lakewood, and is open every day from 11 am – 7 pm.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 8:17 AM, 03.24.2010