Four reasons pet parents should shop local this summer

(BPT) - There's been a resurgence of interest in supporting local businesses lately as more consumers realize the crucial role these businesses play within their communities - and the valuable personal connections gained from patronizing smaller, sometimes family-owned companies. This is especially true for your neighborhood pet store, where the staff and owners get to know you and your pets, providing a unique level of connection and care for your pet's health.

Here are the four main reasons to support your local businesses - especially neighborhood pet stores - and what you (and your furry friend) gain in return.

1. Neighborhood pet stores help foster connection

What better place to chat about your pet's quirks, charms and needs than at your neighborhood pet store? Many pet store owners, staff and shoppers are fellow pet parents, and understand the raw, unadulterated love we all share with our pets, providing a real sense of connection, comradery and mutual support. You can lean on this community to care for your pet like you do, because they know that choosing the best nutritional options for your pets is how you show your furry friends you care.

2. Your neighborhood pet store cares about you

Shopping at your neighborhood pet stores means that the staff can get to know your pet and their unique needs, therefore ensuring you find the exact products to help them thrive. Many neighborhood pet stores are founded by people committed to providing the highest quality products and services for their own pets and are eager to share their knowledge and experience with you. They hire and train people who are equally compassionate and educated on the products they carry, as well as the basic welfare of animals, and they make a point of carrying high-quality food and well-crafted pet products.

3. Shopping local for pet food provides great perks and rewards

Shopping local for your pets can reap benefits! For example, when you shop for Stella & Chewy's high-quality raw and real pet food at participating local pet stores, you can enter their new Petfluencer Contest for the chance to win a year's supply of Stella & Chewy's products and have your pet's picture on billboards across the nation. Entering is easy! From June 5th through July 23rd, pet parents across the U.S. and Canada can visit participating stores nationwide and enter by scanning the in-store QR code to submit a photo of their dog or cat. Four semi-finalists will be selected to receive a special prize pack, and one grand prize winner will receive a photoshoot of their pet to appear on Stella & Chewy's billboards to celebrate the raw love we share with our pets, plus a year's supply of Stella & Chewy's products and more. A longstanding partner to neighborhood pet stores, Stella & Chewy's is excited to work with them to find their first-ever Petfluencer!

To learn more about Stella & Chewy's Petfluencer Contest and find a participating local neighborhood pet store, visit

4. Local stores are committed to your community

Beyond providing jobs for local residents, keeping tax dollars within the community and offering a convenient shopping venue for the area, neighborhood stores have an ongoing interest in the continued well-being and growth of their communities. They often get involved in local events and support area organizations. For example, many neighborhood pet stores help support local animal rescues and shelters by participating in pet food drives, fundraisers, adoption events and more. Because they understand the needs of their communities, they are in a unique position to offer their help. Supporting local businesses also ensures that new products and services will continue to be available to you and your neighbors.

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