You really can’t beat the personalized experience that comes from shopping locally. Local independent business owners are experts in their field. While you could opt for the convenience of browsing pet supplies online or via Amazon, Jeff Bezos can’t advise you on what type of diet your dog should be eating or which leash is the most durable.
Shopping with the help of a small independent business owner builds a level of trust you can’t get at a big box store because they are the decision-makers of what products they carry. A local pet shop owner would never stock a product they would not give to their own furry family member.
Here are six independent pet shops in the DMV to get you started.
Big Bad Woof
The Big Bad Woof has been around for nearly two decades. Located in the Takoma neighborhood of D.C., this store is all about sustainability practices and supporting local businesses. The owners take great care in sourcing ethically produced products. For example, they look into where the ingredients come from and if the product is produced in fair working conditions before choosing to stock any pet food in the store.
And it’s not just dog and cat products they sell — you can get your bird, bovine, horse, goat, chicken, duck, gerbil, hedgehog, rabbit, or rat supplies here, too. 6960 Maple St NW, DC; thebigbadwoof.com // @bigbadwoofdc
This woman-owned small business in Tenleytown specializes in natural foods. The store also sells pet supplies like bowls, beds, and toys for both cats and dogs. They regularly house a couple of adoptable cats and kittens who may greet you at the door.
Note: Be mindful of your dog’s behavior since they often have adoptable foster cats roaming around. The store may not be suitable for cat-reactive dogs. 4914 Wisconsin Ave NW, DC; petmac.org
Howl to the Chief
Howl to the Chief in Capitol Hill sells high-quality holistic food and treats and supplements like CBD. They partner with Rural Dog Rescue, holding adoption events on select Saturdays each month. 719 8th St SE, DC; howltothechief.com
Chien de Luxe
If you have some money to spare, spoil your pup at Chien de Luxe, a high-end pet supply store in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington, D.C. (Chien de Luxe literally translates to “luxurious dog”.)
This upscale pet boutique is right next door to the Palisades Veterinary Clinic and offers an array of dog collars (including Swarovski crystal-encrusted ones), toys, pet beds, treats, and accessories. They sell apparel and home decor for humans, too. 5140 MacArthur Blvd NW, DC; chiendeluxeus.com
This dog bakery and boutique in Shirlington has been around since 2000. In addition to grooming services and pet supplies, they bake their own dog treats in-store using human-grade ingredients. They can even make custom cakes for all dog-related festivities. 2772 S Arlington Mill Dr, Arlington, VA; dogmabakery.com // @dogmadogbakery
The Dog Store
In addition to selling food, treats, and toys, The Dog Store in the Del Ray area of Alexandria is also a daycare, boarding, and grooming facility. The shop is stuffed to the gills with everything your dog could possibly need. 2301 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA; thedogstore.com
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