When you are looking to buy food for your animal, it seems nearly impossible to decide on what is right for your animals needs. You can buy your animal’s food nearly anywhere now. Your local grocery store, Walmart, Target, the dollar store, pet stores, the veterinarian’s office, the hardware store, etc. Now there is nothing wrong with purchasing your food at any one of these establishment’s, because the amount of pros that come with many of these places are very alluring. “I’m already here to get groceries, so I will just grab a bag of dog food”. “While I’m there getting my Starbucks, I will go ahead and grab some treats for my cat”. “I will just check out if that 65” TV is finally on sale, because I’m already here to grab some Zero grain dog food for Kimber.” Okay maybe that last one is just me.
All these pros aside, (yes I know there are a lot of them) there are still many pros that come with being able to buy your pet food and more at your local small business.
Going into a store that specializes in anything, will almost always help the consumer better understand what it is that they can do, to complete whatever task it is ,in the best way possible. This goes for repairing a computer, taking your child to the doctor, hiring a personal physical trainer. A one on one interaction with a trained professional in their field, will usually yield better results than doing all of the research on your own.
This should go for feeding your animal as well.
A veterinarian is a great option for consulting you on what to feed your animal, but when that is decided; Which brand do you choose? Does your dog need zero grain? Does your dog need salmon and not chicken? This is where a professional at your feed store will most likely have vastly more knowledge than what many employees may have at many other larger retail stores.
Along with the knowledge that comes with a small local business with a niche there usually comes better customer service. Many times a small local business has less volume of customers which also then means more time to give greater effort to each individual’s animal’s needs. This may not always be true, but if there is a niche market that a small business owner is filling a need for, it is more likely that the business will provide as much value through customer service, as they are through the product that they are selling.
Many large retailers cannot afford to pay an employee who is a specialist in such a small part of their business as pet food. In a local feed store their product list will be exponentially smaller, so their ability to help you with your questions regarding your animal’s needs will be much greater.
Help Your Neighbor
If we look at it a little less form the business side and a little more from the personal side, it is always nice to help your neighbor out. Buying some hardware for your home from Bob’s Hardware down the street compared to buying it from a place like Lowe’s, can be a nice way to give back to your community. If you live in a small community, helping your fellow community member out by purchasing goods from their store is a great way to not only help their business, but help the infrastructure of your community.
Small business owners are usually some of the largest investors back into the community. They may be the business that invests into the local little league baseball league that your son will play on one day. Or the company that has helped to put on the town’s Christmas Parade every year. I doubt Lowe’s is going to help put on the 74th annual apple picking festival of IDontKnowWhere, Pennsylvania. So investing in these businesses will almost always return to you and your community in one way or another.
The Number 1 Reason for Buying At Your Local Feed Store: Help the Farmer
If you follow the agriculture industry at all, or follow the price of the milk that you buy at your grocery store, you may have noticed that the “American Farmer” is struggling. Milk prices have plummeted to all time lows and dairy farms of all sizes are dropping across the country, like flies. Growing up on a dairy farm and living in an area with a large amount of farms, I have seen and felt these struggles first hand.
All this being said…
The majority of sales of local feed stores are to farmers. To keep prices lower and in turn help the local farmers, buying your feed for your pets at your local feed store, opposed to a place like Tractor Supply, can directly effect and potentially help the farmers in your local area. A larger volume of sales for a store may allow the store to lower prices or give discounts to customers.
Remember that small businesses are the heart of the U.S. and what our country was built on. Give back to your community supporting them. And head into your local feed store to help keep them alive, as well as your pet ;)