The staff and owners of Paws & Claws in Oakland
Years ago, when Ruth Villasenor and Diane Pfile's dog Angel was diagnosed with cancer, they began researching pet health and alternative treatments.
Along the way, they learned that most mainstream dog food was filled with chemicals that you wouldn't want to put into any living body.
“Just like people, there's a correlation between what we eat and how we live,” Villasenor said. “We educated ourselves by reading ingredient labels and we support consumers to educate themselves.”
In 2004, they opened Paws & Claws, a natural pet food store and grooming spa, in the Dimond District. Their goal remains the same as when Paws & Claws first opened: To offer a holistic, green-certified resource for learning about, and caring for, the health of beloved pets.
When they opened, Villasenor and Pfile were at the forefront of the holistic pet food movement. Sourcing their inventory proved initially challenging – many suppliers sold pet food that was “natural” in only marginal ways. So the pair sold raw pet food before it was widely accepted.
These days, they find themselves at the forefront in a new way - in their insistence on running a green-certified pet store.
“We're conscious of how we're running the store so that we're also role models for why we're carrying recycled products,” Villasenor said. “We want people to be more environmentally conscious about the impact that even our pets can make.”
The front of Paws & Claws is stocked with an inventory of natural and eco-friendly pet food, toys and apparel for dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents and even chickens. In back, a pet grooming station offers pets the pampering of a lifetime. Since Paws & Claws is kennel-free, pet owners drop their pets off and take their pets home after the hour-long appointment is over, rather than subjecting their pets to a day in a cage. For pet owners' convenience, Paws & Claws is located a block away from the Fruitvale Avenue retail strip. The shop also offers free WiFi.
And for the fashionably conscious pet owner, Paws & Claws stocks an impressive array of pet clothes emblazoned with statements like “Queen of the Dog Park.” Now your dog can be a leader in eco-consciousness at the local canine hangout.
Paws & Claws
Where: 3436 Dimond Ave. (off of MacArthur Blvd.), Oakland
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Phone: (510) 336-0105 pet food store; (510) 336-0198 grooming spa
More info: pawsnclawsoakland.com
Note: Oakland Local is pleased to welcome Paws & Claws as a small business advertiser; we love their kennel-free grooming, women-owned small business energy and community spirit.