Blog : Two Firms’ Natural Alliance Promotes Dogs’ Health, Safety and Happiness

By Herb | Jan 20, 2014 | in

Two local companies that are dedicated to bettering dogs’ lives are collaborating in ways that benefit each firm, and by doing so, they are furthering the causes to which they strive to assist.

The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat in Portsmouth has created a synergistic alliance with Deerfield-based Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption, improving the health, well-being, safety, and happiness of rescued dogs and generating good will and business for a leading-edge pet supply store.

Dawn Price, a registered dietician and pet food industry expert, with her husband, Jeff, opened The Natural Dog, Inc. in Newburyport in 2005 and The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat in 2013, which is also helping Mary’s Dogs. Both stores are committed to providing the most healthy, all-natural, organic, green and responsibly manufactured pet foods and supplies out there. The Natural Dog stands as a beacon of what’s possible when nutrition, sustainability, and good old-fashioned localism stand at the fore of a business’s ethics.

Both Dawn and Jeff Price pride themselves on meticulously researching the best products for their customers’ pets. For them, quality trumps popularity, every time, which is why they work with companies that are either local, family-owned, or do a handful of things well.

Today, both locations boast a bevy of green, all-natural products, including bamboo and hemp collars, lead-free bowls, beds and toys made from recycled materials, premium cat and dog foods (including the Seacoast’s largest selection of raw foods), natural shampoos, biodegradable waste bags, beds, snacks, biscuits, herbal and whole food supplements, flower essences and more.

Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption has a strong reputation for saving dogs stranded in shelters, looking for the right match between dog and owner, and following up the placement with expert advice to new owners to ensure the match is a lasting one. But if a match is not a good one — and sometimes they’re not, said Mary Doane, owner of Mary’s Dogs — the search will start anew for the right match. As it turns out, almost 100 percent of the dogs Mary’s Dogs rescue eventually end up in the right house.

Several dogs represented Mary’s Dogs at the October 2013 opening event for The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat, adding a tail-wagging authenticity to the event and giving the rescued dogs exposure to potential adopters. In a surprise planned ahead of time, a 10-year-old girl who had been providing interim care for a Mary’s Dog puppy — and who had wanted a puppy forever — learned at the event that her fostered dog would actually become her pet for good. “It was a really neat thing,” Doane said.

Since then, The Natural Dog has donated food and any leftover products that a manufacturer has discontinued to Mary’s Dogs. “Mary, and the interim caregivers she connects with, truly appreciate the effort,” Dawn Price said.

A few months ago, The Natural Dog sold Mary’s Dogs’ bandanas and gave Doane all the proceeds to help a particular litter of puppies. “It was great of them to do that,” said Doane.

When initially taking in a dog, Doane typically quarantines them, keeping them busy by supplying them with a Kong, an interactive rubber toy stuffed with treats that dogs tend to play with for a long time. Doane asked The Natural Dog to put out the word about Mary’s Dogs’ need for Kongs. The Natural Dog posted the request to its Facebook page and publicized the program in its newsletter. “We’re trying to be a voice for Mary’s Dogs, to get them the supplies they need,” Price said.

Not only is The Natural Dog now a drop-off center for customers to donate their “gently-used” Kongs to Mary’s Dogs, but also people who purchase a Kong from the store as a Mary’s Dogs donation will get the product at a discount.

“The Natural Dog is also supporting our rescue by holding the Kongs for us because we don’t have a home yet,” Doane explained. “That has been very helpful. It’s a good neighborly thing to do. ”

Lastly, Doane makes scarves and aprons, and The Natural Dog has offered, when people purchase them, to give 100 percent of the money earned to Mary’s Dogs to pay for interim-care food and supplies.

“What a great company The Natural Dog is,” Doane said. “They have been particularly helpful to us, and I like their products. Everything they sell is really top-notch, and I like that for our dogs. And I like sending people their way.”

“The issue is getting the word out to our customers and communicating the need the dogs have,” Price explained. “With our customer base we can do that in a way that‘s helpful to Mary’s Dogs. It’s the reason why we’re around — to provide healthy food and safe products, and to communicate about organizations like Mary's Dogs and get people to help it out when they can.”

She added: “In the short time we’ve been here, that’s how we’re connected to the community: to help good causes in any way we can. We’ve partnered with organizations like Mary’s Dogs and the Green Alliance, and they seem like natural organizations for us to which to be linked.”

Like The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat, Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption is a Business Partner of the Green Alliance, a union of local sustainable businesses promoting environmentally sound business practices and a green co-op offering discounted green products and services to its members.

For more information about The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat, visit www.thenaturaldog.us.

For more information about Mary’s Dogs, visitwww.marysdogs.com.

For more information about Green Alliance, visitwww.greenalliance.biz .