Don#8217;t fret about what to get your pet

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 25, 2005

Have you started your Christmas list yet? You know the one:

A tie for dad,

Perfume for mom,

Email newsletter signup

A toy fire truck for Tommy,

A doll for Mary,

And Buffalo steaks for Fido!

That’s right; don’t forget the pets this holiday season.

In an industry that sees billions of dollars in consumer spending every year the folks who cater to the family pets are gearing up for the big season.

Locally, one of those is Karyn Cook, owner of The Hydrant Pet Boutique and Wellness Center at 1528 Holland Road.

Cook, who is celebrating the beginning of her second year, is starting to sort through her Christmas inventory just in time for the shopping season.

Among the items she plans to offer are things for pets and pet owners alike.

For the furry family members, that inventory includes all sorts of outerwear, for those cold and rainy days, or just for that dog that wants to looks his or her best.

There is also a wide assortment of toys for that active canine, ranging from the kind they can chase and retrieve to those they might just want to lie around and chew on for endless hours.

And speaking of lying around, Cook also has a number of dog beds in all sizes. One even comes with a wooden frame resembling a miniature “human” bed.

Many people want to immortalize their pets, and Cook offers the perfect solution to that n Christmas ornaments. Last year for the holidays she had an artist in the store painting the colorful orbs for the customers, personalizing them with the image and name of their four-legged family member.

And if owners want to embarrass a pet, Cook can help there also with reindeer ears, halos and other headgear for the season.

When Fido gets hungry, the store has a vast inventory of food, snacks and supplements for all ages.

If a dog is into eating raw meat, as some are these days, Cook has a freezer full of things like ostrich, duck, lamb, pheasant, green tripe and the aforementioned buffalo. And if it’s chicken a pooch desires, just about every edible part of the bird is available at the Hydrant.

For those canines not so inclined to eat their meal raw, Cook offers a variety of canned foods that include many of the same birds and animals mentioned above, with many of them mixed with sweet potatoes.

And the supplements on the shelves cover a wide spectrum of potential ailments.

“I’m a nurse by profession,” said Cook, who also owns and breeds English mastiffs and Scottish terriers. “And I am very interested in (canine) nutrition.”

She said she has discovered that many skin ailments suffered by dogs are caused or at least exacerbated by their diet. That’s why she has the variety of foods and supplements for sale.

When a pooch has had enough of the holidays n and they will as they stress during the season just like people n Cook can help calm them with a nice warm bath in her specially made shampoo and aromatherapy.

If Santa is bringing a puppy, or an older dog is showing some unacceptable behavior, perhaps Cook can help. Along with the items for sale in the store, she offers training for all kinds and all ages of dogs.

“Dogs are never too old to learn,” she said.

For those who might be considering a pet, or want to learn more about the one(s) they have, the store also offers a wide selection of books and magazines on both dogs and cats.

Speaking of those furry felines, Cook has many things for them also, including beds, scratching posts, structures for climbing and playing and, of course, food and supplements.

Perhaps you don’t own a pet, but your friend does, and you want a gift for them. Cook probably has the perfect item.

Scattered throughout the store, on tables, shelves and hanging from the walls, are all sorts of figurines, photos, pins and pendants and more that will please pet enthusiasts of all types.

If planning a trip to the Hydrant, make sure you do it Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. or Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The store is closed Sundays and Mondays.

And if going there, take the dog. They are always welcome, said Cook.