“Do you carry natural duck and potato dog food?” she asks, “See, my dog has skin allergies and the vet think’s it might be a food allergy.” The owner of the shop, Karine Belisle knows exactly what’s on her shelves as she has carefully hand-selected all the natural foods and treats. She quickly finds a sample of a product for the woman to take home for her pet to try.
“People are starting to know the importance of what they feed their pets,” says Karine as she walks back through her new store. She recently moved Paw-radise to its new location in a strip mall at 21740 S. Tamiami Trail. She’s located between Jimmy John’s and ABC Liquors and has quite a bit more space. “Moving here I decided to add the day care. We have no cages so it’s a stress free environment for the animals. They love it here,” she beams.
Karine was raised on a farm and always wanted to work with animals, but after working with a veterinarian and coming home crying because of some of the sad stories she’d see, she decided to create a little bit of paradise for pets. Thus, Paw-radise was created. The store houses a full complement of pet accessories in addition to the natural foods — all of which come from the U.S.
“So many pet foods come from China, and their standards are so much lower. Usually people don’t realize it because it’s written so small on the package, so I weed through them all before anything comes into my store.” She also bakes homemade cookies, cakes, and cupcakes for pets — all of which she says she’d have no problem eating herself because she knows exactly what goes in them.
Grooming is another service that Karine has put her own spin on. “Usually groomers take all the animals in at nine in the morning and the dog or cat has to sit there all day in a cage waiting. We don’t do it like that. We have appointments. We treat these animals like they are little kids, little two year olds. We groom them and they go into this room here and play with the other dogs until their mom or dad comes to get them.” she says, gesturing toward a windowed room dotted with doggie-loungers and a flat screen TV on the wall.
Today an English bulldog, a schnauzer mix, a pug, and a mixed breed share the room with one cat. “The cat is mine. She loves dogs,” smiles Karine. Just like her mom.
Karine was raised on a farm and always wanted to work with animals, but after working with a veterinarian and coming home crying because of some of the sad stories she’d see, she decided to create a little bit of paradise for pets.