Doggedly pursuing wellness

By Posted on Apr 25 2020 | By

Note: This article was published before COVID-19.

Hungry Like a Woof centered on holistic veterinarian care and pet food

From personal loss sprang commitment. From commitment emerged dedication. From dedication rose the gift of healthy pets bestowed on Fauquier County.

The thread of success was straightforward but it was ultimately compassion driven by passion that led to the opening of a whimsically named veterinary clinic and wholesome pet food shop in November 2015.

Hungry Like the Woof recently celebrated its fourth anniversary and its reputation for providing quality pet care and food is firmly established. The force behind the successful enterprise is Ann Griffith, who in concert veterinarian Dr. Carol Lundquist, created a unique business that responds to today’s consumer interest in authenticity.

The story began over four years ago when one of Griffith’s two collies was diagnosed with lymphoma. In the course of seeking treatment for her beloved pet, Allie, her veterinarian oncologist strongly suggested Griffith seek concurrent medical care from a holistic veterinarian. Enter Dr. Lundquist.

Allie ultimately succumbed to her disease but the gentle care and nutritious diet she received no doubt helped her emotionally during the final months of life. Shortly thereafter the two women began talking about a mutual business opportunity centered on holistic pet care. The relationship morphed into a friendship and then on to a new business.

So, how did it get its name? “I’m a child of the 80s and loved the group Duran Duran,” says Griffith. “Hungry Like the Wolf was one of their big hits. We were trying to think of a clever name for the business that was dog-related.” The British new wave band provided the answer.

Griffith is employed full-time as a consultant in the financial services industry so the daily face of the pet food segment of her business is store manager Kristin Dowell.

Dowell is managing a business with robust growth potential. Consider there are 90 million dogs and 94 million cats in the United States today. Couple those numbers with an estimated $75 billion that will be spent this year within the pet industry and it’s a ticket to success.

Moreover, millennials continue to be the largest pet-owning demographic. The market is substantial and growth will only accelerate in the years ahead.

The business
When you walk through the doors of Hungry Like the Woof, located at 147 Alexandria Pike, #203, you’ll encounter three separate entities.

To the right is the veterinary clinic that is run by Dr. Lundquist. It’s called the Singing Stones Wellness Centre. It is holistic centric providing acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, and physical therapy for small animals and horses.

In the center of the store is the pet food shop. The idea for organic pet food was driven in part by tainted food coming out of China. As far back as 2007, the Food and Drug Administration learned that certain pet foods were sickening and killing cats and dogs. It was found that contaminants in vegetable proteins imported into the U.S. from China and used in pet food were the cause.

The store sells an assortment of holistic food and treats to help pets maintain optimum health. Dr. Lundquist hand-picks all of the products, assuring the shelves and freezers are stocked with the highest quality brands. Herbal supplements and toys are also available.

Are there real benefits to holistic pet food as opposed to what’s widely sold in grocery stores? Store manager Dowell says, “When people eat healthily, they feel better and it’s the same for animals.

“If you feed your pet a healthy diet, it’s also going to help financially in the long run because you’ll have fewer trips to the veterinarian.”

The third segment of the store is devoted to training and conditioning. The sizable training room is covered with special flooring that enables dogs to grip and maneuver without slipping. The training segment of the business works with professional dog trainers and obedience instructors who come on-site to conduct classes. Both private and group classes are offered.

Group classes in puppy training and traditional obedience run 50 minutes per session for six to seven weeks, depending on what’s being taught. Dowell underscores that owners actively participate in training and must use and reinforce what they’ve learned in the class to assure their dog fully benefits. “You don’t train the dog as much as you train the owner,” she emphasizes.

Additionally, there are courses in conformation training for show dogs learning to comport themselves in the ring. And interestingly, there are even courses in “nose work”, or skills employed in tracking.

The training room is also available for lease. “We’ve had wine glass painting lessons, a Halloween party, yoga classes, and more. It’s good to make the room available to the community. It gives them space they might not find elsewhere,” said Griffith.

The spirited entrepreneur is grateful for how Fauquier County has responded to her love of animals and their well-being. “We are thrilled to be in Warrenton. We love our clients. It’s a great group of loyal people who come here. I hope we’ve helped them and their pets.”

For a peek at the comprehensive services and products available from this caring Warrenton “Woof Pack”, drop by https://www.hungrylikethewoof.com/

Published in a November 2019 edition the Fauquier Times.

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