Kriser’s caters to pampered pooches
Kriser's has 12 locations in Chicago, southern California and the Denver area, and more stores on the way. | Jackie Pilossoph~For Sun-Times Media
3232 Lake Ave.
Updated: December 16, 2012 6:14AM
WILMETTE — Brad Kriser’s first dog was born one week after he was.
Growing up in Highland Park, the now 41 year old said his family never had less than two or three dogs at one time.
“Having a pet in your life is a win-win,” said Kriser, who now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, four children, and two dogs, of course. “Dogs give unconditional love to you all the time.”
It was Kriser’s love for dogs, combined with his desire to have his own business that led to where he is today: the owner of Kriser’s, a specialty pet supply store with 12 locations, including Wilmette, and several other stores opening soon.
Kriser’s carries canned food for pets, but the store has dozens of frozen raw foods in nuggets or patties, healthy treats, and supplements, all which in Kriser’s opinion make a huge difference in a dog’s quality of life.
“When using this kind of food and adding supplements, people start to see their pets having more energy, better skin and coat, and a stronger immune system,” said Kriser, who is also the owner of The Barking Lot, a pet care center he started in 2000 with locations in the city and in Deerfield, “There is no corn, no wheat, no soy, no byproducts and no unnecessary fillers in the foods we carry. There are real meats in the food, and usable grains, quinoa, garbanzos, tapioca, fruits and vegetables and potatoes, things that are usable and nutritious.”
One of the best supplements in Kriser’s opinion are probiotics, which he said dogs need since they have such short intestines, causing food to go through them much quicker. He said dogs need the supplement to help the food break down, so that more of the nutrients get absorbed.
Variety of items
The stores, which are located in several Chicago suburbs, the city, southern California and the Denver area also carry toys, grooming supplies, household cleaners, and a variety of healthy treats.
Carol Herzog, a frequent customer said her dog, Lulu enjoys Aunt Lucy’s Sweet Potato Chips and peanut butter and jelly flavored chewable bones, two items she comes into the store to buy.
“She’s sweet and cuddly and gorgeous and smart, and she deserves to eat good food,” said Herzog of her beloved morkie.
“There are a lot of unusual items here that I can’t get anywhere else, like Himalayan Chews,” said customer Elyse Flack.
The cost of foods that Kriser’s sells is a bit more expensive than traditional dog food that grocery stores and pet chain stores carry, but Kriser said pet owners who feed their dogs specialty food are saving a lot of money when it comes to visits to the veterinarian.
“All those gastro issues and ear infections and other allergies and health issues go away, and you find yourself at the vet only for check-ups,” said Kriser, “Overall health just gets better when dogs eat this way. We don’t just want dogs to survive, we want dogs to thrive and live a healthy, quality life.”
Kriser said every employee who works for him is highly trained and educated. They will ask questions about the customers’ pets, and then offer a consultation, making recommendations on which food they should be buying. He said often times it’s wise to change the protein source around every few months so the pets get a variety of different nutrients.
“Dogs are always so happy to see you,” said Kriser, “They’re good for stress relief and they give so much comfort. They’re great for single people, older people and families. And they deserve to eat well.”