Patsy McCray and her husband Alex have been running Patsy’s Pet Market on Mason Road since September 2015. The pet store offers specialty pet foods, grooming services, educational workshops and pet toys and treats.
Patsy said her main goal as a business owner is to help pet lovers with the knowledge that comes from working more than 20 years in the pet industry.
“I’ve learned a lot about animal behavior,” Patsy said. “I’m not a dog trainer, but I know a lot of tips and tricks on how to relate to a pet.”
Over her career Patsy has had access to expert advice from Hollywood pet trainers through her late brother, stunt director Sonny Tipton. With that background she has been able to speak with professional pet trainers such as Cesar Millan, known for his show, “The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.”
The McCray’s share their knowledge through regular workshops at Patsy’s Pet Market. The community is welcome to come and participate in the workshops, which are usually free and help owners learn how to better care for and interact with their pets.
Much of the McCray’s time at the shop goes toward helping pet owners with the day-to-day problems pets have. They and their staff work with pet owners who need advice on choosing the correct food or improving their furry family members’ manners.
Food choice can be a challenge for pet owners, especially for those who have cats. Cats’ digestive systems can be very sensitive, Patsy said. Choosing the right food is important because it affects so much of a pet’s health. About 30 percent of the store’s business comes from cat owners.
“Cats have a little bit more specific dietary needs,” Patsy said. “I could be called a crazy cat lady. I’ll admit it, and half my staff is definitely in the crazy cat lady and cat dude options.”
The store sources as much of its products from local vendors as it can, Alex said. By working with local businesses, Patsy’s Pet Market can support the community and provide fun treats for animals, he said. Local partners include Doggy Express and Brothers Barkery, both of which produce locally-prepared pet treats.
The educational component of their business is important to Patsy and Alex. The store just finished a course that included instruction on reading a pet food label and avoiding lower-quality ingredients such as corn gluten and others which can affect a pet’s health if they have sensitive stomachs.
Both Patsy and Alex said they want the store to be a resource for pet owners. If an animal is having minor behavioral issues or food allergies, staff at Patsy’s Pet Market will work with them to solve the problem.
“Come in, tell us what the issues are with your pet, and we’ll help you,” Alex said.