O’Brien Pet Foods and Supply

O’Brien Pet Foods and Supply is Squamish’s only locally owned and operated pet food store in town. For over the 30 years we have been here, our commitment to loving, caring, and providing the best for your pets has never changed. We have always been dedicated to highly nutritious Canadian pet foods with a focus on local and regionally sourced products.

We prefer to source our products locally and regionally and we carry a range to cover your pet’s energy and daily activity level. All our brands are made with only high-quality, high-grade ingredients because your dog’s health is as important to us as it is to you. We have many specialized brands for puppies, seniors and adults as well as a variety of options with limited ingredients for allergy needs and even brands made for specific dog breeds. If your dog is on a raw food diet, O’Brien’s has the largest supply of raw dog food brands in the area.

Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?

Answer: We try to bring in as many local B.C. products as we can. We also offer the national brands for those who want it. Thankfully there are many B.C. pet food products to choose from, then we look for Canadian brands, and then we go to US if needed. We will always try to find a Canadian brand first.

For food, treats, leashes, and more, we focus on the smaller, most local suppliers. We are lucky, Squamish has talented folks. There are a few in the Sea to Sky corridor and we want to support them – we buy from them, but also try to help them succeed by giving them prime store/shelf location, and by recommending them first. We feature local products right at the checkout counter for maximum visibility.

A popular dog food we carry is Canadian Naturals from Abbotsford. We buy from some great local dog treat companies – Wow Treats based in Pemberton, and Better Bickies made right here in Squamish. We stock local-made pet gear brand – Pilot Pet Gear, who make beautiful, durable leashes out of climbing rope and Silverfoot collars, leashes and harnesses made in downtown Squamish. Most of our raw dog food, probably more than anyone in the Sea to Sky corridor. All our raw food is from B.C.; we stock CRUDO from Surrey Meat Packers, irRawsistible from Langley and Healthy Choice by Bramblehill from Chilliwack.

We stock food from some Canadian suppliers too – Acana from Alberta, Go, Smack Pet Food  (family based small business from Winnipeg), Open Farm, a small Ontario-based business that focused on sustainable, ethical sourcing and reducing environmental impact. It’s nice to be able to support businesses like that.

We also buy almost all of our services from local businesses. We use Coast Food Distributor for everything – toilet paper, paper towels, and office supplies like credit card paper rolls. We use Race & Company based in the Sea to Sky for our legal needs, and GSK Accounting based in Squamish. Our insurance is through Vancity, we hire a local independent contractor to update our website, and we use Switch House in Squamish for our social media management.

Question: What social and environmental practices are you proud of?

Answer: We feature all our local suppliers online and in our buy local messages, to promote all the great local businesses we work with. We also provide a lot of education to our customers. All of our staff are experienced and knowledgeable about pets, health and our products. We even work with the other pet stores in town – we send customers to them when they’re looking for a brand we don’t stock, and they send people to us who need more specialized products or advice.

We strive to be a good employer. We have 4 employees, and we have staff who have worked with us between 10 and 15 years. We’re proud that we have employees that have been with the business for so long. They are such a strong connection to the community for us. Product training is always available to our employees.

We try to cut down on waste. We have stopped using plastic grocery bags – if people need something we give them a box or lid that gets sent to us from our suppliers. We encourage bulk buying because it cuts down on packaging. We sell bulk seek and give discounts if they bring back the packaging. When we sell crickets, we ask our customers to bring back the plastic bag or container for reuse.

By buying local, we help our customers reduce the carbon impacts of their pet shopping because we ship everything to our store in bulk. When people order individual products online from Amazon, there’s a big greenhouse gas impact with all that direct shipping to their homes. And we shop with local suppliers, so that reduces the shipping impacts of trucking from far distances for delivery.

We do a lot of charitable giving, we support local causes whenever we can. We do as much as we can – donating between $2-3K each year. On top of that, we provide gift certificates for fundraisers for the local baseball, soccer teams, and all the local school fundraisers. We’ve donated to draws as far up as the Callaghan Valley. In 2020 we did a campaign to encourage people to buy local products and donated our profits to the Squamish Food Bank. Were able to raise $1K in a year that so many people needed the support. We also partner with Capra Run on their November Thirty x 30 Initiative – they just opened it up to running/walking with dogs too. We love animal causes, so we also donate all our expired food to Pawsitive Animal Rescue and the SPCA Sea to Sky Branch.

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