I wish I could be more all-over positive about this store, but I honestly cannot give it four stars.
At least as the Queen Anne store, I didn't feel that all the employees took much initiative or interest in my concerns and questions. In fact, two of them just seemed very matter-of-fact and didn't go beyond just answering the question in an acceptable but rather perfunctory manner.
Actually, I felt the clerks at the Madison Valley store were much more helpful and friendly (and I don't know why that is).
For instance, it would have been nice when I asked the store clerks (I think I asked two of them (just to be sure), if if they had a certain brand of cat food to have not just gotten a "No, we don't. Never heard of it," our web-site (which is actually a nice one) lists the brands of cat food we carry.
* On the other hand, one of the people working there was helpful (and friendly) in trying to help me decide "how far"each bottle would go. For all I knew at the time, the 4 oz. bottle could have lasted two weeks, the largest bottle 4 months....
But no one (except the owner--and this was THREE weeks after the purchase and finally a personal e-mail) seemed to know that fish oil OXIDIZES (with exposure to air) pretty quickly, is highly perishable, and hence should be used up within a month or two, which was the most important thing to know. And the pump doesn't close very easily, if at all, after one squirt.
When one is thinking of buying omega-3 salmon oil for one's beloved animal friend, it would be nice if someone--at a pet "boutique"!--would point this out AT THE BEGINNING! Basically, I was left to try to figure out all these things on my own, aside from the comment, "this is one of our best-sellers," and"this can be used for cats. It's the same thing (whatever the size of bottle or the label."
The reason one would go to a pet supply store like this is that one would expect the staff to be provide useful information so as to be able to make good choices--something that one certainly would not necessarily get at a chain pet store.
They DID allow me to exchange the bottle for one with a later expiration date, but this was not ultimately of very much use, as what's important is when the bottle is opened (from that time on, the salmon oil starts to degrade). And they graciously allowed me to exchange it for the smallest size (appropriate for a feline).
I spent some time agonizing about what size bottle to buy, and I am loathe to buy lots of small bottles of anything, a waste of packaging, a shopping visit,
and money (akin to buying 1/2 oz. bags of potato chips when one really ought to just go for the 14 oz. bag)
The actual reason for the smaller size bottle(s), I believe now, is that if you have a small dog or cat, your pet will be able to use up the whole bottle before the contents "go bad." It doesn't make sense to get a large bottle, obviously, if it's going to go bad before you've used most of it. You'll just have to throw the rest out and go out and buy a new bottle.
The big bottle must be for if you have a 75# dog or several dogs...otherwise it would go bad pretty quickly.
The stores inside are nice, not airplane-hangar-like (think of Petco), more neighborhood-friendly indeed.
It is overwhelming in this era of Petcos and Petsmarts (dozens of choices), and with so much confusing, contradictory information, and I think stores such as this one ought to improve their knowledge of the basics.
It's not as if they have 500 different products, like Petco, to have to be knowledgeable about.