March 2022
Awards Season is Upon Us:
And the Winner Is...
Wow! We have been SO honored to be recognized with several generous awards in recent months. We have been floored by the love and appreciation we have received from so many of you. We just want to say that we love and appreciate all of you, our wonderful customers and supporters, so very much as well.
Happy Doggo listed the top 50 pet shops in America selecting the best store from each state. The Wild Pet Stores was named the #1 Pet Store in South Carolina! Check it out here.
The Wild was nominated for two "Best of" categories in Community Votes Charleston: Best Pet Shop and Best Pet Food. Thanks to you all, The Wild ranked first place in both categories!
As you may already know from our last newsletter's announcement, The Wild was named the 2021-2022 Retailer of the Year by Pet Product News in Customer Service and Education! We have been truly honored by the recognition as we have poured our hearts into these aspects of our business over the years.

The Wild was consequently featured for this recognition in the February issue of Pet Product News in a stunning article written by Lizette Bond. You can check it our for yourself here.
"This place is so Wild!"
It is no secret that our stores have changed dramatically over the past few years and they continue to evolve every day. You never know what kind of new touch you will find when you step into our stores, whether it be a funny sign, a new never-before-heard-of treat (shark tail chew, anyone?) or dinosaur parts strategically placed among the decor. Whether you've been shopping at The Wild for years or you're a newer customer, the response is overwhelmingly the same: "This place is wild!"

However, what you may not realize is that all of these touches and additions are done with an enormous amount of love, creativity and energy by the same folks who own and work in these stores on a daily basis. There is almost nothing that we outsource. From our graphic designs, media, store fixtures, educational materials, and most certainly, store decor and ambiance, it is all conceived and created "in house." This is part of what we believe makes our stores so unique and successful. We harness and employ the unique skills and talents of everyone on our team to create the experience known as The Wild Pet Stores.

And that is also why every bit of your recognition and appreciation is taken so much to heart by all of us who work here.
Meet The Team
From Left to Right, Back to Front: Jordan Shearouse, Frasier Block, Keith Sudano, Arlene Sudano, Erin Guilfoyle, Christi Gephart, Ryan Gephart, Christina Cummings
Not pictured: Haleigh Willey
Keith is the idea guy and one of our stores' owners. He holds the overall vision for the appearance and direction of these stores and has harnessed tremendous creativity to bring some very wild ideas into reality. When you take a walk through our stores, everything you see and experience has its roots in one of Keith's ideas. His boundless energy drives the engine of our stores forward. He is also famous for his ability to "find things," and it is this gift which has filled our stores with such unique and unusual offerings, both aesthetically and product-wise.

Ryan is our builder, our IT department and our maintenance crew as well as one of the store's owners. He works in tandem with Keith to bring all the ideas behind these projects to life and into the actual stores. He takes care of all the large building projects, such as our registers with their wood-burned logos and store fixtures, along with website maintenance, plumbing, name it. That's right - all those wooden shelves, displays, treat bins, even the mobile second register at the James Island store were all built by Ryan using reclaimed wood. He and Keith together have installed all of our fixtures, displays and large pieces of decor. Perhaps you've run into this dynamic duo from time to time when shopping in the stores - they're impossible to miss when they're wreaking havoc...ahem, I mean, hard at work improving these stores.

Christi heads up our product research team vetting the various items that Keith finds for our stores from all over the globe to make sure they meet all of our standards before bringing them in. She speaks with manufacturers and suppliers personally to learn about the quality, sourcing, sustainability, transparency and manufacturing practices behind each of our products. Christi also works in the stores as a sales associate providing in depth nutritional help to our customers.

Jordan is our resident graphic artist and designer. She works closely with Keith to bring all our marketing, media and store signage designs to life. This includes everything from logo creation to price tag signage and everything in between. You'll see her work on our chalkboard signs, on the front of our dog wash tubs, in our monthly circulars and just about everywhere you look in our stores. You will also see Jordan herself in the stores on a full time basis helping customers with their daily needs along with more in depth nutritional help.

Christina is our store manager and a key cog in everything we do day-to-day. She drives the store operations and implements the policies and procedures that make The Wild run. Christina oversees many of the administrative and behind the scenes aspects of the day to day business and store operations. She is also an extremely skilled writer and helps to write or organize most of our educational materials. She works in the store as well where her pet nutrition expertise is an asset in assisting customers with their daily needs along with more in depth nutritional and health issues.

Frasier is a face you're probably familiar with from coming into the store. Along with assisting our customers in the store on a full time basis with a wide range of needs and issues, Frasier also assists in inventory management, product ordering, and store organizational procedures. In addition, she assists Christi in product research and she helps to cover a wide range of day to day store needs.

Arlene works in our stores part time as a sales associate, and while you may recognize her as someone who helps you find just the right food or treats for your pet, she does quite a bit behind the scenes as well. Arlene assists greatly in the application of Keith's aesthetic ideas, bringing many of them to life with her knack for decorating. She is also a go-to in the stores for the larger organizational projects that are incurred by our unique and extensive treat bin selection.

Erin is the newest addition to The Wild Team, and in less than a year, she has already graduated from 2 of our 3 online certification courses for pet nutrition. She is a full time sales associate who helps to manage the day to day needs and tasks in the store while assisting customers with both regular and in depth nutritional needs. Erin also assists with our media and marketing needs including social media posts, our in-store slideshows and assisting Jordan with store signage.

Haleigh is a part time sales associate who spends weekends and evenings after school helping to keep our stores in tip top shape. She is a force of productivity who stocks, cleans and assists customers in finding just what they're looking for in our stores. Her uncommon work ethic has made her a vital part of our team and her increasing efforts and abilities in the stores have enabled the rest of the team to focus more time and energy on their various projects when she is around.

It is only through the efforts of this team combined that we have been able to deliver the quality of products, atmosphere and service for which The Wild has become known. And it is only by virtue of genuine caring, enthusiasm and personal investment that we have been so successful in sharing our vision, resources and help with all of you. We thought it high time to share with you all just what, and who, is behind the ongoing creation of your local, neighborhood pet stores.
Velociraptor Containment Area:
Also Known As the James Island Dog Wash
Allosaurus Head in James Island
West Ashley Honeycomb Display
Handmade Honey Dipper Dripping Honey
West Ashley Twinkle Lights
Shark Tails on the West Ashley Register Counter
Our Handcrafted Treat Bins Holding the Country's Largest Selection of Bulk Treats
Allergy Season Relief
Pollen is in the air and allergy season is here. Just like many people, pets can be affected by seasonal allergies among other common allergens. Unfortunately, food allergies are often mistaken for seasonal allergies, while occasionally the opposite can also hold true. Fortunately, effective treatment starts the same for both triggers. Here's what you can do to help.
What are allergies?
A pet will experience an allergic reaction to food, or other substances in their environment, when their immune system is out of balance, thus over-reacting to these ordinarily harmless substances. The most effective way to balance their immune system is to look at diet.

Common allergy symptoms can include:
  • Excessive scratching, licking, chewing of the body or paws
  • Inflamed and flaky skin, hair loss, sores, secondary infections, hot spots
  • Problems with ears (scratching, discharge, odor, infections) and feet (excessive licking, chewing, odor)
  • Chronic gastrointestinal upset (diarrhea or vomiting)

Why does treating the symptoms not solve the problem?
Medications, such as steroids and antibiotics, may be necessary in some cases to cause immediate and temporary relief, but overall they do not treat the underlying issue causing your pet’s symptoms in the first place. Medications can also compromise the immune system and do more harm than good in the long run.

Oftentimes with allergies, these symptoms can persist and regularly recur if we don’t reintroduce balance into a pet’s immune system. The immune system is fed by the condition of your pet's digestive tract, which is regulated by the quality of what they ingest and are fed.

How can I treat the underlying cause of allergies for long term results?
Healthy Diet - The first thing we always recommend to balance a pet’s immune system is to make sure your pet is eating a high quality, balanced and biologically species appropriate diet.

The best option for your dog or cat would be fresh, raw food such as Answers, Primal, K9 Kravings, Tucker's, Steve’s, Northwest Naturals or Stella & Chewy’s. After raw, we recommend a freeze-dried raw food such as Steve's, Primal, Stella & Chewy’s or Open Farm, a gently cooked food like Open Farm or a dehydrated food like Honest Kitchen.

Lastly, we would recommend a low carbohydrate canned or dry food because excessive carbs and starch, which are present in all dry foods, along with the lack of enzymes in these processed foods can be a root cause of allergy issues.

Boost the Immune System – The introduction of probiotics, live enzymes and other nutrients from raw goat's milk and cow's kefir, such as Primal Raw Goat's Milk, one of Steve's Goat's Milk Yogurts or Answer's Raw Fermented Goat's Milk or Cow's Kefir, are a delicious way to boost your pet's nutrition and immune system.

Shelf stable probiotics such as Nature's Farmacy Digestive Enhancer or Probiotic Max, Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes or Ark Naturals Gentle Digest are all good options as well. CBD Oil can also be used to help decrease inflammation and balance the body’s immune system. Two other great supplement options for boosting the immune system are Bixbi Immunity and Animal Essentials Super Immune.

What are some natural remedies for allergy symptoms?
If your pet is still experiencing some allergy symptoms, or immediate relief is needed, we also recommend:
Herb Smith’s Clear AllerQi or Animal Essentials Fidoderm Herbal Spray are great options for calming and cooling inflamed skin. Animal Essentials Seasonal Allergy is great for use as a natural antihistamine.

If your pet is struggling with the symptoms of allergies, stop by our stores and speak with one of our staff members so we can help you customize an effective plan of allergy relief for your pet.

To read more about pet nutrition, check out the Pet Well Being page on our website.
Transparency is Key at The Wild
Transparency is one of the basic requirements for any manufacturer or supplier's products that we carry in our stores. We want to know from where the ingredients are sourced, exactly what those ingredients are and how they are handled during production. These are just a few of the aspects that we research on every product that we carry to ensure that they are safe and worthy of our pets.

It is important to us to ensure that same information is available to you. For that reason, you'll now notice a new addition to our treat bins at both stores: Flags of Origin for each treat we carry! Some products are sourced from multiple locations, based on availability, so we've included the flag for each possible source for that item. If you're wondering where in the world that Ostrich Hide or Alligator Chew came from, look no further! You'll find the flag(s) for its country right on top of the bin.
Did You Know? We Can Order That!
Are you looking for something specific but don't see it on our shelves? Let us know what it is!
There are many items that we can order for you, at no extra cost, that we may not keep in stock at the stores.
Feel free to ask any team member next time you are in the store, and we will look it up for you. If it is something that we can get, we'll be happy to add it onto one of our regular, weekly orders.
We can have it ready for you to pick up in just days!
Tell Me Something Good!
Do you have a testimony that you would like us to feature in our newsletter?
So many of you have shared amazing stories of the health and wellness your pets are experiencing due to changes in their diet and supplementation. We would love to share your tales with others.

If you would you like to share your story about pet health and nutrition at The WILD, just go to our website and click on the "Contact Us" link at the top of the page. Fill out the contact form and select "Testimonial" as your subject heading.

If you have feedback, comments, or suggestions about your experiences in our stores, we would love to hear that too.
We value and appreciate your feedback!
We would like to take this moment to thank you all for your continued support of your local Mom & Pop shop The WILD. We go out of our way to keep a small piece of old Charleston intact and the days when a shopkeeper would know name.  

Appreciatively Yours,

The WILD Faces,
Keith, Ryan, Christi, Arlene, Jordan, Christina, Frasier, Erin and Haleigh