April 2021
The Wild Is Nominated for The Best of Charleston Awards!
The nominees for The Charleston City Paper's "Best Of" awards are in, and thanks to all of you fine folks, The Wild Pet Stores is a finalist for Best Pet Store! We would like to thank you all for this outpouring of love and support. We love what we do and are passionate about sharing it with you. Thank you!!

The final round of voting will continue through April 7th. If you would like to cast your ballot, you may do so HERE.
Our Search for Wild New Offerings
When people first explore the vast treat section at The Wild, we often hear them ask, "Wow, look at all of these cool treats! Where do you find them?" It's such a great question and there is no simple answer. We have a team of people who look into new products. Take, for instance, our new treats from Australia which include shark hide, shark tails, queenfish tails and whole fish, among other things.

We first start with an idea (often provided by Keith, one of the owners) and then we start researching. We have to find out where we can get it or if it even exists! Then we begin looking into the company that makes it. With the new Australia treats, we wanted to know where they were getting their shark and other fish. A few of the questions we asked were:

  • Are they sustainably and ethically sourced?
  • What is the quality like?
  • Can we get a steady supply?
  • Where are these treats sold?
  • Who owns the company?
  • What kind of morals and standards does the company have?

We want to make sure that these fish treats (like all the products we bring in) come from a company that has good values and is willing to do the right thing. It is important to us to find companies that we can work WITH and bring value to each other. This enables us to provide awesome products to all of you and also allows us the opportunity to consistently get products when there may be a limited supply.

One of the most important steps in our research process is to test any new product. We want to have an item in our hands so we can see it up close and know what it feels like--and in the case of the fish treats, smells like. (Yup, it's real fish!) Finally, we test it out on our pets. It has to be given at least 2 paws up by them to be brought in. If products change, or our standards aren't met, we will get rid of something or refrain from bringing it in altogether. We research and care about each and every product we bring in so anyone walking through our doors can feel comfortable and confident in feeding it to their own furry family members.

Our Australia treats have been such a hit and we are thrilled that your pets are loving them so much. We already have a new shipment in transit from Down Under including a LOT more Shark Tails and Hides! Anticipated arrival for our latest shipment is early June.
Keep It Fresh With Our
Be Wild Room Spray
We know from first hand experience that the stinkier the treat or the food, the more popular it is with our pets. We have lots of great options for every furry family member to chew on, but sometimes those smellier treats can get the best of even the most devoted pet parent, not to mention the smells that our beloved pets occasionally emit!

That's why we've created our very own odor neutralizing Be Wild Room Spray in a soothing, yet powerful, Madagascar Vanilla scent that will overwhelm the worst of pet odors. Stop into the store and try out one of our tester sprays to experience it for yourself!
Why Your Pet Food Manufacturer Matters
Here at The Wild, we work hard not only to bring you the most amazing selection of pet foods and treats that we can find, but to help educate and support all pet parents with the information and resources you need to make the best choices you can for the pets in your care. That is why we offer the wealth of information found in our handouts, both in store at the "Information Mountain" handout station, and online at our Pet Well-Being page. This resource is constantly growing with more and more educational materials that we ourselves research and write.

One of our latest handout additions is a summary of pet food recalls in the past decade. We believe this to be important information for pet food consumers, but also it is an important reminder of why we do the work that we do.

A Decade of Recalled Pet Foods:
What The Numbers Reveal

Our mission here at The Wild is to provide you with pet foods that are not only safe for your beloved furry family members, but which are vital, nutritious and will contribute to their overall health, longevity and quality of life. We expend great time and energy on researching products that meet our high standards and goals in serving this purpose. That is why you will only find foods in our stores that are completely free of corn, wheat, soy, chemical preservatives, unnamed by-products, dyes, or other artificial and biologically inappropriate ingredients for pets. We believe in feeding our pets a diet that mimics, as closely as possible, what they would naturally eat as carnivores in their original habitat: the wild. The further their diets stray from these fundamental requirements of quality, fresh animal-based protein and fats, and the more processed they become, the more issues we see arise in their health and well-being.

Unfortunately, not all pet food manufacturers share this goal or these standards for pet nutrition and that is why we believe it is so important to do the research we do and provide the information and education that we provide. High-heat processed, mass produced foods often contain ingredients that are nutritionally deplete, at best, and downright harmful, at worst. In the worst case scenarios, these foods can result in widespread recalls.

But what foods are being most commonly recalled and why? The answer may not be what you think. Some consumers believe that fresh and raw food diets are the riskiest foods to feed. But the stats reveal something very different.

To shed some light on this issue, we'll start by listing the Top 5 Recalled Foods from August 2012 – August 2020, the amount of food recalled and the reason listed for the recall.

  • Mars Petcare comes in at #5 with a total of 1,812,803 pounds of pet food recalled. Mars includes 50+ brands of pet food including Pedigree, Iams, Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Ol Roy dry, Whiskas, Nutro, Sheba, and Cesar. The Mars recalls were for:
  • Potential choking risk in food (unspecified)
  • A formulation error resulting in insufficient levels of vitamins and excess minerals
  • Bags potentially containing small metal fragments which may have entered packaging during the production process

  • Nestle Purina comes in at #4 with 4,886,521 pounds of pet food recalled. Nestle Purina includes such brands as Purina Pro Plan, Purina Dog Chow, Friskies, Beneful, Purina One, Alpo, and Fancy Feast. The Nestle recalls were for:
  • Low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • A bag found to be contaminated with salmonella
  • Product potentially containing less vitamins and minerals than label claims

  • Hill's Pet Food comes in at #3 with 6,329,086 pounds of recalled pet food. Hill's Pet Food makes a variety of “specialty” and “prescription” food diets for dogs and cats. Their labels all fall under Hill's Science Diet, Hill's Prescription Diet, Hill's Healthy Advantage, and Hill's Bioactive Recipe. The Hill's recalls were for:
  • Dry dog food potentially contaminated with salmonella
  • A voluntary canned food recall due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D

  • Diamond Pet Foods comes in at #2 with 24,781,468 pounds of pet food recalled. Diamond brands include Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Taste of the Wild (this one always makes us laugh since nothing can be further from “the wild”), 4Health, Kirkland, and Natural Balance dry. Their recalls were for:
  • Product potentially contaminated with salmonella

  • Smucker's takes the #1 spot with a whopping 92,102,195 pounds of pet food being recalled. Smuckers makes such brands as Rachael Ray Nutrish, Nature's Recipe, 9Lives, Meow Mix, Gravy Train, Kibbles 'n Bits, and Milo's Kitchen. These foods were recalled for:
  • Possible low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • Minor ingredient may contain low levels of pentobarbital (a drug used for veterinary euthanasia which indicates the use of animal ingredients that should not be found in pet food)

Then, between September 2020 and January 2021, another 60 million pounds of dog food were recalled by Sunshine Mills and Midwestern Pet Food due to aflatoxin contamination. The World Health Organization website explains, “Aflatoxins are poisonous substances produced by certain kinds of fungi (molds) that are found naturally all over the world; they can contaminate food crops and pose a serious health threat to humans and livestock.” One of the primary crops known to carry and contain aflatoxins is corn, but it can also come from other improperly stored tree nuts and grains where moisture remains present in the harvested crops once stored which creates a favorable environment for the mold to grow. This is one of the lesser known, but equally important, issues with mass-produced, irresponsibly sourced dry pet foods containing grains.

As you can see, pet food recalls can range from mishandling to mislabeling to downright dangerous (and potentially fatal) ingredients, or ingredient levels, in the product. Interestingly, these are the same companies and manufacturers who are often the first to disclaim fresh and biologically appropriate diets, such as commercially prepared raw food diets, as risky to feed. The number one argument against fresh, raw food diets by these companies and their supporters is the fear of the raw ingredients containing potentially harmful bacteria, such as salmonella. And yet, these highly processed, commercially produced dry food diets have on many occasions been found to contain the bacteria salmonella among other toxins.

Looking at recall records, kibble is 75 times more likely to be recalled than fresh, raw food for pets. This is in part due to the fact that raw pet food producers take many safety precautions when making their food, including using high quality ingredients. In one FDA study, only 8% of raw pet food samples tested positive for salmonella. To put this into perspective, the USDA allows 25% of all ground poultry products sold in grocery stores (yes, this is human food we're talking about) to contain salmonella. Raw pet food far exceeds these safety standards as it is 3x safer than getting poultry products for yourself at the grocery store.

Looking at the recalls from 2020 reveals that raw pet food is statistically safer than kibble, as well. According to the FDA 1,378,725 pounds of kibble were recalled in 2020 (BEFORE the millions of pounds of aflatoxin tainted pet food recalls that began in September), while only 1,942 pounds of raw pet food were recalled. That means kibble was recalled 710 times more often than raw.

While recalling product is certainly the responsible thing to do if there is any chance of dangerous or contaminated ingredients, every precaution should be made at the forefront to prevent this from happening. The most recent recall due to aflatoxin contamination is just the latest example of poorly produced food that did NOT take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of this mass produced and highly processed pet “food.”

The foods we carry at The Wild are produced by companies who share our standards and who go to great lengths to ensure their finished product is as safe and healthy as possible for our pets. As always, we continue to research and bring in only the best options for your pets while monitoring the quality, transparency, sourcing and manufacturing practices of the companies we currently carry. For help in choosing the right diet for your pets, come in and speak with any of our certified Pet Food Nutrition Specialists.

Coming Soon...
The Wild Expands Into New Nutritional Territory!
You may have noticed that we here at The Wild are BIG on quality nutrition for cats and dogs and we're all deeply trained in pet nutrition. We now want to extend the same passion and knowledge we have for cats and dogs into learning about other small carnivores and omnivores.

We've been researching ferrets, hedgehogs, opossums, raccoons and more. We believe that these animals should be fed high quality, species appropriate foods as well, so we're blazing a brand new trail and we want you to come along for the journey. Keep your eyes peeled as we bring in new products and educational materials for these critters.

We're excited to expand into this new territory with the same exceptional standards and Love that has made our stores what they are today - a trusted source of guidance and in-depth information for ALL the pets we love and for which we offer care. 

Now Introducing...
Black Soldier Super Fly Larvae!
This is a high protein source of quality nutrition for not only cats and dogs, but also the small omnivores in your care, such as hedgehogs, opossums and racoons!
Check Out Our Puzzle Toys in Live Action
Jake and Jennifer Holmes are Wild pet parents who've ventured into new heights of play and mental stimulation for their adorable dog, Carlos, by offering him one of our new puzzle toy board games. These toys are a great way to exercise your pet's mind, give them a task to accomplish, and just spend some fun time bonding. They work great for dogs and cats alike.

Watch Carlos as he first encounters the Level 3 Dog Chess Board Game...
And now see how Carlos has become a Chess Master. Well, maybe not a master yet...but he's improving!
We have a wide variety of puzzle toys and board games to choose from in a range of difficulty levels. Just ask one of our staff members if you'd like help picking one out for your pet!
Tell Me Something Good!
So many of you have seen your pets' lives transformed by addressing their health through nutrition. We LOVE hearing about your success stories! Hillarie & Joe Boone are West Ashley customers who found just the right food to boost their pet's health and spirits. They reported to us:

"Cooper is a 16 yr old Jack Russell. In January, he stopped eating and started having bloody stools and seizures. After an overnight stay at the Emergency Vet and a blood transfusion, they diagnosed him with stomach cancer and told us to make him comfortable. I walked into “The Wild” for the first time, crying and trying to explain his issues hoping they could suggest something for him. We started him on Tripe and Bone Broth and then moved him to a Raw Food Diet and Goat’s milk. He has put his weight back on and his energy levels have returned. I am extremely thankful for everyone at The Wild for all of their knowledge, suggestions and heart felt concern."

Thank you, Hillarie and Joe! We are so happy to hear about Cooper's improvement.
Tell Us More!
Would you like to share your story about pet health and nutrition at The WILD? We'd LOVE to hear it! 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 you...by name.  

Appreciatively Yours,

The WILD Faces,
Christi, Ryan, Keith, Arlene, Jordan, Christina & Frasier