A new pet supply store opened in my area this past summer called Pet Valu. I hadn't heard of them prior and had to look them up online to find out if they're an independent retailer or a chain. Turns out the Pet Valu family of stores is the largest pet supply retail operation in Canada. The company is slowly making its way south of the Canadian boarder, though they appear to only have stores in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia at this time. I happened to catch sight of this store while running errands, and or course, couldn't resist taking a peak inside.
This particular store is about a quarter of the size of a PetSmart or a Petco and has a slightly more upscale or boutique feel to it. While they do carry supplies for all sorts of pets the bulk of their products are for cats and dogs. The store appears to only carry high end brands, such as Canidae, Blue Buffalo, Merrick, Taste of the Wild, etc. - you're not gonna find your run of the mill Purina or Alpo products here. They have a terrific selection of high quality treats, high-end grooming products, and unique accessories. I was happy to discover that they carry some of the harder to find dog toy brands, such as West Paw Design and Planet Dog.
If you've never been to a Pet Valu, and you have one in your area, it's definitely worth checking out. Things do tend to cost a little more there. Personally if I can save a little on dog and cat food at PetCo I will, but if you're not into shopping at big box retailers and are willing to shell out a little extra in exchange, Pet Valu is a great alternative. Also, if your pet has food allergies or diet restrictions they offer some great options. They also have an interesting selection of treats and toys that you might otherwise not come across. Check 'em out if you get a chance!