Are You a Pet Parent 2.0?

Jun 02, 2024 Dan


Donna and I often talk about the amazing customers we have met over the last 14 years. Some have become close personal friends. We are so blessed to have met and get a chance to serve a group of people who have chosen to include cats and dogs in their lives. We all want what we feel is best for our loved furry friends and we all want them to live a long and healthy life. A common thread. Donna always says we are so fortunate to be in this business and deal with like-minded individuals and families.

Recently, I had a chance to hear Rodney Habib and Dr. Karen Becker speak at an industry function. Rodney is a superstar in the social media world and Dr. Karen Becker has established herself as one of the top DVM’s helping educate pet parents on natural approaches to pet health. Their second book, The Forever Dog Life, has just been launched. Already on the best seller list in Canada. I have followed them both for years and it was amazing to have an opportunity to hear from them in person (and a chance to meet them personally).



Rodney’s presentation was around “Pet Parent 2.0.”  It really resonated with me. He has great ability to take concepts, wrap them with delightful stories and real-life situations. It started to make me think about the diverse types of customers who shop at our stores. I then asked each of our staff what they thought a Pet Parent 2.0 is. I loved all the responses. It became clear that there is no one single definition of a Pet Parent 2.0.  Then I had a fantastic discussion with one of our customers in our Oakville location. He is in is mid to late 20’s. A parent to Leon, a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback. We started talking about pet health and nutrition and all sorts of things. He then said this to me.

“I know Leon will not live forever. I also feel quite strongly that Leon and most other breeds and pets can live the first two thirds of their life in a healthy state. However, it is my intention to make sure that Leon can live an extremely healthy, active, and adventurous life as he approaches his senior and geriatric years.”

When I asked him how he will go about doing this, he was very straightforward. Let me summarize his response:

His previous dog, a schnauzer, lived a healthy life to 8yrs of age. Then, it was a horror show of significant and expensive health issues. He could not understand why suddenly, his dog’s health turned and ended up living the remainder of his years with an inferior quality of life due to health issues. It was not fun and was not what he signed up for. So, he decided to do the following:


  1. Ask questions. He questioned everything like why I neutered my dog at 4 months of age. Why was I vaccinating every single year? What was in the food that I was feeding? Why is kibble the go to standard for dogs and cats?
  2. He decided to do his own research to find his own answers to all his questions.
  3. Make an informed decision.

This, to me, is a fitting example of a Pet Parent 2.0

Rodney and Karen said it best.

2.0 Pet parents – empowered, knowledgeable guardians using deliberate, commonsense approaches to creating and maintaining vibrant health for their animals – Forever Dog


Some of the qualities and characteristics our store associates voiced about a Pet Parent 2.0 are:

  • Those who research the best diet and nutrition for their pets based on their breed, age, health condition, and preferences.
  • Parents that provide their pets with regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them fit and happy.
  • Avoiding, as best as possible, exposing their pets to harmful chemicals, toxins, or stressors that could compromise their immune system.
  • Families that choose to seek preventative veterinary care that addresses the root causes of any health issues and supports the body’s natural healing ability.
  • Educate themselves on the latest science and best practices for pet wellness!

We all consider our pets part of our family. We shower them with love and respect. We try to be as aware as possible of their physical and mental well-being. Sometimes, we need to stand back from what historical best practices have been and open our knowledge base to what is out there today!

All responsible pet parents’ rock. Pet Parents 2.0 rock our world!