The Right Ingredients for Pet Health
by Jenny Dubach
Millions of people around the world these days are pet “parents” of some kind. Creatures large and small offer much value to their human counterparts, no matter a person’s age. These precious gems teach, bring joy and comfort, and offer a special kind of companionship for one’s heart, soul and general well-being.
Perfect Pet is a local business providing for many animal needs, including pet foods, accessories and full-service grooming. Amanda Clark and Emily Striker are the proud new owners of this establishment in Bluffton, Indiana. The pair took ownership as of June 1, 20016.
Prior to this new adventure, Amanda founded her very own successful business, Canine Crossroads Training and Rescue Center, located right outside of Bluffton in Liberty center, in 2000. In addition to behavior modification classes, boarding and specialty training, Canine Crossroads rescues, rehabilitates, and places abused, unwanted, and abandoned companion animals. Emily has been an employee of Canine Crossroads since 2008.
The two ladies, both natives of Wells County, are licensed and hold degrees in professional dog training, and both share the same passion for animals and for helping people with their pets. Amanda and Emily love educating owners about what is best for their pets in regards to nutrition, personality, exercise and so on. Amanda and Emily both received professional training at National K-9 School for Dog Trainers in Columbus, Ohio.
Prior to the ownership change, Perfect Pet was founded in 2005 by John Zezulak. John and his wife Sally had left the corporate world—he had been a top sales manager for Pepsi Co., while Sally had worked in magazine publishing—to pursue a completely different sort of career.
At Perfect Pet, John focused on natural, holistic and multi-protein pet food brands. He learned as much as he could about pet health and nutrition and took on a consultative role with customers. “Tell me about your pet, and I can help you with that issue” became the standard greeting at the store.
John provided permanent solutions to everyday problems that were frustrating to pet owners. The strategy was a tremendous success, and he then opened two more stores with the same philosophy, carefully training managers and staff so the business would stand apart from typical retail operations in the industry.
In just two years, John and Sally had opened three Perfect Pet locations—two in Fort Wayne and one, of course, in Bluffton. In 2015, the husband and wife decided to retire and sell their successful stores. Once the public learned the Bluffton store was up for sale, Amanda and Emily decided to team up, and together, they purchased the shop.
Team work is a key to a successful business, say the owners. Fortunately, they have a perfect combination of expertise, as each employee brings something unique to the plate. The Perfect Pet staff includes Amber Pfister (groomer), Sadey Ertman and Erika Parsons.
The five ladies enjoy working together. They say they have fun and share a good deal of laughter on a daily basis. This working environment carries over to create a pleasant experience for customers who enter the store, and this makes it easier for a client to leave their “fur baby” in someone else’s care. It helps to know the caregiver is a lover of animals and will make it a calm and safe visit.
Animals are very sensitive and can pick up on emotion around them. Studies have shown when the parent is feeling sad, the pet detects it immediately and stays nearby as if trying to console the parent. An animal’s behavior often changes when they feel tension or chaos in the air.
Perfect Pet offers 15 different varieties of pet food at excellent prices. The staff also provides pet grooming services, including Bath (clean nails, ears, face, anal gland, shampooing, conditioning, blow drying and brush out); Face, Feet and Fanny (Bath, plus trim face, feet and fanny); and Full Grooming (Bath, plus trim everywhere). Pricing is reasonable, with amazing results.
Pet Perfect carries many pet care items for small animals ranging from mice, lizards, birds, rabbits, cats and small to large dogs. They also offer help with issues such as hair loss or excessive shedding, itching, hot spots, or ear scratching, and stomach disorders. The Bluffton store also has a wide variety of toys, bedding, kennels, pet clothing, and lots of accessories. And, don’t miss the selection of fancy cookie treats!
Amanda and Emily are very involved with pet-related organizations, including PAWS of Adams County, Midwest Pet Refuge, Animal House Sanctuary, and of course, Canine Crossing Training and Rescue Center. They are cautious about placing pets to be sure they choose the right homes—an application is required before a pet placement decision is made.
Away from the store, Amanda and her husband Brett have three boys—Caben (14), Caine (13) and Colten (10)—to keep them busy, between sporting events and their favorite outdoor activities. Emily and her husband John are busy, as well, with their daughter Mackenzie (3½) and another baby girl that will be arriving any day now.
Perfect Pet is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Call ahead to schedule grooming appointments.