The K9 Shop brings ‘Whole Foods for pets’ to Massapequa with new wellness center


The K9 Shop, a local phenomenon in the raw pet food movement, is building a veritable university on Long Island, where the customers get an education and the professors are always learning.

They’ve even added in-house biologists and pet nutritionists.

And the campus is expanding.

In February, The K9 Shop opened its sixth Long Island location, this time in Manorville. 

And in March, The K9 Shop — where Real Dogs Eat Raw — moved from a smaller space in Massapequa to open the company’s first-ever K9 Shop Wellness Center at 1073 North Broadway in Massapequa.

Since education among pet owners and employees is paramount, the new center will be hosting seminars, inviting in a cast of guest speakers, and offering on-site nutritional training.

There’s even a pet expo being planned that will extend into their private parking lot this summer, June 15, 2024

Not only that, the new center boasts the largest selection in The K9 Shop portfolio, with plenty of exclusive brands.

“It’s also our largest store,” said co-founder Robert Tucker. “It’s like a Whole Foods for pets.”

Moving up in Massapequa

Robert Tucker and his wife, Anya, opened their first brick-and-mortar shop on Long Island in Massapequa in 2018, later moving to an even larger space on Broadway.

Then they moved a third time on Broadway in March when they opened the company’s first-ever retail spot and wellness center in a former party store.

This is just a reflection of not only demand, but trust- and relationship-building among the area’s pet owners. 

Which leads to business by word of mouth. Which leads to growth.

And the overall growth of The K9 Shop means happier, healthier dogs and cats across Long Island and beyond.

One thing the couple knew all along is they weren’t abandoning Massapequa.

“This is the original and we did not want to leave,” Anya said. “This is our third spot on Broadway and it was all about staying here and being a part of the community. We’re invested in this community. We give back to the community. And the community has come to really rely on us.” “We want to stay in Massapequa; that’s important.”

At the wellness center, you’ll find a line of freezers with rolls of raw and natural dog and cat food ready to go, which includes exclusive and proprietary blends, such as carbohydrate-free blends tailored for dogs with cancer.

Then there’s what The K9 Shop calls The Raw Bar.

“Here we have all our treats, from cow noses, to cow ears to rabbit feet, collagen rolls, pig noses. Everything here is all-natural,” Robert told Greater Long Island.

“There’s nothing in this store or any of our stores that’s not 100 percent biologically appropriate.”

They also try to keep everything as local as possible. Even many of the supplements are locally sourced, such as the North Fork honey and bee pollen that helps dogs with allergies.

“They get antibodies from the local pollen,” Robert said.

Also in the rear refrigerators you’ll find more local stock, such as duck necks and marrow bones — and almost entirely from Long Island and New York-area farms.

“This is what we call, Farm to Bowl,” Robert said.

All about raw

Feeding dogs kibble has been a trend that’s lasted a century.

Because it’s all too easy. Open the bag and pour.

“It was created as a convenience, just like McDonald’s was created for us,” Robert often says. “People wanted something quick that they could dump in the bowl and get going. The difference is, we’re well aware McDonald’s isn’t good for us.”

(And we would never eat it every day!)

But it’s hard for people to understand anything different, the couple says, because for generations they’ve grown up with their friends and families giving dogs kibble.

“Anything that we [as humans] do to their food, by cooking it, adding coloring, fillers, and preservatives, what we’re doing is killing the food itself, and it ends up having no nutritional value, because of the high processing,” Anya added. “That’s why these big dog food companies have to then spray on all these flavors, vitamins and coloring to make the kibble more palatable.”

As mentioned, the top priority for all K9 Shop employees is education, not only about the dangers and dark secrets of big, corporate pet food, but the real benefits of raw and natural food and supplements.

“The key is educating,” Anya says. “That is why all of the dogs and cats do so well on this food. Some might need extra supplements, some diets need to be tweaked, especially for things like kidney disease, EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) or diabetes. We just educate people so well.”

Robert added: “We believe that everything is healed from the inside out, and it starts with what they eat.

The trust factor

Anya says “trust” has fueled the success of The K9 Shop.

That, and customers who become friends. Those believers talk, and word of mouth has been tremendous for the company, which started in Massapequa then expanded to Lynbrook and Bohemia. They opened an East Northport franchise location in 2023, partnering with another devoted customer. There’s also a location in Greenville, S.C.

Offerings at all the shops include complete and balanced meals, bones, fish, farm eggs, whole prey and DIY raw chunks from local farms.

“This is as Mother Nature intended it,” Anya often says.

So what builds that trust?

“People can see the results in their dogs’ health, coat, behavior,” Anya said. “They see the dogs’ changes … yeast problems, ear problems, hot spots, gone. Their teeth are cleaner…

“It’s all about feeding them what they are meant to eat.”

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