When retail therapy for yourself isn’t enough, stopping to pick up a treat for a furry friend can be a good alternative. For folks in Excelsior, Fido’s Pantry has been the boutique of choice for puppies, kittens and every pet in between. Located right off Highway 7, the neighborhood mainstay has been around for over 10 years and stocks everything you need to keep pets well fed and on top of all of the latest trends.
Store owner Andy Hein has been dedicated to helping pet owners navigate the waters of animal ownership since he was 12—Hein cut his teeth as a stock boy while working at a pet store as a kid. “I’ve always loved animals,” Hein explains. “I think just being able to provide people in the community with a place to help them out has always been my goal.”
One of Hein’s biggest efforts in running his store is making sure that pet owners are able to feed their pets high-quality, healthy food. “It’s important what you’re putting in your dog’s body,” Hein says. “We really try to help people out by finding the right fit for their pet, but also for their lifestyle.” When you walk into the store, Fido’s Pantry’s food options are immediately on display, with choices ranging from holistic, grain-free kibble to less traditional delicacies like raw food.
It doesn’t just stop at food, however—along with offering up a smorgasbord of pet food, Fido’s Pantry pulls double duty and serves as the toy store of any dog’s dreams. Toys get the stamp of approval from Hein’s own dog, Finnley, who can frequently be found keeping watch over the store and welcoming customers.
Hein’s connections to the Excelsior community don’t end with his store. As well as being a firefighter for the city, he also sits on the Chamber of Commerce. “I just want to help people,” Hein says. “It’s important to make sure that we’re helping people with their pets and answering any questions they may have.”
In the middle of winter, it can feel tricky to keep pets warm, comfortable and entertained. Here are Andy Hein’s picks for wintertime gear you—and your pal—won’t be able to live without.
- Muttluks jackets and boots. Whether they’re on a walk or simply enjoying their backyards, dogs can catch the shivers just like humans can. Wrapping them up in a lined jacket is the best way to make sure they stay warm. Add boots, and they’ll be safe on icy patches and keep paws free of irritating salt and sand.
- Pure & Good SOS Balm. This balm is great for moisturizing dogs' pads—and many pet owners also swear by it for their human dry skin.
- Dog puzzles. Minnesota winters don’t always allow for time outside. Puzzles are a fun way to keep pets intellectually stimulated while staying warm indoors.