As the owner of the only independent pet store in Woodmont Triangle, the man behind Pet Parents wants his shop to offer products that fit the lifestyle of Bethesda pet owners.
That includes high-tech items and environmentally friendly toys, as well as a range of prices. Dog collars are available from $14 standard options to a $135 jewelry-studded black leather piece.
“I give them options,” John T. McNeal, the owner of Pet Parents, said.
The store opened over the weekend at 4907 Fairmont Ave. and is open daily. McNeal chose Veterans Day because he served in the Army.
He said the store is in a soft opening phase now and will begin to launch more products and services—such as dog walking and curbside pickup for orders from the store—before a grand opening in early December.
Pet Parents is set up in a “family living room” style, with a plush chair and wooden tables and display cases showcasing brands of cat and dog food such as Acana and Verus. There’s also a selection of treats, toys and matching collar, jacket and leash sets.
Among the more tech-savvy items in the store are an antibacterial dog bowl that weighs the food inside, a filtered dog-water bottle for walks and a smart leash that connects to a smartphone to measure the steps and heart rate of the dog.
For McNeal, the products show the changing way people think about their pets and how they take care of them.
“Pets are part of the family now,” he said.
Downtown Bethesda’s last popular independent pet store, Bethesda Pet Shoppe, closed last year, but other pet stores such as Westwood Pet Center and Tanks for Your Business, focusing on fish, still operate in the Bethesda area. There’s also Bark! in Rockville, Petsmart locations in Bethesda and Kensington and a Petco Unleashed store in Silver Spring.
McNeal said he hopes his store gives pet owners “something different” while also providing needed goods.
“We’re just trying to give a different experience for the pet world,” he said.