WICKER PARK— PUPtection bills itself as the city's first pet health and nutrition center and seeks to educate animal owners on how to provide better nutrition to their dogs and cats.
The store celebrated its grand opening at 1755 W. North Ave. in the former digs of Just Indulge custard shop late last month.
The venture has been two years in the making, according to regional manager Alex Jones, who said Wicker Park was the perfect spot for the store, due to its large concentration of pet owners.
"There's five pet parks in Wicker Park. Our research and stats showed this was the place to be," Jones said.
HGTV's "Design on a Dime" host Ali Azhar was contracted to design the bright orange, green and silver storefront, which features a cartoonish dog and shield.
Nutrition specialist Calli Filpovich joined PUPtection after working at a pet boarding facility, where she said she saw plenty of dogs that did not have enough good food in their system, which affected their behavior.
"It's just like humans. If you put junk in your body, you'll act out," Filpovich said.
Nutrition consultations for pets begin at $45 for a 30-minute session. Wellness examinations are $90 and geared toward pets with health problems such as diabetes, renal diseases and food intolerances. Both services are outlined in detail in the PUPtection blog.
The consultations do not include food, though PUPtection carries its own line of dehydrated fruits and vegetables, including peas, green beans and bananas. The food, which some might consider good enough for human consumption, can cost as much as $375 for a four-week supply for an adult dog, and $300 for an adult feline, according to PUPtection's detailed pricing sheet.