The latest addition to the Treeline Drive development north of Kalispell is a pet store, but you might not know it from talking to the staff.
Adam Blanton, owner of Dee-O-Gee Kalispell, refers to his customers as “furry kids” and “family members.” It’s all part of the boutique pet store’s appreciation for each pet and its unique needs.
Dee-O-Gee, which spells out “dog,” is a Bozeman-based independent pet store founded by a former veterinary technician and her husband in 2008. The Kalispell location is the fourth Dee-O-Gee store in the state. It has been operating near the MyPlace Hotel since early September, but the official grand opening will take place Oct. 12-13.
“Let’s focus on high-quality, holistic, all-natural pet food,” said Blanton to describe Dee-O-Gee’s philosophy. To achieve this goal, Dee-O-Gee offers a unique variety of pet nutrition products, including Colorado hemp honey, dog food made from free-range chicken and New Zealand beef and “artisan yogurt for dogs” in flavors such as butternut mutt and coco love.
“We have a variety of options here at Dee-O-gee,” Blanton said. “We want to focus on the nutritional aspect.” He believes a lot of the pet supply brands available at Dee-O-Gee can’t be found in larger retail stores, and he stated the store focuses heavily on sourcing these products from sustainable, high-quality producers and sellers.
Charlie DiBono, one of Dee-O-Gee’s pet health ambassadors, said Dee-O-Gee carries a wide range of pet supplies to cater to the diversity of pet needs. “There’s not one food for every dog that’s perfect,” DiBono pointed out.
In this spirit of providing something for every pet, Dee-O-Gee offers cat supplies and a number of pet services as well.
In addition to food and supplies, the business also offers professional grooming, do-it-yourself dog washes and animal day care. Blanton said he is still working to hire groomers, but plans to offer full-service grooming with nail trimming and an all-natural shampoo wash. Pet owners can also wash their animals themselves in the large tubs at the DIY dog wash.
“They just supply the dirty kid and we bring the rest,” Blanton said. The dog wash is available for walk-ins, but appointments are required for the full-service grooming.
Dee-O-Gee offers dog day care in an indoor play space supervised by staff. The day-care portion of the store includes toys, play structures, secluded spaces for older or smaller dogs and a pet relief area. The service does not include overnight boarding or any outdoor space, but Blanton believes Dee-O-Gee’s advantage lies in its dedicated attention to a small cohort of pets in a contained space. “We believe in quality over quantity” when it comes to dog day care, he explained.
They plan to accommodate about 20 dogs in the day care at a time, and the “campers” must first go through a free, two-hour evaluation to ensure compatibility with the rest of the pack. It currently costs $10 per day to send a dog to day care, with this special promotion lasting until the end of October. They take drop-in campers, but Blanton encouraged pet owners to reserve a spot ahead of time whenever possible.
While offerings like the DIY dog wash and a ruby red trout chew toy have been popular in the store’s first few weeks, Blanton admitted, “the day camp has been a little slow to start.”
“Getting the word out that there’s a day camp here,” has been a bit of a challenge, he added. He hopes the grand opening, which will feature beer from local partners and a joint health supplement known as “Bowser Beer for Dogs,” will raise awareness.
“People still don’t realize there are businesses back here,” Blanton observed. Once they grow a customer base, he hopes to expand Dee-O-Gee’s presence through dog food delivery within a 5-mile radius and events like Woof Wednesdays, during which shoppers wearing Dee-O-Gee branded apparel will get a 20% discount on purchases.
So far, Blanton said those who have taken note of the new store “really feel this is a great niche to fill in the valley.”
Dee-o-gee is located at 635 Treeline Road, Suite 2. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 758-4459.