Dogs and cats are more than just pets to a lot of people. They’re seen as friends, family and important parts of households.
A new Long Beach shop is fully dedicated to keeping these furry friends healthy, happy and well-fed.
Fur-U, at 996 W. Beech St., opened its doors — and its kitchen — on Aug. 28. Co-owners Jenna Carey and Angelo Ferrugia are both avid cat and dog lovers and wanted to show their love for them to the community.
Ferrugia, who is a certified pet nutritionist and the shop’s chef, was cooking for his own and his family’s pets. He saw an opportunity to help others, along with Carey.
“We both live in Long Beach,” Ferrugia said, “and there’s tons of people down here with dogs and cats. It’s a very tight-knit community. We just saw the opportunity and this store that was empty, so we decided to bring something that the neighborhood needed to the West End.”
They’ve held events to get out into the community such as puppy parades and pictures with Santa, but “at its roots, it’s about community, health and nutrition.”
They don’t carry anything that has preservatives, sugar or salt. They have three proteins they offer: beef, chicken and turkey. The beef and chicken options are made with quinoa. The turkey option is for pets with sensitive stomachs, and is made with brown rice, pumpkin and sweet potato. They offer three meals with these proteins: Boardwalk Beef Delight, Chauncey’s Chicken Cuisine and Tiki’s Turkey
Every meal is made with muscle and organ meat, with an 80/20 mix for dogs and a 90/10 mix for cats to ensure they are getting a completely balanced meal. Their amino acid mix has eggs, sardines, organ meat, spinach and broccoli.
Pet owners can either purchase meals individually, starting around $8.50 per pound, or sign up for meal subscriptions, which slightly lessens the price of each meal. They also offer counseling, to help figure out what meals work best for each individual pet.
“It’s talking to the owner, it’s figuring out what the dog’s needs and wants are,” Ferrugia said of the counseling. “A lot of people just don’t know how to navigate the pet food industry and the industry hasn’t necessarily been putting forward truth, nor the best ingredients for an owner. So when I sit down with people, we just really talk about what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and what their price points are.”
Ferrugia and Carey really look closely at what each pet needs to live their healthiest lives.
“Everything in moderation is okay, but certain things are going to trigger your pet and other things aren’t,” Carey said. “We would love for everyone to eat our food of course, but we also understand that at the forefront of everything is the health and wellness of the animals. All we can do is hope to guide people in a healthier direction based on our knowledge.”
Subscriptions are available for dogs only, with each meal prepared fresh and then frozen. Each meal varies depending on size, age, breed, activity levels and whether or not the dog is spayed or neutered. Food can come in one-pound, two-pound and four-found containers. Each meal can also be frozen for up to six months, but once thawed, must be eaten within four days. Pet owners can utilize Fur-U’s online calculator to determine how many calories, cups and pounds of food their dog should be getting per day.
“We just want people to understand that it’s a place for you and your dog,” Ferrugia said. “We curate an experience you don’t get anywhere else. For example, we have a ‘jar bar.’ It’s kind of like Dylan’s Candy Store except we have jerky, chicken feed and chicken jerky and you just give a dog a piece or two while you’re shopping.”
For people interested in shopping or using their calculator, visit them at Fur-ULB.com, in-store at 966 W. Beech St. or call them at (516) 500-7650.