Scratch and Sniff owner Karen English with her pooch, Zoe.
Scratch and Sniff owner Karen English with her pooch, Zoe. Liana Turner

Treat time: a health food shop for your pets

YOU might scrutinise what's in your food, but what about your furry friends?

A Ballina businesswoman has urged Northern Rivers residents to think twice about feeding their pets overly processed food.

Karen English owns Scratch and Sniff, a store selling pet food and other delights for your four-legged friends on Ballina's River St.

Ms English originally launched her business in the form of a market stall selling her organic pet treats, and still does this twice a month in Byron Bay and Yamba.

She said Scratch and Sniff had a big focus on raw, closer-to-the-source meals for cats and dogs from meats and bones to ready-made meals.

"I was just investigating the pet foods on the markets ... and just wanting to make that change,” she said.

"Something wasn't right, (my dog) wasn't interested in those foods.”

With a background in graphic design and advertising, Ms English put her existing skills to good use in launching her brand.

While she's still making her own products, she's now gathered a host of other brands for the store.

A large proportion are based on the Northern Rivers.

"I started the business making organic treats,” she said.

"I was using gluten free flours and things like that.

"But I started bringing in other products that are made by other Australian and New Zealand companies.

"After seeing what was out there, I thought I love just bringing all those products all together.”

Also concerned about the impact of parasite-killing chemicals on pets, Ms English also stocks a milk thistle-based detox to protect them liver damage.

She said many pet owners had embraced her business and a move away from heavily processed foods.

For more information visit Scratch and Sniff on Facebook.