This family-owned business was opened by Aida Rompies in 2006 who, despite passing the business down to her son Tom and entering retirement (or trying) a few years ago, you can still find manning the shop on most days. When asked why she opened a pet store, Aida says it happened overnight. When asked if a love of dogs spurred the endeavor, she replied: “If you consider someone who collects all the dogs from age five or six on, then yes, I am a dog lover.” Aida’s love for dogs is obvious in the store’s selection—which prioritizes organic, local, and all-natural—as well as the hospitality the staff shows to everyone who enters the store. If Aida is working, she’ll eagerly help you—or rather your dog—find their favorite treat by taste-testing the store’s robust selection of cookies. Enjoy the kindness that Aida and the staffers show you, but be sure to take advantage of their knowledge and expertise, too. 303-777-5076, 1432 S. Broadway; Open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
This joyful Sunnyside shop is bright, vibrant, and super inviting to two-and four-legged visitors alike. Opened by Lynn Christensen in January of 2017, Lily’s takes a “holistic approach” to everything it offers, from products to grooming and its self-service washing station. You can use their huge bathtub—which is big enough for a Great Dane—along with all their necessities (shampoo, etc.) for just $17 (there’s no time limit either). There is a full-service grooming operation in the back—all of their gracious groomers are certified in “fear-free” grooming—where you can do drop-in nail or fur trims or spring for the whole shebang. As for retail, Lily’s focuses on sourcing products from small and locally owned businesses and, because of this, you’ll find unique items you might not in other stores. Case in point: A smoked ostrich leg from Fort Lupton, or organic yak chews by PeaksnPaws, a Denver-based company that supplies handmade, slow dried dog chews to the U.S. and beyond. Other staff favorites include Pawsitively Gourmet’s cookies (made in Englewood), and FrogWorks’ calming potion (a magical blend of essential oils out of Golden, Colorado). Lily’s also focuses on the community by donating to local dog rescues and nonprofits; don’t miss the upcoming June 8 event at Factotum Brewery in support of Dancing Dog Rescue. 303- 975-6664, 4051 Tejon St.; Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. except Wednesdays when they’re closed, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
After the passing of a family dog, Denverite Danielle Jarock started researching the pet food industry and was disturbed by what she learned. Her education was the impetus for opening her own pet store, Quality Paws, in 2004. Now the shop, which moved to its Broadway corridor storefront in 2008, specializes in providing clean food and products to the local community. The food it carries is free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, and most of the animal products it carries are sourced from human-grade meat. From leashes to food bowls to bully sticks, many of its retail is sourced from Colorado (or at least stateside or Canada). If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, fireworks, or the like, make sure to ask about Quality Paws’ CBD products. Jarock is an expert herself on Hemp-based CBD and because of this, her store carries a variety of CBD products, for cats, dogs, and humans, much of which comes from Colorado. 303-778-7297 (303-778-PAWS), 230 S. Broadway; Open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This polished Cherry Creek storefront is at first so appealing because of its aesthetically pleasing look—its bright, clean space off Sixth Avenue is filled with color-coordinated rows of leashes, toys, and accessories—but upon closer inspection, its locally focused and unique selection is what keeps us coming back. Sure, you’ll find regular go-tos like toys, hiking gear, and bagged food, but you’ll also find pay-by-weight bulk treats (in flavors like cranberry-liver and bacon-cheddar), Colorado-made treats, and an entire bakery section with “pupcakes,” birthday bones, frosted cookies and more. 303-350-4498, 2800 e. 6th Ave.; Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6pm, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This Baker shop is the brainchild of Luke Johnson, a Denverite who wanted to rethink pet supply stores. Now, Luke’s is a one-stop shop for food, treats, supplements, grooming, and a do-it-yourself dog washing station. The company also focuses on retailing ethically sound products and its commitment to this ethos extends to how it pays and treats its employees to a generous and transparent refund policy. There are three groomers on-staff for when your dog needs some TLC (a bath-and-brush starts at $40), you can use the bathtub there for as little as $5 (bring your own supplies). Its tinctures of Suzie’s CBD are some of the best-priced in town, and its selection of bully sticks and other hide-free chews will have any dog doing their treat dance. Most of all, we love Luke’s for its clean, bright, airy ambience and the smile we’re always greeted with when we walk in the door. Pro tip: Metered parking on Broadway can be tough, but thankfully Luke’s has free parking behind store. 303-282-0377, 430 Broadway; Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 pm and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Though owners Deb Dempsey and Tonya Payne started dipping their toes into the pet supply and product industry in 1999, Mouthfuls didn’t open its Tennyson storefront until 2005. In 2016, the locally- and women-owned business won best pet supply store in our annual Top of the Town directory, which lists the best things in Denver. Mouthfuls has undoubtedly become a tried-and-true stop for Berkeley neighborhood pet owners, offering everything from a robust selection of toys, freezer-kept food, a bag-your-own treat selection, a cat room (gasp!), and puppy clothes we haven’t seen elsewhere (Gold Paw’s Sun Shield Tee is the must-have summer accessory for dogs of all sizes). The shop offers free next-day delivery for folks who live within a two-mile radius and, if that hasn’t convinced you of this shop’s community love, consider this: Mouthfuls stays open an extra few hours on Tennyson Street’s First Fridays and regularly donates to a variety of local, animal-welfare nonprofits and cultural institutions. Pro tip: There’s a parking lot in the back; go through the adjacent alley from 43rd or 42nd avenues to get there. 720-855-7505, 4224 Tennyson St.; Open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
One of Denver’s largest locally owned pet stores, Ciji’s has an amazingly diverse selection of both local and national products for your four-legged friend. You’ll find a robust selection of bully sticks, no-hide chews, and chewable treats; leashes, harnesses, and collars for any size or type of pup; and food, from dry to frozen game and more. The South Park Hill spot also sells nice-to-haves like backpacks, shampoo, joint care and vitamins, cleaning products, grooming tools, and doggy beds. Ciji’s, which is celebrating its 21st birthday this year and has a sister store in Olde Town Arvada by the name of Paws ‘N’ Play, is a local mainstay and we see why. They also partner with local pet adoption agencies to bring dogs and cats to welcoming homes. 303-322-8000, 2260 Kearney St.; Open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m.
When you first walk into Sherlock Hound, it doesn’t look like much. But within a few moments of entering this inconspicuous storefront, you’ll experience the it factor that sets it apart: incredibly attentive customer service. That’s what keeps locals coming back again and again to this small shop, which is truly in the business of neighborhood service. Whoever is manning the storefront—we’re most familiar with Gwen, who is endlessly helpful—will happily talk you through your needs or concerns, from the pros and cons of grain versus grain-free food, which proteins are available and tend to sell fastest, and even generously offer take-home food samples so you can find out what most piques your dog’s palette. Sherlock Hound carries dry, refrigerated, and frozen food from brands like Taste of the Wild, Victor, Wholesomes, Diamond Natural, and many others. If they run out of your preferred brand, they’ll give you a call when a new shipment comes in, and even deliver it for an additional $4 charge. You can also buy some types of feed by the pound, making it easy to find your pup’s new favorite food or even save money on your small breed. 303-433-3234 , 1422 E 22nd Ave.; Open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sunday and Monday)