Best of the Boat: Paws ‘N Claws ‘N Things wins best pet supply store |

Best of the Boat: Paws ‘N Claws ‘N Things wins best pet supply store

Pampering Pets: Dave Terranova offers food and toys for pets of all walks at Paws ’N Claws ’N Things.
Scott Franz

Pampering Pets: Dave Terranova offers food and toys for pets of all walks at Paws ’N Claws ’N Things.
Scott Franz

1. Paws ‘N Claws ‘N Things

Dogs will howl over the doggie deli inside Steamboat’s Paws ‘N Claws ‘N Things, which offers more than 40 different dog treats ready to head home with hungry pups.

Co-owner Dave Terranova says it’s the wide selection and the staff’s deep community roots that set the store apart when it comes to people and their pets. “We have a big selection of things, from what Walmart customers could afford all the way to the more premium customer,” says Terranova, who has owned the store with his wife, Jodi, for 10 years. “Our employees love the community, and they love all pets.”

Dave Terranova says his employees love Steamboat as well as locals’ pets. The store has products customers are seeking year-round, from thick jackets and heating pads in the winter to flotation devices and dehydrated food for backpacking in the summer. “We try to cover every season,” Terranova says.

The store offers a wide selection of pet foods, and will special-order, items they might not have an extra cost, Terranova says. Even those not in the market for pet supplies often find themselves in the store just looking around and paying respects to Gwen Stefani, the black and white store cat.

“We have people come in just to say hello to her every day,” Terranova says. “She loves to hide all over the place. It’s a fun atmosphere.”

2. Elk River Pet and Ranch

Selling pet supplies for everything from goldfish and guinea pigs to hounds and horses, the owners of Elk River Pet and Ranch say the store isn’t just a business, but a reflection of who they are.

“It’s a part of our lives,” says Colby Townsend, who owns the store with his wife, Michelle. “We own horses, pigs, sheep, cats, dogs, fish and chickens. This is a part of our life 24/7.”

Townsend has owned the store for 18 years and says working behind the counter brings him closer to the local community. “It’s a way to interact with the community on a personal level,” Colby Townsend says. “I help people make their lives with their pets more rewarding.”

Townsend says that compared to other pet stores in town or ranching supply stores in Craig, their business offers the widest selection of products for the most types of pets. “I feel like we have a little bit for everybody,” he says. “We have the broadest range of anybody — not just in town, but in the region.”

The store also has one of the largest selections of pets for sale in the area, with tropical fish, baby chicks, bunnies, guinea pigs, parakeets and hamsters all for sale at different times of the year, plus all of the supplies to care for them. “It’s everything you need to take care of your zoo,” Townsend says.

3. Outdoor K9

When Chris and Nicole Van Ruler moved to Steamboat Springs in 2012, they were inspired by the dog-friendly community that welcomed them. They soon opened Outdoor K9 as a way to connect with town’s adventurous dog-loving locals.

The store, located off Central Park Drive in Marketplace Plaza, caters to the “outdoor-centric” animal lover, carrying all sorts of helpful outdoor equipment, Nicole Van Ruler says. What also makes Outdoor K9 different is its commitment to independent, green companies and variety of natural, healthy foods.

“Customers like that we carry healthy, organic, natural options,” Nicole says. “We’re focused on education and spreading the message of whole food nutrition.”

She adds that the store supports raw and dehydrated diets and carries many holistic supplements for various ailments and even super foods for dogs. And for those who can’t make it into the store, it also offers many of its products online.

— Teresa Ristow

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