Most of us living the Lake Travis Lifestyle happily admit to pampering our pets. They’re members of the family after all — loyal partners on hikes, boats or even down the drive to grab the mail.
And as good parents, we know all the ins and outs of the area’s top offerings for our animal companions — ranging from the best in veterinary care to boarding and in-home pet sitting.
Of course, no pet’s life would be complete without great nutrition and a few fun toys, and a look at the Lake Travis area’s pet stores shows off some serious chow for your furry (scaly, feathered, slimy) friends.
In Bee Cave you’ll find the standard go-to of the pet world in PetSmart. It’s the big daddy of pet supply; a veritable smorgasbord warehouse of so many kibble choices — it will both delight and perhaps confound you.
This is a great place to go for both basics and the tougher to please, though animals with special needs or allergies may be best served elsewhere.
A ginormous chain, PetSmart carries small animals and fish in addition to all manner of bedding, toys and treats. The fact that they offer up training classes and host adoptions hasn’t hurt their success in the industry, and the store really seems to be the only shop in the Lake Travis area boasting a fair amount of actual animals.
On the subject of special needs — the newest addition to the pet shop pack in the Lake Travis area, fully embraces your little Fido’s more sensitive side.
Houston-based pet supply store Natural Pawz boasts more allergy-friendly chow than you can shake a stick at (which of course Fido would love) and touts itself as the “health food store for pets.” Whether your companion is gluten free, corn free or air free, this booming Texas business has you covered and wants nothing more than to help you meet those needs.
And this place is so into living local that when they recently opened up shop in Steiner Ranch, they donated animal oxygen masks to Lake Travis Fire Rescue. I for one didn’t even know those suckers existed and think that’s just about the coolest thing in forever (see the news video here).
We giddily welcome their newest branch into Steiner Ranch and look forward to many a kibble-shopping excursion.
Just north up RR 620 in the Grandview Hills neighborhood lies another good option for smaller, pet care shopping. PetSense is sort of a combination of the traditional nationwide retailer with all the basics, and a small-town shop with friendly staff eager to know you and your pet.
In addition to the plethora of foods, toys, chews and training items this place carries, it boasts an in-house groomer, weekend vaccine clinics and more often than not, adoptable kittens. That last part is easily the most enjoyable aspect here, as the kittens are always stinkin cute — huge “fall for me,” pupils stare you down while tiny paws bat away unseen air-fuzz — and even if you prefer adult rescues, these furballs are delightful.
Rounding things out is Tomlinson’s, with two locations in the Lake Travis Area and a serious commitment to community and living local.
We’ve told you how much this small Austin chain loves its animals, but pop into a shop to see for yourself their devotion to your pet’s well-being. They carry just about every high-end, well-made pet food you could imagine in addition to a variety of special needs items and some really cool toys and pet gadgets.
The small company also hosts monthly adoptions for agencies of all kinds and partners with everyone from Siamese rescue groups to Pit Bull advocates.
Indeed, their key goal seems to not only be high-quality pet supply but education on all breeds and the families that love them. While there for your feline’s catnip fix, you can get involved in local Texas foster programs and obtain information on upcoming adoptions in your area.
Knowing Locals and Their Pets
Looking over the Lake Travis area pet store options, two things become very clear.
It’s obvious that we here in Austin love our pets and living/giving local! These pet stores are just a small fraction of the outlets that not only keep our pets well-fed, but support local needs and foster community adoption relationships.
And while we unabashedly pamper our pooches and coddle our kittens, it’s comforting to know (as we hit the checkout counter with 72 pounds of pup chow likely made better than most of our dinners) that we can join a cause, making real change in the lives of less lucky critters, by simply chatting up the counter clerk.
The families and companies in these stores have made it their business to know the locals and their pets, in addition to the many agencies out there supporting homeless and misunderstood animals. These shops offer yet another good way to live well and live local, the Lake Travis way!
Did your family welcome a new pet over the holidays?
If so, share them with us and all of our readers! Just load up a picture of your pet’s lovable mug to our Facebook page comments, or share the story of your newest family member in the comments below.
And if you’ve had a great local pet-shop experience, or maybe know of a rescue organization you want to see featured — please tell us!
Community connection is the key to helping all animals find their forever homes, and Lake Travis Lifestyle is thrilled to support pets and their humans in doing just that.