Chad McMillan is going to the dogs.
He’s the happy owner of a German Shepherd Cross, and has worked in the pet industry his whole career. But since taking ownership of A Pet’s Life last October, McMillan’s seen even more four-legged friends than usual.
“I ran a pet store in Winnipeg for 16 years, but the big difference here is that almost every other person brings their pet into the store with them,” McMillan says. “It’s awesome!”
McMillan and his family have been living in the neighbourhood for a few years, but now that they’ve taken over the pet store at Fort and Foul Bay they’re getting to know a more vital population.
“We’re meeting a lot of dogs, and also their owners,” he jokes. “We get to know the pets’ names, and the people a little less. A human will walk in and we’ll say ‘oh you’re Scruffy’s owner!’”
New ventures in store
Inspired by his furry clientele, McMillan has revitalized the store’s social media pages with portraits of his four-legged friends. Follow A Pet’s Life on Facebook and Instagram to inject more cuteness in your feed, and to keep tabs on rumours of a pet portrait studio that could be coming to the store.
A Pet’s Life’s social media isn’t the only thing McMillan’s has changed since taking ownership.
“This family business has been a fixture in Cadboro Bay for over 25 years and has built a great foundation. But one thing I’m trying to do is bringing in more Canadian and local products.”
In the treats section you’ll now find Island-made goodies, and the natural, nutritious pet foods now come from BC and other Canadian companies. Toys, collars and other pet paraphernalia is also Canadian-focused.
“We were already focused on local suppliers, and since COVID-19 we’ve seen even more of an appetite for supporting local businesses,” he says.
The store launched curb-side pickup and delivery this spring and continues to offer online ordering as well as in-store shopping. Orders over $30 receive free delivery.
“We want to make it accessible as possible. Some of our clients need to prioritize their safety and stay indoors, so we set the purchase limit very low. We’ll deliver anything from a small cat post to four bags of dog food.”
To make an online order visit apetslife.ca/order-online and write a brief description of the products you’d like to order. If you have questions, call
“If we don’t have an item in stock, we can special-order almost anything and, it’s usually in customer’s hands within a week,” McMillan says.
The store is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Look for the bright green sign at 2019 Cadboro Bay Rd.